Oscars: Kazakhstan Nominates 'The Old Man' for Foreign Language Category

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea," the picture is from a director whose last film made it to the semifinals in the 2010 Oscar race.

A story inspired by Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea but set instead on the endless earthen ocean of the central Asian steppe, Ermek Tursunov's Shal (The Old Man) is Kazakhstan's entry for the best foreign language film Oscar race.

Tursunov is no stranger to Academy Award selectors. His last film, Kelin, about a young woman in a forced marriage, which marked his debut, made it to the semifinals of the Academy Awards foreign language category in 2010.

The new film focuses on the old man's struggle to convey values to his grandson, attempting to connect the old ways with the new.

With family tensions simmering beneath the surface and conversations limited to brief exchanges, this is a film about the need to do good without expectations of reward or recognition.

Written and directed by Tursunov, the 102-minute film is lensed by Marat Aliyev.

Produced by Alexander Vovnyanko and Kazakhfilm, among others, it stars Erbulat Toguzakov, Orynbekov Moldahan and Isbek Abilmazhinov.