Delegation of the European Union
to the International Organisations in Vienna

The European Union opens the 5th European Film Festival in Kazakhstan

10/11/2020 - 06:46
News stories

NUR-SULTAN – On 9 November, the Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan opened the 5th European online Film Festival. The Festival will last from November 9 to 29 and will present 18 films produced by the European Union Member States.

Together with films, the Festival will host exclusive discussions, master-classes, and meetings with the European and Kazakh filmmakers. The Festival aims to acquaint the Kazakh audience with European cinema, raise public interest in cinematographic art, and strengthen international cooperation.

The opening ceremony was attended by the EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson, Italian Embassy Cultural and Commercial Attaché Emilio Sessa, and special guests of the Festival – filmmakers Carlo D’Ursi (Italy) and Rain Rannu (Estonia), Kazakh director, member of the European Film Academy Adilkhan Yerzhanov, and Kazakh cinema expert and critic Gulnara Abikeyeva. During the panel discussion, the participants exchanged views on key trends, challenges, and common features of contemporary European and Kazakh cinema.

Most of the Festival’s films are the winners of prestigious international film festivals, including the winner of Cannes Critics’ Week Grand Prize winner – “Diamantino,” the winners of Venice Film Festival for Best Actor – “Tel Aviv on fire” and “Saint George,” the winner of German Film Critics Association Awards for Best Film and Best Actor – “Western,” the winner of Florence film festival for Best Feature Film – “Sawah,” the winner of Amsterdam and Madrid International Documentary Film Festivals awards – “Stranger in Paradise,” the winner of the Kyiv International Film Festival Award of the film program for teenagers “Youth” – “Too far away,” and the winners of other numerous film festivals.

“This year, our Festival is organized for the first time in an online format, making European cinema even closer and more accessible for the Kazakh audience. The festival program includes films of various genres, from drama and comedy to animation and documentary films. I believe that European cinema will not leave anyone indifferent because it raises acute social issues and touches people’s deepest feelings and concerns; This a tale about all of us. I am also pleased that Kazakhstani cinema is rapidly developing and winning prestigious awards at European film festivals. This is an excellent opportunity to exchange experience and show the European viewers the stories of Kazakh people”, EU Ambassador to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Carlsson noted.

The Festival program was opened by a film by Italian director Jonas Carpigniano “A Ciambra,” which premiered at the 70th Cannes Film Festival, won the Europa Cinemas Label Award, and gained two David di Donatello Awards. The film was also selected as the Italian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. It is a story of adolescence to adulthood of a Romani teen living in Calabria, Southern Italy.  A discussion about the film with its director Jonas Carpigniano will be held online on 12 November upon prior registration.

On 18 November, Carlo D’Ursi will deliver a master-class for Kazakhstani filmmakers, students, and all interested public. Carlo D’Ursi is a director, producer, actor, who has more than a decade of experience in the film industry and heads the Potenza Producciones production company, which accumulated more than 400 awards, focuses on international coproduction and helps the films to compete at the film festivals like the ones in Cannes, Venice, Málaga, and Montreal.

On 28 November, the Festival will be closed by Rain Rannu’s (Estonia) feature film “Chasing the Unicorns.” This movie is based on real stories of Estonian eco-startups and narrates about a female founder trying to conquer a male-dominated tech world – from Estonia to Silicon Valley. The event is supported by the Embassy of Estonia in Nur-Sultan.

These 18 films are selected in cooperation with the prominent European cinema portal Cineuropa and supported by the Embassy of Estonia in Nur-Sultan, Goethe Institute, and the Institut Français. The media partner of the festival is media portal “Давай Сходим”. Most of the films were co-produced by several European countries, highlighting the European Union’s motto – “Unitied in Diversity.”

How to watch European films online?

All films are screened in the original language with Russian and English subtitles. The movies are available for free only in Kazakhstan during 9-29 November upon registration at

Each film is offered for max 400 views. If this is not enough, the EU Delegation can provide additional free tickets for spectators upon request. The requests can be sent to the mailbox or by messaging the Delegations’ social media pages.

The Festival will also hold a weekly contest for the best review of the movie you like; the winners will receive branded Festival’s prizes.

All announcements about the Festival’s events and contests will be published on the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan pages on Facebook and Instagram.

For additional information, please contact:

Yerkezhan Amriyeva, Delegation of the European Union to Kazakhstan: e-mail:

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