Principal photography of Kazakh-Japanese coproduction “The Horse Thieves” has started in Almaty oblast
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On September 11th 2018 the set tour for the media took place at the lake of Tuzkol where principal photography of full-length feature ‘The Horse Thieves” is taking place. The project is a Kazakh-Japanese coproduction, which is helmed by “Kazakhfilm” studio from Kazakh side and by “Tokyo New Cinema” from Japanese side.
One of film’s producers is Shozo Ichiyama (Japan), an acclaimed film producer and a constant collaborator of Takeshi Kitano, Jia Zhangke and Hsou Hsiao Hsien. Shozo’s filmography counts to 20 films and most of them were in official competition and awarded at top film festivals like Berlinale, Cannes IFF and Venice IFF.
‘The Horse Thieves” tell the story of a happy family whose serene life is shattered when the gang of horse thieves murder the husband and father. Olzhas, a 12-year-old son of the latter, is deeply frustrated by father’s death and thrives to handle it. At the most desperate and dark moment a mysterious stranger shows up and helps the boy and his family.
During the tour film’s other producer Yuliya Kim (KZ/France) introduced the international cast &crew: director Yerlan Nurmukhambetov (KZ), director Lisa Takeba (JP), DOP Aziz Zhambakiyev (KZ), lead actress Samal Yeslyamova (KZ) and lead actor Mirai Moriyama (JP).
Director Yerlan Nurmukhambetov described the film as “partly western, partly melodrama” and pointed out its target audience as both Kazakh and Japanese. “Our Japanese partners are hopeful to have a viewers’ interest and good box-office in Japan, as well. That’s the reason a well-known Mirai Moriyama was invited to join the cast”, - Nurmukhambetov said.
Actor Mirai Moriyama told journalists his character was that very mysterious Kairat to play which he had been studying Kazakh and horse riding for three months. “What attracted me most in this project was that this is a father/son relationship story. Also, I was quite attracted with the opportunity to come and work here in Kazakhstan», - Moriyama added.
Winner of this year’s Cannes’ Best Female Lead award Samal Yeslyamova told journalists she was deeply interested in joining this international project and cowork with Japanese fellow actor. “It’s always exciting to make a film here in my native Kazakhstan and even more exciting to collaborate with Yerlan Nurmukhambetov whom I’ve known for quite a time since “Tulpan” movie”, - Yeslyamova said.
Production : “Kazakhfilm”, «Tokyo New Cinema».
Directed by: Yerlan Nurmukhambetov (KZ)
Co-directed by: Lisa Takeba (JP)
DOP: Aziz Zhambakiyev (KZ)
Produced by: Shozo Ichiyama (JP), Yuliya Kim (KZ/FR)
Executive produced by: Assel Yerzhanova (KZ)
Cast: Dulyga Akmolda (KZ), Samal Yeslyamova (KZ), Mirai Moriyama (JP)