Oscars: Kazakhstan Selects 'Stranger' for Foreign-Language Category

Damir Ainikeyev
'Stranger'

The film by Ermek Tursunov, who was last nominated for an Academy Award in 2013, will premiere in September at the Toronto Film Festival.

Kazakhstan has unveiled its nomination for best foreign Oscar: Stranger, by Yermek Tursunov, was selected by the country. 

The film is the sixth feature by a director who is himself no stranger to the Oscar race. He has two previous nominations, with Kelin making it to the shortlist in 2010 and Shal (The Old Man) put forward in 2013.

Stranger, a 105-minute study of Kazakh nomads eking out a living in the harsh environment of the steppes, is due for its world premiere next month in Toronto.

The film is the story of a young man, Ilyas, played by Yerzhan Nurymbet, who survived the famine of the 30s, Stalinist deportation and WWII by retreating in a cave to live off the land, and finds himself battling society in a bid to retain his freedom.

His secluded and nomadic life has not prepared him for the dramatic developments in his Soviet-era community, even though he tries his best to connect with the villagers.

Produced by Kanat Torebay for Tursunov Film, which is also handling world sales, the film is based on a screenplay that Tursunov wrote while studying at Moscow's leading film school, VGIK.

 

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