Akkyz

Akkyz, dir. Zhanabek Zhetiruov

BIOGRAPHIES for FLOWERS OF THE STEPPE

Ermek Shinarbaev
Director, Letters to An Angel

   Ermek Shinarbaev (b. 1953, Almaty, Kazakhstan) studied acting (1970-1974) and film direction (1977-1981) at the Moscow Film Institute (VGIK). He began his career as an actor, in 1974, and went on to work as an assistant director on feature films produced by state-owned Kazakhfilm Studios. In 1981 he started to direct and, in 1985, to produce independent films and musical events. His short film The Beauty in Mourning (1982) received several awards in short film festivals in the Soviet Union. He also made numerous documentaries including, New Wave (1983), Rodeo (1983), Monologues by the Piano (1986).
   His first feature My Sister Liusia was shot for Kazakhfilm on an extremely low budget in 1985, but censorship prevented it from being shown on Soviet TV until 1987. It was Shinarbaev’s first collaboration with Anatoly Kim, a Russian writer of Korean ancestry, and it was a debut for both. The film received the Jury Special prize at the Amiens International Film Festival in 1987. This was followed by the film Out of the Forest and into the Glade, in which he collaborated with Kim once again. Their next film, Revenge, was screened at numerous international festivals, including Cannes (in the Un certain regard section), Montreal, Cairo and Rotterdam. It received the Etienne Jules Marey and the C.I.D.A.L.C. prize at the Henry Langlois International Film Festival in Tours, France, in 1992. His film My Place on the Tricorne was screened at about 20 international film festivals all over the world, and won the Golden Leopard and the FIPRESCI Award at the Locarno film Festival in 1993. In 1993 he made the film Tender Heart, a Kazakh-French co-production, which received the Special Jury Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 1994.
   In 1996 Shinarbayev was chosen as the director of the National Producers Center of Alma-Ata. Since then his filmography includes diverse projects, such as the TV-series Crossroad (1996), documentary films Duet, Playing Brahms, The Concert at Barbikan-Hall (1998), and Master-class (1999), the features The Lost Paradise (2006, co-directed with Marat Konurov), Letters to an Angel (2008)—shown at several European film festivals—and Astana, Mon Amour (2010). In 1997 Shinarbayev was named “Honored Man of Art of Kazakstan”.
Appearances:
November 14, 7 pm. Screening of Letters Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfond Auditorium
November 16, 7 pm. Screening of Kelin Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfond Auditorium
November 17, 7 pm. Screening of Kelin Goethe Institut, Washington DC
November 18, 2 pm. Screening of Letters Kennan Institute, 6th floor, the Wilson Center

Michael Fitzgerald
Producer

   Producer Michael Fitzgerald was born in New York City, raised in Italy and educated in Ireland. After graduating from Harvard University he began his film career as a screenwriter in Rome. In 1979, he produced and co-wrote John Huston’s celebrated film adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood. His second film with Huston, Under the Volcano was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Actor—Albert Finney and Best Music—Alex North). He then produced The Penitent, starring Raul Julia, Mister Johnson with Academy Award- winning director Bruce Beresford and Blue Danube Waltz with the world-renowned Hungarian director Miklós Jancsó. A producing partnership with actor/director Sean Penn culminated in their critically acclaimed production of The Pledge, starring Jack Nicholson.
   In 2005 he completed both Colour Me Kubrick, starring John Malkovich, about a con-man who impersonates director Stanley Kubrick, and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones. For its realization of life, death and redemption along the Texas-Mexico border, The Three Burial won the Actor prize for Tommy Lee Jones and the Screenplay prize for Guillermo Arriaga at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. In 2008 he produced In the Electric Mist, directed by Bertrand Tavernier. In November 2011 he completed principal photography on Closer To The Moon, written and directed by Nae Caranfil. The film is in postproduction. The Homesman, to be directed by Tommy Lee Jones, will shoot in September 2012 and an adaptation of J.M.Coetzee’s Waiting For The Barbarians is slated for production in 2013.
   Michael Fitzgerald is a member of the Board Of Governors of the Telluride Film Festival, The Board Of Advisers of The Harvard Film Archive, and a Trustee of The Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation. He is a member of the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences. He has served on many Film Festival Juries around the world, including Mexico City, Morelia, Buenos Aires, Torino, Thessaloniki, Cluj and Abu Dhabi. He chaired the Jury in Astana in 2008. He has made pictures in the United States, Mexico, Africa (Nigeria), Great Britain and Eastern Europe.
Appearances:
November 14, 7 pm. Screening of LettersMuseum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfond Auditorium

Gulsara Mukataeva
Sound Engineer, Letters to An Angel

Appearances:
November 14, 7 pm. Screening of Letters Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfond Auditorium
November 18, 2 pm. Screening of Letters Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Steven-Charles Jaffe
Producer, Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan, Los Angeles

    Steven-Charles Jaffe's multifaceted career in film has included producer, executive producer, writer, and/or second unit director on such films as Ghost, Star Trek VI, K19: the Widowmaker, Strange Days, Time after Time, Near Dark, the Day After.
   Jaffe studied playwriting with Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Inge and took acting classes with the renowned Sandy Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse West. Jaffe produced a boxing documentary, in conjunction with legendary director John Huston’s Fat City. Jaffe was a development executive on The Wind and The Lion and developed the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s 1941. He was Associate Producer on Time after Time, written and directed by Nicholas Meyer. Jaffe was reunited with Meyer on The Day After, as Second Unit Director, which was the most viewed TV movie in broadcast history. Ronald Reagan acknowledged that The Day After convinced him to sign the SALT II Treaty with Russia.
   Impressed by Jaffe's work, Academy Award director, Billy Wilder sponsored him into the Director's Guild of America. Jaffe produced Kathryn Bigelow's critically applauded, NEAR DARK, the first of several creative collaborations with Bigelow. He was Executive Producer and Second Unit Director on Ghost, which made over $550,000,000. Collaborating again with Nicholas Meyer, Jaffe produced, as well as directed second unit, on Star Trek VI, The Undiscovered Country. Director James Cameron (Titanic) signed Jaffe to produce Strange Days with Kathryn Bigelow directing. Jaffe co-produced and directed second unit on K19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. Jaffe won top honors at Comic-Con for his documentary on legendary cartoonist, Gahan Wilson.
   Jaffe’s films earned five Academy Award nominations for Ghost. Ghost won for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. It received four Golden Globe nominations. Jaffe is currently preparing to direct a thriller which he has co-written. He is also the Honorary Consul for Kazakhstan in Los Angeles.
Appearances:
November 17, 7 pm. Screening of Kelin Goethe Institut, Washington DC
November 18, 2 pm. Screening of Letters Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Dr. Dastan Yeleukunov
Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Washington DC

Appearances:
November 20, 4 pm. Screening of Akkyz Kennan Institute, Washington DC

Anna Winestein
Executive Director, Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership

Appearances:
November 20, 4 pm. Screening of Akkyz Kennan Institute, Washington DC


Festival Calendar

Flowers of the Steppe is organized by the Ballets Russes Cultural Partnership and co-presented with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington and the Goethe Institut, Washington DC. With additional support from the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and KazakhFilm Studios.

Venues

Alfond Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115. t. 617.267.9300
Freer Gallery of Art. 200 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20013. t. 202.633.1000
Goethe Institut. 812 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001. t. 202.289.1200
Kennan Institute. 6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20004. t. 202.691.4100

Ermek Shinarbaev

Ermek Shinarbaev

Michael Fitzgerald

Michael Fitzgerald

Steven-Charles Jaffe

Steven-Charles Jaffe

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