Nicolas Cage's Kazakh Film Festival Photo Sparks Online Hilarity

Nicolas Cage - H 2016
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

The actor, whose latest film 'Inconceivable' opened in June, was pictured in Kazakh costume at Astana Film Festival.

Nicolas Cage has told hosts at the  Eurasia Film Festival in Kazakhstan that he would be happy to appear in a film shot in the Central Asian country.

The actor was photographed wearing a tradition Kazakh coat and hat — usually worn by the nomadic horsemen of the Central Asian steppes — at the opening of the festival in the country's futurist capital of Astana, an image that soon went viral.

The photo, showing Cage standing next to a senior official — according to some reports the country's First Lady Sara Nazarbayeva, but in fact violinist, head of Astana's Music Academy and festival president Aiman Mussakhajaeva— pictures him with a far-off expression on his face.

The costume and distant look prove a rich source for online humor, with doctored photos soon hitting social media.

The actor, who is a VIP guest of the 13th edition of the festival — usually held in Almaty but this year being hosted by Astana to coincide with the capital's international Expo 2017 Astana running June through September — did his bit for promoting Kazakhstan, saying he would be happy to appear in a local film.

"I would be pleased to participate in some film project on the territory of Kazakhstan," he told journalists, news agency Kazinform reported.

"I enjoyed the architecture of your capital. What I saw reminded me of an old black-and-white film that depicted the future."

Cage added that he was currently working on a film called Mandy directed by Panos Cosmatos, noting that he liked to "concentrate on films of lower budget; they have an interesting approach to cinematography."

Cage said he liked "critical, diverse roles" remarking that the eponymous ex-con he played in David Gordon Green's Joe in 2013 was "closest" to him.

The Oscar-winning actor — who was at the festival with other star guests including Adrien Brody and reportedly John Malkovich, Chinese-American actress Bai Ling and former Venice film festival chief Marco Mueller — also did his bit for good causes, planting trees with Astana's mayor at a center for disabled children ahead of the opening Sunday of a debut children's film competition, Five Continents, running as part of the Eurasia Festival.

David Vashadze, film commissioner at Georgia's National Film Center, who was in Astana for a screening of Sundance-nominated My Happy Family by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Gross, said the festival's industry events were useful and well-organized.

"I attended useful sessions on establishing a film commission in Kazakhstan and developing a common distribution network in Central Asia and the Caucasus — where between our different countries we have a network of 400 cinemas that offers potential to pool our resources and create a stronger regional cinema."