“Harmony Lessons” by Emir Baigazin released in Austria and Portugal
Portuguese premiere of “Harmony Lessons” was held in November in 2013 during 7th Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival where it received one of the main prizes – Special Jury Award João Bénard da Costa. “Leopardo Filmes” is a Portuguese distributor of the film.
“Harmony Lessons” was released in Kazakhatani theaters on December 5 last year. Then it was shown in theaters in Austria. The Austrian premiere was held on September 26th at the new location of the Vienna Stadtkino at the Vienna Künstlerhaus. “Harmony Lessons” was chosen as one of the three opening films which opened new theatre.
“Harmony Lessons” will be also released in France starting March 26.
“Harmony Lessons” directed by Emir Baigazin and produced by JSC “Kazakhfilm” named after Shaken Aimanov became the first Kazakhstani film to participate in the main competition of the Berlin International Film Festival and to win Silver Bear for best camerawork along with the prize of the Berliner Morgenpost Readers’ Jury for best feature film.
The film received glowing reviews from such world’s leading publications like BBC World News, Euronews, Reuters, Time, Screen International, The Los Angeles Times, The Independent, Sight&Sound, London Evening Standard, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Le Monde, La Croix, Der Tagesspiegel, etc., many of which called it a surprising discovery and predicted it to win the first prize at the festival.
Here a some excerpts from these reviews:
“An uncommonly accomplished debut feature signaling the arrival of a talent to watch”. – The Hollywood Reporter.
“Intriguing, laconic, mysterious…”. – Screen Daily.
“Grimly poetic, formally disciplined and psychologically gripping, (…) the film is the work of an impeccable visual stylist. – The Hollywood Reporter.
“The film is strong, expressive, controversial and could easily achieve a cult status in future”. – Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
“Kazakhstan offered strong cinema this year: “Harmony Lessons" by Emir Baigazin is a great proof to that”. – Berliner Zeitung.
“Extraordinarily, it is the feature debut of a virtually unknown 28-year-old, and the only Kazakh film in the festival. Harmony Lessons is a bona fide tour de force that may well turn writer/director Emir Baigazin into the next art-house sensation”. – Film Comment.
After the success at Berlinale film was recognized with various awards at international film festivals, notably in Europe and USA, including top prizes at the 39th Seattle International Film Festival and 3rd Bildrausch Film Fest Basel, Grand Prix and Best Actor Award at Amiens International Film Festival, Grand Prix at the 26th Angers European First Film Festival, Grand Prix of the São Paulo International Film Festival, Gran Prix of the 1st International festival "KINO. Films from Russia and beyond", Special Mention in Directing at the 7th Asia-Pacific Screen Awards in Brisbane, Special Jury Award João Bénard da Costa at 7th Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival, Blue Angel for Best Film and Mayor of Trenčianske Teplice Awards at the 21st Art Film Fest International Film Festival, Best Director Award at the 3rd Sakhalin IFF, Special Jury Mention in the “Best New Narrative Director” category at Tribeca Film Festival and Special mention award at the 40th Film Fest Gent, NETPAC Awards (best Asian film) at the Warsaw Film Festival and Abu Dhabi IFF, Archie Award for Best First Feature and Honorable Mention for Best Cinematography at the Philadelphia Film Festival and Special Jury Prize at 13th Tokyo Filmex. Emir Baigazin's “Harmony Lessons” are also nominated for Best Cinematography at the 8th Asian Film Awards which will be held on March 27, 2014 in Macau.
Altogether film has participated in over 50 film festivals and received more than 25 awards. It was also shown in non-competition programmes at the following major film festivals: Karlovy Vary IFF, San Sebastian IFF, Montreal World Film Festival and Locarno IFF.