Festivals: call for entries

"Media-K" accepts applications from filmmakers and creative groups to create socially significant content
Deadline: 18.00 - 25.10.2021

Pitching for short fiction films from Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan
Date: 15.09 - 15.11.2021
Place: Almaty, Kazakhstan 
Salem Short — первый питчинг короткометражного жанрового кино от Salem

New film festival "Snow Leopard - Guardian of the Mountains"
Date: 27.08.2021
Place: Kyrgyzstan 
Friday, 19 January 2018 00:00

Film criticism, the study cinema and film history in Kyrgyzstan
Report by Gulbara Tolomushova was prepared to the First Asian Film Critics Assembly organized by FIPRESCI - 15 - 16.01.2018 at the frame of Dhaka IFF - 2018



November 17, 1941, a resolution was adopted by the Government of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic on the organization of a newsreel studio (now National studio Kyrgyzfilm) in the city of Frunze (today Bishkek). That is why at the present time the day of November 17 is celebrated as a professional holiday by Kyrgyz filmmakers.


During the Soviet era, a galaxy of film critics and film journalists worked fruitfully in Kyrgyzstan: Kaarman Ashimov, Oleg Artyukhov, Seit Bokonbaev, Askerbek Sekimov, Edilbek Sarybayev, Vladimir Mikhailov, Tolkun Namatbayeva and others.


The leader of the study cinema in Academy of Sciences and film criticism during the Soviet era, undoubtedly, is Kaarman Ashimov.


It seemed that his path in science was predetermined: after defending his Ph.D. thesis in Moscow in 1968, he opened a direct path to doctoral studies, and there the whole academic hierarchy loomed in the progressive direction. But ... The junction of the 1960s and 1970s in the twentieth century exacerbated production issues at the Kyrgyzfilm studio.


The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kyrgyzstan has decided to appoint a competent, educated person who has already earned a reputation in the scientific circles of the republic for the leadership position of this studio. But, realizing that Ashimov had not yet had any production experience, they decided to give him the opportunity to get used to the studio practice, suggesting the position – Head of the scenario editorial board. So, in 1970-1971 he worked as this position, and in September 1971 he was appointed director (Head) of "Kyrgyzfilm" studio. On this responsible post Kaarman Ashimov worked until 1981. Thus, to this day, this peculiar record - 10 years as a director plus 2 years as the Head of the scenario editorial board - has not been beaten by anyone. It was in this "Asimov ten-year" that his outstanding abilities were most fully manifested, as the organizer and head of the cinematographic process.


But Ashimov did not forget about his main mission in the cinema. He continued to actively publish in the local and central cinema period, in academic scientific collections, to produce monographs. As the well-known Kyrgyz aesthetist Kadyrbek Matiev said, "he has the honor to prepare the ground for the creation of kinetic science in Kyrgyzstan". After all, before him no one has ever worked in our republic in this direction of art history. Gulchehra Toktosunova, a prominent Kyrgyz art critic, continues: "He knew the production kitchen, but he also understood the content side of film art, he was the first, and he had to lay out the Kyrgyz cinema in the structure of cinematography in general, the history and theory of cinema, film criticism in particular.


Kaarman Ashimov published several books about Kyrgyz cinema, and the last book "Kyrgyz cinema" was published by his family after his death in 1999.


During the Soviet era, the journal "Ekran" published various materials on new films and famous filmmakers.


Every major critic has published at least one book about the cinema:

Oleg Artyukhovis the author and compiler of the handbook of the Union of Cinematographers of Kyrgyzstan (1981).


Seit Bokonbaev, a graduator of VGIK (Moscow), the author of an interesting monograph "We did not start from zero... My nachinali ne s nulya”. Now he is engaged in teaching activities in Qingjiang-Uygur Autonomous Region of China. He teaches in Russian.


Askerbek Sekimovis the author of a monograph about the famous director Bolot Shamshiev. Sekimov during many years made TV program about Kyrgyz cinema.


Edilbek Sarybayev, a graduator of VGIK, wrote a monograph about the famous cameraman Kadyrzhan Kydyraliev.


Vladimir Mikhailov, a graduator of VGIK, published two books after the collapse of the USSR: "The Way to the Screen" in 2004 and the "Tales of the Cinema" - photo album in 2014. Now he lives abroad, stopped his activity as a film critic, began to write books and plays.


In the Soviet era, several well-known critics from Moscow wrote books dedicated to famous Kyrgyz actors.


From 1980 to 1990 was published several books: Valentina Ivanova wrote a book about the great actress Baken Kydykeeva, Elga Lyndina wrote a book about famous actor Suimenkul Chokmorov, Vitaly Furtichev about outstanding actor Sovetbek Zhumadylov.


After the collapse of the Soviet Union, representatives of related professions also published books: the famous writer and screenwriter Leonid Dyadyuchenko wrote a book about the outstanding filmmaker Tolomush Okeyev, musicologist Ekaterina Luzanova prepared the tutorial about History of the Kyrgyz cinema, journalist Suyorkul Chokmorov published a book about his famous brother, the famous actor Suimenkul.Chokmorov.


Gulbara Tolomushova(graduator of VGIK) was published many scientific articles in scientific editions and a specialized journal at the National Academy of Sciences "Issues of literature and art", also she published a monography “Territory of Kinostan” (2009), and a book about women in Kyrgyz cinema (2017).


In 2013 she was one among several authors of a book published by Busan IFF: The Unknown New Wave of Central Asian Cinema.


In 2013 she was one among several authors of a book Cinema in Central Asia published by  I.B.Tauris (London/New-York). Rewriting Cultural Histories. Edited by Michael Rouland, Gulnara Abikeyeva and Birgit Beumers.


In 2017 she was one among 15 authors of a book published in Moscow: History of the National cinema in USSR and perspectives of the development cinema in CIS, Baltic countries and Georgia. It is publication of New Institute of Culturology by support MFGS (Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation of CIS Member States ", Moscow).


Has a permanent column in the newspaper "Evening Bishkek", the permanent heading "ABC of Cinema" in the newspaper "New faces". She is also an author of online journal  Kinokultura.com, is the author and editor of the site about Kyrgyz cinema kyrgyzcinema.com.


For technical reasons, her another website of the Department of Cinematography is closed.


About a year, the young critic Nurbek Imanov actively published reviews for films for the mass audience on the site of kyrgyzcasting.org, but last year he stopped this work.


For several years Azamat Omuraliev actively worked, publishing reviews for foreign films on the portal Kloop.kg, but stopped this work.


Informational and advertising materials are regularly published by many websites and newspapers that are read by young people, the popular youth portal Limon.kg and the most popular portal Super.kg and the largest circulation newspaper in Kyrgyzstan Super Info. This newspaper circulation sometimes reaches 95 thousand copies.


Gulbara Tolomushova


15.01.2018, Dhaka