Oscars: Kazakhstan Selects 'Road to Mother' for Foreign-Language Category

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Akan Satayev

Akan Satayev's historic drama was made with the support of the daughter of the Central Asian country's president.

Kazakhstan has selected Akan Satayev's Road to Mother as its candidate for consideration for the best foreign-language film Oscar.

The decision was announced Friday in the Kazakh capital Almaty during the second annual national Tulpar film awards.

A historic drama that counts Aliya Nazarbayeva, daughter of Kazakhstan's long-ruling president Nursultan Nazarbayev, as its general producer, Road to Mother won the main prize at the 1st Eurasian Bridge festival in Yalta, Crimea, last year and also picked up best film honors at Croatia's Marco Polo film festival in August.

The story of several generations of a Kazakh family from the 1930s to the present time, the film traces the most momentous events in the history of Kazakhstan through war, separation and the determination of the clan to remain united.

Last year, Road to Mother was named best film at the first national Tulpar film awards held during the annual Eurasia Film Festival in Almaty. On Friday, at the second, now independently organized Tulpar awards in Almaty, another of Satayev's films, Rayoni (Districts), a gritty contemporary drama of city life, took the top national film award as well.

Kazakhstan has submitted 12 films to the Oscars since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In 2007, Russian director Sergey Bodrov's film Mongol was nominated for best foreign-language film, but was beaten out to the winning slot by Austria's contender, Stefan Ruzowitsky's The Counterfeiters.

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