Central Asian Scriptwriting Lab (CASL)
Introduction of Participants

9 May 2021

24 young scriptwriters from Central Asian countries have been selected to receive training at the Central Asian Scriptwriting Lab (CASL). In the autumn of 2021 they will present the final results of their work during a specially organised pitching event. This capacity-building initiative for local film professionals is implemented by the UNESCO Almaty Cluster Office within the framework of the project "Strengthening the Film Industry in Central Asia" supported by the Government of the Republic of Korea.


Adilshin Abai (1987, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: The Way of the Ram
Logline: A noname guy who has fallen into the king's disgrace must take the king's ram to be eaten by the king of beasts. As he makes his way through, he realises the absurdity of the situation and decides to change.
Tell us a little about yourself
I love books because you can live a life in them. I love music because you can lose yourself in it. I love film because it can bring it all together and closer. I'm also a traveller (beginner), a slacker (professional) and a writer (beginner).
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love movies where you don't know how much time has passed or how much time is left. I'm close to dialogue films, sci-fi and fantasy. I love animation.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
Help from the masters of their craft in developing ideas, processing them and polishing all sides. I want to end up with a really strong script, and to meet all those who also want to develop themselves and their craft.



Amantay Sarytoka (1997, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Trace
Logline: Poachers brutally murdered a village boy. The boy was the nephew of ranger Olzhas. He is ready to affront nature and the harsh winter just to revenge the poachers.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Amantay Sarytoka. I left my hometown of Pavlodar to chase a dream to work in the film industry. Although I graduated from KIMEP University with a degree in finance, I wanted to pursue my dream and now I am a screenwriter at "Bult Publishing House" LLP and have experience in the film industry.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I prefer a good film. For me, a good movie, apart from being fun, brings me a lot of clever things, ideas that I can use in real life. A good movie is a way to get away from the real world, to get an emotional boost. Good cinema is food for thought about life. And as for the scriptwriting profession, it's an area where I can totally immerse myself and not limit myself in anything. Creating logic chains, writing out the antagonist's arc, coming up with a plot, leaving out passages, assembling a skeleton – that's my whole pleasure. Immersing myself entirely in creativity, always looking for something to learn, and, of course, creating.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
For me, this is a great opportunity to improve my scriptwriting skills and get to know your educational system. It is also a unique chance to experience a new culture and to meet participants and trainers from Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries.



Anartayev Aruan (1989, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Safe Place
Logline: The grandson finds out that his grandfather is about to die, and brings him back to his native land.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Aruan and I am 31 years old. I am a son, brother, husband and father. I am a director, screenwriter and producer. This year I made my debut short film "Hot Lake". I work on documentary projects at "Silent Light" Studios. Can't figure out what idea to work on; several feature film ideas are in the process. I really want to make films.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I watch and enjoy a variety of films. My favourite directors are Godard, Bresson and Fellini. Now I've started watching all of Louis Malle's works and reading Fellini's interviews. I'm discovering something every time. I write scripts, probably because a script is the foundation of a film, but also because if you've written it, you'll feel more comfortable making a film out of it.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I think we will be discussing ideas. I think I got lost in my choice of topic. As part of the project, I plan to write a script to make a film out of it next year.



Baisambekov Myrza (1998, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Forgiveness
Logline: A film based on the story "Akulka's Husband" by F.M.Dostoevsky. A young girl, Zhaina, was slandered just before her wedding by her acquaintance, Askhat, who is secretly in love with her. Now, married life of Zhaina, consisted of constant scolding and threats, turns into a living hell. When it's too late, Askhat repents...
Tell us a little about yourself
This year I am graduating from the Academy of Film and Television and I am eager and motivated to start making films from my own scripts. Five years of studies were very rich with practice in writing and shooting pictures. Thanks to that, I was able to find my own voice, my "signature", in filmmaking which I'm constantly improving. Besides cinema, I am also deeply interested in literature, philosophy and psychology. Favourite writers are F.M.Dostoevsky, Albert Camus and A.P.Chekhov. Recently I have become interested in scientific works of neurobiologists about structure and abilities of the brain.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Since my adolescence, I have interested in purposeful and meditative films. As I grew up, I always went back to movies I didn't understand before, to try and rediscover them. Thanks to my master, after entering the academy, I discovered a whole treasure trove of films made by great masters, from Rainer Werner Fassbinder to Wong Kar Wai. Since I write my own scripts for every film I make, it's extremely important for me to improve my screenwriting skills, to be able to express on paper the cinematic images born in my head.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I hope to be able to get extensive advice and guidance on my script. A detailed review of materials with professionals and practical and creative suggestions. Theoretical materials including the lists of films specially selected according to the author's idea.



Bekbalaeva Aizada (1996, Kyrgyzstan)


Working name of the project: My Husband
Logline: The story of a father-in-law and daughter-in-law who, after being quarantined together, feel a new love for each other.
Tell us a little about yourself
My favourite thing in life is to observe. Observations help me understand this life: the motive and the proposed circumstances and certain human acts. That's why I became a playwright. I observe interesting people and put them into film. I want viewers to see the world through my eyes! I graduated in Dramaturgy from the St. Petersburg State University of Cinema and Television and now work in my speciality: I create life on the screen!
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Genre films are my favourite. But while I was preparing a script for Pandemic 2020, I came across a very unusual story that I would like to tell the audience. And the interesting thing is that such a non-trivial story is difficult to present in any particular genre, so I want to try my hand at independent filmmaking.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I expect the CASL programme to provide constructive work with trainers and other participants to help my story gain "body" and "soul".



Dastanuly Rustem (1997, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Happiness
Logline: A soldier returns from the front of the Great Patriotic War; everyone close to him is happy that he has returned unharmed as the victory cost many lives. But there is something that gnaws at the soldier that his family cannot understand. Will the man who went through the war in its entirety and saw its horrors imprinted in his memory be able to return to his former life?
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Rustem and I am 23. I am a dreamer who follows the call of my heart, but if fate gives me chances, I will hold on to every one of them. I am not one to sit back and complain about life. Therefore, my choice has fallen on directing, the most difficult, in my opinion, profession, especially in Kazakhstan... Having worked almost in all spheres of service, I did not lose desire to follow my dream, it only strengthened, because, in my opinion, the man should have something, to which he aspires, even if it will take his whole life.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Just like in music, I like almost all genres in cinema. I think the most important thing is professionalism and originality. But films that are able to combine these two elements are my favourite; I am always watching them again and again. It somehow resonates and responds in me, both intellectually and spiritually, and evokes not just emotion but a whole host of thoughts. The work of a screenwriter is interesting to me because it is interlinked with directing. The screenwriter imagines and directs everything on paper, while the director needs to visualise it all. But the first person to see the film, even if it's in their head, is the screenwriter.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
Personally, I look forward to participating in the CASL project and being able to present and defend my project, and if someone is interested in it, of course to discuss cooperation. I also always want to learn something new, and add to my knowledge, and I am also interested in other people's plans that will participate in the project. I think this is a good prospect; in any case, I have nothing to lose – it is another step on my life path.



Zhakhanova Fariza (1991, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: By the Sea
Logline: A six-year-old boy once again runs away from his tyrannical stepfather. Left on the street, he meets a girl who gives him hope of finding a family.
Tell us a little about yourself
First and foremost, I am a mother of two beautiful children. Together with my children, I try to find time to fulfil myself. During the day I am an average mother and at night I study cinematography. I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees at KazNAI named after T.Zhurgenov in Kazakhstan, and now I am a doctoral student at Marmara University (Istanbul, Turkey). I make films and write not only screenplays but also research papers on the subject of cinema, in particular on Central Asian Cinema. I am a very open-minded and goal-oriented person. I am open for new contacts and knowledge. I am a cinephile. I love to watch, shoot, study and write about cinema. 10 years of my life have been connected to cinematography. I can definitely say that I have found myself in this life. All I have to do is write and and shoot my first feature film. This will be my launching pad for a professional career. My main motivation is not my personal achievements; I really want to contribute to society and make a contribution to filmmaking in Kazakhstan and all of Central Asia, to make our region's cinema known abroad and through it to learn about our reality.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I stand for the independent cinema. Films that make deep sense and leave the viewer with questions to explore. Films that are based on stories that correspond to the reality of society. For example, films of the French New Wave and Italian neo-realism. If we talk about filmmakers and films, then these are films directed by W.De Sica based on the story "Umberto D." by C.Zavattini (1952), R.Rossellini's "Rome – The Open City" (1945), V.De Sica's "The Bicycle Snatchers" (1948), Godard's "At Last Breath" (1960), E.Kusturica's "Time of the Gypsies" (1988); from Kazakh directors I review with great interest films of D.Omirbayev "Cardiogram" (1995), "June" (1988), "The Road" (2001).
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I expect a lot of new information from taking part in the project. I think the knowledge we will be gaining in the scenario workshop will be aimed at each of us practising and learning and applying it ourselves. Therefore, I'm looking forward to a high level of productivity. I expect to make many new contacts with talented people, which, in the future, will lead to creative collaborations. Also, my biggest expectation is the opportunity to gain great experience from working with some of the top specialists from Central Asia who will be leading the screenwriting lab. In the end, I will have the finished script of a full-length feature film on my hands, and that is very inspiring for me.



Zhumanalieva Alexandra (1990, Kyrgyzstan)


Working name of the project: New Life (Butterfly)
Logline: One day, two people and a meeting as a result of which each of them experiences a transformation while preparing for a "new life". Or have they already met? Or has the new life already begun?
Tell us a little about yourself
Always searching for something.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Movies that make you feel like a stone caught in a vortex and then driven ashore. Feelings and thoughts are polished, the unnecessary is washed away. Cinema gives you the chance to intensify a story by visualizing it; to look into the eyes of characters who previously lived only in your head and on paper; to communicate thoughts, ideas, and feelings to millions of people around the world, understandable in looks, light, and music.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
Inspiration, new knowledge and opportunities.



Ismailova Almira (1988, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Zumi
Logline: The shunned storekeeper Zumrat, who works in a lamp shop, becomes in her dreams Azumi, the virtual wife of Japanese bachelor Hikari. Zumrat's desire to encourage Hikari to stop imitating life gives her the impetus to fight her own spiritual inertia.
Tell us a little about yourself
Playwright, curator of the Festival of Contemporary Kazakh Drama 2019/2020. Studied at the Ekaterinburg State Theatre Institute in Literature (workshop of N.Kolyada). Graduated from the courses on theatrical and film dramaturgy at the Open Literary School of Almaty, "Fundamentals of Film Dramaturgy" course at the Kazakh National Academy named after T.K.Zhurgenov, the laboratory of modern drama of Olzhas Zhanaidarov. Long-lister of the "Nim-2018" Dramaturgy Festival with the "Kul-Tyagin" play and "Nim-2019" with the "Tuu-uf Mystery" play. Participant in the "Two Days of Theatre" and "Dramarathon" urban projects with the plays "Tuu-uf Mystery" and "Euripides and the Fir Tree" respectively. Participated in the #öåíçóðàñûç project at the ARTMEKEN gallery with the "Kul-Tyagin" play. Produced the readings of the "X-Ray" and "Uncle Kolya's Tulpovod" plays at "La Boheme" theatre-cafe. Author of the play "Aliya" for the "AstanaMusical" State Musical Theatre (2020) and the "Naratu. Heir of the Great Steppe" for the Natalya Sats State Academic Russian Theatre for Children and Youth.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love a variety of films, I consume a large number of TV series which have grown into a separate industry and give the screenwriter an opportunity to work in a special way with the development of characters. It's a broad question that needs to be clarified, but I can name some important films for me: Orson Welles' "Citizen Kane", Vittorio De Sica's "The Bicycle Snatchers", Terry Gilliam's "Land of Tides", Andrei Tarkovsky's "Andrei Rublev", Luis Buñuel's "Viridiana". The work of a screenwriter is interesting because it teaches you how to express your message and authorial language in the rigid structure of a screenplay.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?



Kagarova Aigerim (1993, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Aliya
Logline: When a fellow villager kidnaps Aliya to marry her, she runs away to the city to her older sister, against her parents' approval of the marriage. Her arrival comes as a complete surprise to her sister, but Aliya has no intention of giving up and wants to build a life for herself.
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in Almaty and grew up in a creative environment. I am fluent in English, remain curious about a wide variety of fields and subjects, and love making new contacts and travelling. I am married and we are raising a beautiful dog.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I don't divide cinema into genres - I'm interested in each film individually. Of course, there are my favourite artists – Trier, Haneke, Woody Allen... I've been writing something ever since I can remember, but I only decided to make it a profession after my undergraduate degree. I chose screenwriting: I love a challenge – and writing in images isn't as easy as it seems. Plus, it's a great opportunity to get a better handle on life, going into the inner motivations of each character, their goals and the underlying contradictions that create the conflicting situations for the development of the story. It's all insanely fascinating.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I'm looking forward to a busy time full of new contacts, knowledge and skills. I plan to finish writing my project and show it to others in the industry.



Azizbek Mannopov (1995, Uzbekistan)


Working name of the project: Cities
Logline: After a long stay in New York, the main female character returns to Uzbekistan in the hope of finding her lost home. But she encounters those who are desperate to leave that home. How will this dance between cities on the doorsteps end?
Tell us a little about yourself
From a very young age I had a desire to write. I love literature very much. I am very interested in modern literature and I think it is very important. I think Arundhati Roy's "God of Small Things" is one of the great works up to date.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love Aleksei German and Yorgos Lanthimos. For me, the creation of a script is a kind of result of observation and an attempt to make sense of what is going on. I'm very interested in understanding, at least in a small way, what's going on around me. And a film script, for me, is the best solution for that.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
CASL is an opportunity for me to test myself. A chance to meet people. An opportunity to listen.



Mubarova Ainur (1985, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: T-man
Logline: A group of misfit supernatural beings led by a pseudo-shaman must deliver a pregnant reincarnation of the god Tengri, 16-year-old Alima, to the centre of the earth at the right time in order to prevent the end of the world.
Tell us a little about yourself
Born and raised in Kazakhstan, married, with three children. Economist by education, but not working in my profession. I make children's clothes, illustrate books and try myself as a scriptwriter. Graduated from the New York Film Academy's basic courses in scriptwriting and participated in various film festivals and competitions. I speak English and Spanish languages.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love funny, kind films that inspire and leave a pleasant, positive feeling in my soul. I've dreamed of being a scriptwriter since childhood, as I love to tell stories and want to tell these stories to the world through the big screen.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I expect to develop my scriptwriting skills from the project, so I will listen to every word the trainers say and study hard. I also hope to have a chance to win a pitch and get my project into film or television.



Mussabekov Aidar (1990, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Intibak
Logline: Eager for freedom and adventure, a young schoolboy is taken to a week-long examination at a foreign school in a nearby town, where students compete to be the best.
Tell us a little about yourself
As time goes by, I notice that I'm coming to what I've been running away from all my life. According to classical Greek literature, my life is a tragedy. A Kazakh tragedy.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
It all depends on my mood, but I think it's just like 'normal' people. Sometimes something heavy to be able to think about, but mostly to fill my stomach. And if I can have both, it's great. Sometimes you want to look at a picture (how the author speaks the visual language), but mostly, of course, it's the script. If you have one, you can model whatever you want; the main thing is to make at right place. That's why I want to learn how to write, to make it easier to convey my emotions.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I want to work in a group. To learn with the best. Get feedback from mentors.



Nabikhanova Tansholpan (1993, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: “Adyraspan” Operation
Logline: A girl who has just graduated from the academy of the Ministry of the Interior takes on the task of infiltrating an extremist community, where her views on society and religion are put to the test.
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born, studied and graduated. I didn't get a job in an office, but now I hope to be able to work as an artist, to show the problems of my social group to a wider audience.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Films that show familiar things from an unexpected angle. The work of a scriptwriter is interesting because it allows you to "insert" your understanding of the world into the format of storytelling.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I hope the project will be an 'entry point' into the industry for me and an opportunity to meet professionals in the field.



Nurlanbek uulu Aitkul (1998, Kyrgyzstan)


Working name of the project: Umut
Logline: A boy named Umut is left by his parents in the village with his grandparents. After the pandemic, contacts with his parents were lost and his grandparents were died of the virus. Umut is left alone in a desperate situation, sincerely believing in the return of his parents.
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born and grew up in the city of Osh in southern Kyrgyzstan. I studied at a gymnasium and had a passion for photography. As I had been dreaming of making films since an early age, after graduating from high school I started to study camerawork in Bishkek. After the second year of studies I used my earnings to open a small studio, which produced educational and documentary films. From my modest commercial experience I realised that it's just a craft and I have no experience in fiction. So I am constantly educating myself in order to learn more about cinematography and to start realising my creative ambitions to tell unique stories in the language of cinema.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
In the end, it all depends on the emotion that I get from watching a film. When it comes to genres, I like mostly dramas and thrillers based on real historical events. For example, "Bridge of Spies", "The Lives of Others" and "Hostiles". I think the screenwriter is the only person in the industry who doesn't depend on anything or anyone else. He doesn't need a camera, light or film. All he needs is a pen and paper and then his imagination, intellect, feelings and worries work. He doesn't need to wait for a producer. He is someone who can create art here and now.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
1. Knowledge and skills. I don't have much experience in scriptwriting, as I'm still just learning. I'm sure that by taking part in CASL training courses I will gain new knowledge to broaden my production thinking; key skills to increase my professionalism and competence in the field of cinema; as well as a dose of motivation to further implement my ideas.
2 Contacts and networking. I think getting to know experienced professionals will open up new career opportunities.
3. Creating a debut product. In the end, I want to use CASL to create my final script for my first feature film, the story of which has been rolling around in my head for some time now.



Nuspekova Zhanna (1985, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: My Name is Ra
Logline: Saida has a son of 7 years old with Down's syndrome. One day, in hysterics, she asks God: "Why didn't you give me a healthy child?!" The next day she wakes up and sees a healthy boy next to her. Only, it's another child who, for some reason, calls Saida 'Mama'.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Zhanna; I am a journalist by education. I worked in television and that's where my love for the screen began; I directed my own programmes, social and image videos and stories. I made 6 original short films. Nowadays I am the head of the dance laboratory "jolda" (dance theatre in Almaty).
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I am fascinated by films with an aftertaste, films that have the soul of a filmmaker. I love films by Pedro Almodovar, Emir Kusturica and Wong Karwai. I love Soviet cinema as a kind of journey into childhood. I am touched by films based on true events. I love all kinds of cinema, but I do not consider myself as a cinephile; I do not consume films randomly. On the subject of screenwriting? I want to "speak" to the viewer and that's impossible if you don't know the language!
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
Knowledge, but not like this: "Tell me HOW? and I'm off to do it". For me, knowledge is all about conversation, encounters and energy. At the end of this journey, I want to get a couple of steps closer to my goal of making a feature film.



Omorov Adilet (1994, Kyrgyzstan)


Working name of the project: Karager
Logline: A boy of thirteen years old wants to win the race so he can keep the pacer.
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Adilet. I have a university degree in filmmaking, but I gained more knowledge and experience by working as a director on various film sets. I am a supporter of the "Auteur Cinema Theory". Michael Haneke, Robert Bresson, Richard Linklater, Kim Ki-duk, Akira Kurosawa, Tolomush Okeyev - the films of these great directors greatly influenced my choice of profession.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I think that human beings were made to create by themselves. And writing scripts for my films is what I like best, because it's an opportunity to express myself through cinema.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I hope that CASL will help me gain invaluable knowledge, interesting contacts, and the opportunity to grow professionally.



Rashidov Hurshed (2001, Tajikistan)


Working name of the project: Breaker
Logline: During their adolescence, hollow souls and harsh realities turn two modern-day friends into hateful antipodes.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am studying at the Higher School of Economics. I am a staff member of the "Sinamo" cinema company. I play basketball and swim. I love the Russian literature of the 19th century, as well as science fiction by Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. I believe that success and development can only come from team and collective work.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I don't have a specific genre. I love any kind of cinema that puts you into the atmosphere of the events taking place. I love any kind of film that doesn't turn into a conjecture in the pursuit of awards. I love the work of a scriptwriter, as I love to come up with my own stories that could be brought to life on the big screen. The stories I create are filled with my inner world, which I want to share with everyone.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I think your programme is a great chance to improve my skills in scriptwriting. CASL will help me broaden my horizons and meet a lot of interesting people from Central Asia.



Seksenbayev Almas (1989, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Aina and the Demon Dog
Logline: Middle Ages. The Great Steppe. Little restless Aina and a demon dog travel in search of the girl's native nomad village kidnapped by the snake-like demon Aidarkhar. In search of a way to break the spell and save the aul (village), Aina uses her shaman abilities to help both ordinary people and magical creatures, but not all of them are friendly, and also learns the secret of the appearance of the demon dog.
Tell us a little about yourself
Graduated from the Media Department of the HSE National Research University in Moscow specialising in digital production. Created various media products - from books and podcasts to comics and web series. Was a set director of an interactive web series and two short films with students of the Moscow Film School and Institute of Modern Art. Wrote scripts for several graduation short films, comic strips and an animated series. Participated in the script room where worked on a project for the "Domashniy" TV channel. Enjoys working on animation projects. Favourite genres are comedy, sci-fi, action, western.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love all kinds of cinema, from Hollywood blockbusters to chamber films, from classic films to big-budget films with special effects. I also prefer films with a vivid and memorable visual style. I love stories in a variety of realizations, from films and TV series, to visual novels and interactive installations.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
I'm looking forward to making new friends and realising my own projects through CASL. I hope to complete a feature film project, as this will be the next stage of my professional development.



Sulaimanova Suiumkan (1988, Kyrgyzstan)


Working name of the project: Aman
Logline: The film tells the story of children whose parents are in labour migration. It is a film about their lives, filled with hurts and difficult emotional problems related to the break-up or loss of relations with the loved ones.
Tell us a little about yourself
My main occupation is cinema. I have two university degrees. I am a lawyer by profession, which helps me in my work as a producer. Now I am writing my master's thesis on the theme: Improvement of State Financing of Cinematography in the Context of Cultural Values of the Kyrgyz Republic. Additionally, I can tell that I have been riding a horse since childhood and I'm into equestrian sports and yoga.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love original and inspiring films that retain a heartwarming approach and a minimum of special effects. The work of a producer is directly related to idea and script selection, so I am interested in the work of a scriptwriter.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
By the end of the project, I would like to have the knowledge to write a story with powerful emotional energy.



Tokushev Timur (1988, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Valley of the Saka Kings
Logline: The story is about a young student who wants to uncover the secret of an ancient Saka treasure before a group of bandits kill his (her) old teacher.
Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in Kostanay city in northern Kazakhstan. I completed the T.Zhurgenov Academy of Arts in Almaty, specialising in documentary filmmaking. During my studies I took an 8 week film making course at New York Film Academy branch in Los Angeles. Also during and after my studies I worked in different capacities in film production at different studios and channels.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I think I have diverse tastes in cinema: I like to watch both popular films and unusual films. I've always liked how many different things there are in cinema; at the same time, I don't feel like it' run out of ideas. There is always the possibility of finding a new plot twist or an unexplored angle. What attracts me about the scriptwriting is the opportunity to give free rein to my imagination and to explore different ways of developing stories.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
What interests me most is the opportunity to work with my colleagues from different countries. The diversity of their perspectives will help me develop my personal skills as a scriptwriter. It will be interesting to learn new approaches to scriptwriting from teachers. I like the idea of pitching as an end to this programme. It's a useful practice for anyone involved in scriptwriting. I would like to be useful to some of the other participants in the programme, maybe help them develop their idea into a successful project.



Umari Shohjamshed (1987, Tajikistan)


Working name of the project: Love
Logline: An orphaned girl from an internat gets into a cool TV music project but leaves in the semifinals and has to return to her homeland, where uncertainty and a lot of problems await her...
Tell us a little about yourself
Shah. Child of the theatre. Been involved in theatre since 2003 and in cinema since 2011. Played in short feature films. Made three short documentaries. Organiser of the International Theatre Festival and the Nigohi Nav (New Look) Theatre Group. Was the art director of the "EsKa Collection" fashion house... and the manager of a pop star.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Independent films that make you think after watching them. I don't always find a common creative language with screenwriters, and this skill can help so damn much.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
The basics of scriptwriting...



Shagrap Temirlan (2000, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Golodomor
Logline: Aru, 18, loses her beloved husband, her happy marriage and her comfortable life due to the famine in the Kazakh steppes in the early 20th century and now must defend under difficult circumstances what is left: her children, her faith in God and her conscience.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am from Astana, currently living and studying drama in St. Petersburg. Apart from movies I am into sports (boxing, futsal freestyle, fitness) and video games. I also spend a lot of time reading books. I studied filmmaking for a year in Los Angeles, but decided to "narrow down" to scriptwriting as I found it to be the most challenging and interesting part of making a film. I can learn the rest on my way to directing on my own.
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
Some of my favourite films are: "The Irishman", "No Country for Old Men", "7 Psychopaths", "Reservoir Dogs", "The Incomparable Mr Fox", "8½" and "Love" (Michael Haneke). In answer to the second question, I will repeat that working on the script is the most difficult and interesting part of film-making. I have made no secret of the fact that I dream of becoming a director and I see mastering scriptwriting as one of the steps towards that dream; however, dramaturgy, I think, is something I would have liked to have learned at university. I was also strongly influenced by the statement of Andrei Tarkovsky that if a filmmaker works with someone else's scripts, the resulting work is incomplete and stillborn.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
First of all, I expect new knowledge and productive work on my script. Secondly, I am very interested in getting to know other people in the film world, especially those who write; I understand the importance of networking in our profession.



Shibanov Eldar (1986, Kazakhstan)


Working name of the project: Mountain Onions
Logline: The story is about the ever-fighting brothers of 12 and 9 years old selling mountain onions on the highway near the border between Kazakhstan and China, who go to China to get a magic remedy for their dad's potency, which they find out about from a passing trucker. Their mother and father haven't had sex for a long time, which is what the children hear one day. The brothers start on a journey. The father finds out the children are missing and catches his wife with her lover. They leave in search of the children. The brothers enter China illegally and find a remedy. The parents realise during the search for the children that they are already strangers to each other and amicably agree to divorce. The family gets back together and the brothers give the remedy to their father. They seem to find that it has worked, as the whole family happily rides together on the same motorbike down a mountain road.
Tell us a little about yourself
A filmmaker who makes movies with his brother, mother and friends about the absurdities of everyday life. FX makeup artist. Our short film "Sex, Fear, and Hamburgers" was selected for the Venice IFF 2018 and Moscow IFF 2019. Participant of Asian Film Academy (2016) and Berlinale Talents (2021).
What kind of movies do you like and why are you interested in working as a scriptwriter?
I love a wide variety of films. From modern blockbusters to surprising independent festival films. The most important thing is that the films are made with love for what they do and for the audience.
What do you expect from participating in the CASL project?
To write a full-length film script. Also expect to improve my skills as a scriptwriter.

Permanent link: http://en.unesco.kz/central-asian-scripÅwriting-lab-casl-br-presentation-of-participants-and-trainers