Central Asian Scriptwriting Lab
Final Pitching and Its Winners

29 October 2021

The Central Asian Scriptwriting Lab (CASL) was implemented by the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty as part of the "Strengthening Film Industries in Central Asia" project with the support of the government of the Republic of Korea. During the final pitching of projects that took place on 28 October 2021, the international jury identified three winners of CASL.

UNESCO Almaty congratulates the winners and expresses its great gratitude to all those who participated and contributed to the organisation of the Central Asian Scriptwriting Lab!

1st place: Kagarova Aigerim ("Aliya").

Logline: Aliya, a young girl who dreams to become a professional singer, is kidnapped by a fellow villager who is obsessed with her and plans to marry. But after the wedding night, she escapes her home village and comes to the city to build a new life.

2nd place: Shibanov Eldar ("Mountain Onion").

Logline: The story of the growing up of 11-year-old Dzhabai, who sells mountain onions on the highway, who finds his mother with his idol, a truck driver, and goes to China for Viagra for his father that he becomes a strong man.

3rd place: Bekbalaeva Aizada ("Husband").

Logline: The story of a man who, after the death of his son, falls in love with his wife.

Projects that have been singled out by the trainers of the lab (in the alphabetical order of the family names of authors)

Anartayev Aruan ("The Safe Place")

Longline: A young scientist who has been living in Moscow for a long time and feels like a real Muscovite, comes to his homeland to Kazakhstan wishing to make an important journey with his grandfather to the ancestral cradle before making a serious decision about his future life.

Baisambekov Myrza ("Lame")

Brief synopsis: Nurlan and Aina have been living together for ten years and have a little daughter named Rabia. Both lead a quiet life and try to keep their family corner in peace. However, this night, an irreversible and dire incident will take place in the family. After the festive event, when almost none of the guests remained, the last guest dies through the fault of the father of the family. Now, the family is faced with a terrible choice - to confess what they had done and let the family collapse or to bury this secret and continue to live as before. But, regardless of the choice, will they be able to continue living "as before"?

Mannopov Azizbek ("Cities")

Synopsis: After a long stay in New York, the main female character Mia returns to Uzbekistan. Immediately upon arrival, she meets the young architect Said, who is going to leave the country - in a day he will have a presentation of his architectural project. They celebrate Mia's arrival. She gets drunk, and Sayid accidentally discovers her passport, thinking that it belongs to another girl from Samarkand. Mia, still drunk, convinces Sayid to go to Samarkand to return the passport to its owner. After a long journey, they spend the whole day in Samarkand, scaring and attracting each other. In the evening they go to the address indicated in the passport. They are met by Mia's deaf, annoyed father. He doesn't recognize his daughter. There is a conflict. The father lashes out at Sayid. They have to run. Only at the last moment does Mia see why she has come such a long way. At night, having lost their car, exhausted, they can hardly get to Tashkent to catch Said's morning presentation. However, the door of his apartment is locked. Said forgot his keys in Samarkand and cannot take the model of his building for the presentation. He is denied a job. Said stays at home.

Zhumanalieva Alexandra ("Butterfly. New Life")

Longline: After ten years later, Dan returns to his native Kyrgyzstan to bury his mother, whom he has not seen since the age of six. This trip becomes fatal for him: he faces his fears, meets love, learns to forgive and to say goodbye.

Other projects (in the alphabetical order of the family names of authors)

Amantai Sarytoka ("Trace")

Longline: A huntsman named Olzhas was thrown into the steppe by a poacher without any equipment, and now Olzhas will have to go through the hardships and trials of nature. Will he stay alive and will he be able to find the intruder?

Dastanuly Rustem ("Taraz Kyzylorda")

Longline: Nartai is looking for his daughter Dariya, thinking that he lost her on the way. Due to alcohol intoxication, he does not remember much. If the daughter is not found, then he is done. He searches in vain everywhere, remembering that he offended her. Returning home, Nartai discovers his daughter, because it turned out he brought her the day before.

Ismailova Almira ("Zumi")

Longline: A hot-tempered computer game tester whose life revolves around a bedridden father meets a virtual character inside a simulation maze game. The game forces the heroine to fight the Minotaur and learn to control the anger that destroys herself.

Mubarova Ainur ("T-men")

Longline: The narcissistic fake shaman Adlet must deliver his sister, pregnant with the reincarnation of the Tengrian god, to the center of the earth to save her from death. During this journey, Adlet not only acquires an unusual family but also finds a hero's heart in himself, capable of protecting loved ones even at the cost of his own life.

Mussabekov Aidar ("Turkish Tea")

Longline: Yerzhan flies to Germany to become a teacher in a Turkish-German school, but childhood memories, meeting a girl and the death of his mother give him time to think.

Nabikhanova Tansholpan ("Adraspan")

Longline: A young woman starting her career in the police, she takes on the task of infiltrating an extremist community, where her views and relationships within the family are put to the test.

Nuspekova (Tulendy) Zhanna ("My Name is Ra")

Longline: A young woman starting her career in the police, she takes on the task of infiltrating an extremist community, where her views and relationships within the family are put to the test.

Rashidov Hurshed ("Breaker")

Longline: After an unpleasant attack by thugs, hatred for all thuggish groups awakens in Azamat. But after becoming an authority and having achieved revenge, the hero himself turns into the one whom he despised so much.

Seksenbayev Almas ("Ayna and the Demon Dog")

Longline: Middle Ages. Great Steppe. Little restless Ayna and a demon-dog set off on a journey to remove the spell and save their native village, which was bewitched by a snake-like demon - Aydhar. Ayna will have to master her shamanic gift to help ordinary people and magical creatures, as well as to learn the secret of the demon dogs nascence.

Shagrap Temirlan ("The Hungry Steppe")

Longline: During the terrible famine in the Kazakh steppes of the 30s, Bakha decides to go to an orphanage so as not to be a burden to his pregnant mother and younger brother. Her path lies through the hungry steppe.

Suiumkan Sulaimanova ("The Wind")

Longline: Parents appear in the boy's life, with whom he has not seen each other since his childhood. The appearance of strangers turns his life upside down when his parents take him to a new home from his grandfather.

Tanayeva Fariza ("Papa Istanbul")

Longline: Leila is an imaginative child who runs away from home to go in search of her father. On the way to the goal, she learns independence, and found out that the father does not exist. The line between reality and fantasy is fine, that's what she needs to understand in order to achieve her goal - to find her father's love.

Previous Materials:
Introduction of the Project Participants;
Introduction of the Project Trainers;
CASL Diary 1: Reviewing Applications and Selecting Participants;
CASL Diary 2: Consultations of Yulia Levitskaya;
CASL Diary 3: Story of Aizada;
CASL Diary 4: Story of Azizbek;
CASL Diary 5: Story of Hurshed;
CASL Diary 6: Story of Ainur;
CASL Diary 7: Consultations of Iskandar Usmonov;
CASL Diary 8: Consultations of Erke Dzhumakmatova;
CASL Diary 9: Consultations of Saodat Ismailova;
Introduction of the Jury of the Final Pitching.

Contact persons for any questions related to the Central Asian Scriptwriting Lab: Majer Massanov (m.massanov@unesco.org), Aigul Khalafova (a.khalafova@unesco.org).

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/central-asian-scriptwriting-lab-br-final-pitching-and-its-winners