Yakutian thriller “My Murderer” has been submitted to Golden Globes in the Foreign language section. Georges Chamchoum, an executive & program director of the second annual Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles, has shared this news with us ahead of the showing Kostas Marsan’s picture in the AWFF‘s official selection on 25 & 27 October.
Georges: Yakutia is my passion. Movies are my passion. Finding movies from little known regions are my passion. Add it all and you get the answer.
Since I discovered Yakutia little less than 10 years ago, I fell in love with the people and with the country and this love thru the years started growing and I wanted to know more – little did I know when I discovered this magical country I would discover an incredible and surprising Film Industry. I was surprised to hear that of all the Republics in Russia, Yakutia was the number one in Film Production. Then when I started going to Yakutsk I discovered the wealth of talents that burgeoned in this amazing vast country with less than a million inhabitants. Directors like the veterans Nikita Arzhakov, Alexey Romanov and Andrei Borisov, Sergey Potapov, Mikhail Lukashevskiy, Viatcheslav Semenov, Edward Novikov, Arkadi Novikov and today Kostas Marsan and Edward Khomus, producers like Anatoly Kirilin & Marianna Skrybykina performers like Galia Tikhonova, Ilyana Pavlova, Irina Mikhailova, Dmitry Trofimov – I could go on forever.
We help movies navigate the Award Season, promote and showcase the movies to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars), the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (Golden Globes), the Directors Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and the Hollywood press in general. Did you know this is the first time a movie from Yakutia is submitted to the Golden Globes, and it was done thru AWFF? How cool is that!
– Yakutian film “Unsolved Love” won the Award “Best original music” in the AWFF in 2015. Have you noted some changes in our cinematography in compare to last year?
Georges: Yakutian cinema has been a mature cinema for a long time from Alexey Romanov and Nikita Arzhakov all the way to the new generation of filmmakers who in creating a new language – like Sergey Potapov who is sort of a modern Fellini – have put the Cinema of Yakutia on the map.
– Did the festival team have same views about adding this film to the festival program?
Georges: TEAM AWFF are always excited to discover new films from new horizons. So we all work harmoniously. AWFF is the window to a New World. To a World of discoveries. To a World full of magic, fantasy, reality and…. life itself from drama to joy!
Furthermore we want the audience to start identifying movies from Yakutia, and not Yakutia and between brackets “Russia”. From Buryatia not from Russia. Tuva not from Russia. Bashkhortistan not from Russia. These republics have their own immensely rich identities that allows them to say proudly my movie is from Yakutia, Buryatia and so on….
What I would like to see is one day Mother Russia submitting a movie from this Far East regions to the Oscars. That will be justice.
Russian and Yakutian culture mix and coexist in our region. In your view, is it a positive process for filmmaking?
Georges: I am “not” one with a nationalistic fiber, I consider myself a citizen of the universe – I do believe in culture exchange. Our World is a small World and it is time that human beings should accept each other for who they are and for what they represent or stand for – no matter, the color, the creed, the beliefs. The same blood runs thru all of us.
So what ever you do and that moves forward in a positive light is a wonderful process of creation. I always believe in cross culture, and actually the basis at AWFF is “cross culture”. Culture from the 50 Asian Countries and Hollywood. Bridging the East and the West.
The sun rises from the East and sheds its light to the West, and the Hollywood spotlight from the West sheds its light to the East. This is our vision for the future.
– What do you find the most specific in Asian films?
Georges: There are 50 countries in Asia that spans from the Eastern Shores of the Mediterranean to Japan, from Russia by way of the Caucasus to China & India. 50 strong countries vibrant and full of talents. Visionary and creative. Japanese Cinema for many years were at the forefront of movie making. Masters like Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kobayashi have inspired the greatest Directors in every corner of the Western World and Hollywood. China led the way to a new and vibrant filmmaking. South Korea in the early 90’s literally reinvented the language of cinema.
AWFF was founded by a Kyrgyz Filmmaker and a visionary friend of mine, Sadyk Sher-Nyaz who had the same vision as I did. Had a burning fire inside of him to spread the cinema from Asia….. and had the same frustration as I did: knowing that since 1947 – that’s 69 years – only 7 Oscars went to Asian Filmmakers, out of the 7, 2 were honorary Oscars and one of them went to Akira Kurosawa.
So, we decided to start AWFF, to cater to the Oscar & Golden Globe Submitted movies in the Foreign Language from Asia. That is our Mission – and that is why the Asian World Film Festival saw the light! We are 2 years and already we are fully mature. AWFF can make a difference!