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Post: Russian phenomenon: Yakut cinema conquered the world

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MOSCOW, March 30 – RIA Novosti, Anna Nekhaeva. Yakut films occupied a unique niche in the box office and audience preferences. Pictures of directors from the Republic of Sakha won awards at world film festivals, “Exit” was recently nominated for an Oscar. RIA Novosti was told by their authors why these projects are interesting and why they should be followed.

credit for the movie

The newest photo from Yakutia – “Aita” by Stepan Burnashev – has been published. Made in Hollywood style, the film won two awards (best director and actor) at the festival of Russian auteur films “Winter”.

To create this detective thriller, Burnashev sold the car and took out a loan that even his wife didn’t know about. The result is a powerful project in the spirit of David Fincher.

Says the director: “Often my story doesn’t fit the genre, but it’s the opposite. Aita is based on a story my cousin told. My cousin worked as a researcher. She touched me, so I always thought of her. Completed”.

Aita - on the set of the movie RIA Novosti, 1920, 29.03.2023
On the set of the movie “Aita”

The hero of the picture dies after a party of classmates, leaving a note with the name. In a small town, word of mouth works as fast as a broken phone. Therefore, everyone is sure: Athanasius, the police officer who left Aita, is guilty. People demand retaliation, but the inspector refuses to lynch.

Information tyranny, chauvinism, prejudice and ignorance are intertwined here. But the main issue is the problem of fathers and children in the age of modern technology. According to the director, the creators of the project tried to explain these issues to the audience. Their vision turned a classic parable into an artistic story.

On the set of the movie Aita
On the set of the movie Aita
On the set of the movie Aita
Shot from the movie Aita

One of the features of Yakut cinema is the cast. Anyone can be a player in the republic. Burnashev often finds artists through social networks. In “Aita” she was with Andrei Fomin (the director wrote to him and asked for the role).

Anyone can enter the next painting of Burnashev. Announced a contest: you need to watch “Aita” in the cinema, share your impressions on social networks, register on the film’s website by uploading a review. And in May, the director will choose the winner.

On the set of the movie Aita
On the set of the movie Aita
On the set of the movie Aita
On the set of the movie Aita

“Sometimes it fits the texture of the role to bring out a simple human character,” explains Burnashev.

One of Burnashev’s next projects will be an almanac with Dmitry Davydov under the working title “Yt 2” (Stepan collaborated with him in the first part).

Aita - on the set of the movie RIA Novosti, 1920, 29.03.2023
On the set of the movie “Aita”

creative tasks

“I also sold the car for the shooting of the first movie, ‘Bonfire in the Wind’, and got eight loans that I paid off over five years,” Davydov recalls.

One of the long-awaited Ruby visions is the horror movie Border. The movie was shot entirely in English. But there is no foreign capital.

On the set of the movie Frontier
On the set of the movie Frontier

It is now in post-production, it will end in the summer or fall and is scheduled to hit theaters in the second or third quarter of 2024.

The director says: “The idea arose a long time ago – in the form of a short film that was never made. The script has not been executed for five years. It is about man’s responsibility to nature. It seems that this is a working and relevant topic in the context of today’s life.”

Filming of the summer movie will come to an end
Filming of the summer movie will come to an end
Filming of the summer movie will come to an end
Filming of the summer movie will come to an end
Filming of the summer movie will come to an end

No less interesting is the film “Summer Will End”, starring Vladimir Munkuev with Yura Borisov and Makar Khlebnikov. As the director admits, it’s kind of anti-“Father” or “Brother”.

The picture is a story about Kesha (Borisov), who is imprisoned for taking the blame for his younger brother Tim (Khlebnikov). Both want to improve life in Yakut village. One finds a job, the other prepares for college. However, they are forced to flee after the event.

The operator is Maxim Arbugaev, whose joint film Exit with his sister Evgenia was nominated for an Oscar.

Filming of the summer movie will come to an end - RIA Novosti, 1920, 29.03.2023
Filming of the movie “Summer is over”

Honors and nominations

According to Davydov, he usually watches all Yakut films in the editing phase.

“I support every film, I wish the audience success. There is no other way here. In Yakutia, the producers cling to each other, help,” says the director.

The authors of the project claim that there is no competition between them.

Shot from the movie Youth
Frame from detector film
Shot from the movie Ichchi

“We have good communication, we congratulate each other on victories and achievements,” says Burnashev.

What is the reason for success?

According to Burnashev, the fact that Yakut cinema often uses legends, half-tales that people tell each other on long winter evenings. So people developed a special way of thinking.

And in 2004, when Sergei Potapov’s “My Love” was released and hit the box office, the ambitious Yakuts realized they could shoot and make money.

Shot from the movie Ichchi
Shot from the movie Youth
A frame from the movie Scarecrow
Shot from the movie Youth
Shot from the movie Youth

“Yakut cinema was not created artificially. It actually functions, it’s an honest job where the writers get little money, shoot, publish, compete with everyone at the box office,” says director Vladimir Munkuev. “At the same time, support funds and grants, it seems to me, that’s not very good: there’s an addiction”.

As Kostas Marsaan, author of the successful “Ichchi”, told RIA Novosti, comedies, dramas and youth films are popular in the republic. Most projects do not reach Moscow.

“This is the delight of those who watch and choose our rental movies. It’s better to visually convey the right atmosphere in horror and mysticism,” he thinks.

Shot from the movie Aita
Shot from the movie Ichchi
Frame from detector film
Still from the movie Bonfire in the Wind
A frame from the movie Scarecrow

According to Kostas, the phenomenon is in the presence of the public, who vote in rubles at the box office. After all, Yakut directors know their audience, understand what they expect.

As Munkuev noted, the first Yakut comedies had a classic plot – “a conditional village of Shurik comes to the city where his adventures took place.”

However, in other genres, the themes and atmosphere created by the Yakut masters fascinate the audience.

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Source: Ria

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