By MCN Editor


Harvey Weinstein, Mike Tyson, Lawrence Bender, Sharlto Copley, and Dolph Lundgren, among others, to appear at first annual fest
ASTANA CITY, KAZAKHSTAN (June 23, 2010) – The Astana International Action Film Festival announced today the kick off of its first annual event, which will take place June 27-July 1, 2010 in Astana City, Kazakhstan. Organized astanaactionfest1.jpgby renowned film director and producer Timur Bekmambetov the festival aims to bring the Asian and Western film markets together, showcasing a unique lineup of full-length action films along with a diverse forum of feature discussions from Academy Award® nominated producers, as well as a broad range of international filmmakers.
The official screening program will consist of more than 20 full-length action films from the USA, Europe, Asia and CIS countries. Gala premieres are set to include SHANGHAI, THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, MONSTERS, DISTRICT 9, THE LAST AIRBENDER, INHALE, COUNTDOWN TO ZERO and KARATE KID, among many more. The opening and closing ceremonies will take place in the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall. Featured guests include such notables as Harvey Weinstein (SHANGHAI), Mike Tyson (TYSON), Lawrence Bender (KILL BILL: VOL. 1, 2, and 3, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS), Sharlto Copley (DISTRICT 9), and Swedish actor, writer, director Dolph Lundgren (COMMAND PERFORMANCE), among others. Here is a complete list of films and featured attendees.
“Our festival is timed to the birthday of the capital of Kazakhstan in an effort to create a festive atmosphere for the residents of Astana while showcasing the spirit of the city to our guests,” said festival organizer and President Timur Bekmambetov. “Our aim is for the festival to become a cultural bridge of discovery, as well as an effective and productive pipeline for producers, investors and prospective partners to foster growth and opportunity for the filmmaking community of Kazakhstan.”
“Action films dominate our festival program as we felt it was important to showcase commercial projects,” said the Director General of the festival Iren Vanidovskaya. “We are excited about introducing Astana to the international filmmaking community, and we are thrilled that so many talented storytellers have joined us for this special event.”

In addition to the featured screenings, the festival program will include numerous press conferences, exclusive interviews, a screenplay competition and roundtable discussions. The screenplay competition will present five finalists from the USA, Spain, France and Kazakhstan. Films in competition have yet to be announced. One winner will be selected to win a cash prize and given the chance to develop their script with Timur Bekmambetov’s company Bazelevs. The roundtable program is set to include the following lineup: “Russian and Kazakh Cinema – Their Future in the World Film Industry,” “The Internet!,” and “New Forms of Development: Project, Production, and Distribution.” Press conferences and exclusive interviews will be featured each day.
The Astana International Action Film Festival is a joint project from the production company, Bazelevs and The Astana City Hall. Full details on the festival, Astana, and Kazakhstan can be found at:

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  1. Amy says:

    I have been living in Astana for nearly 2 years. Its realy exciting place, and its so great, that all these people come to KZ. Hope they like it.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon