Tulpan - Press Conference

130pm. Movie Cafe.
Film: Tulpan
Story: Story of a young man’s desire to get married in order to become an adult. The life of a family in the harsh wildness is depicted with subtle humor. The picturesque beauty of the landscape is overwhelming.
Present: Sergey Dvortsevoy (Director), Askhat Kuchinchirekov (Cast), Samal Ylyamova (Cast)

What is your impression of Japan?
Sergey Dvortsevoy (SD): I came to Japan eight years ago for the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival. It’s hard to believe that I’m in the same country as then since Tokyo is such a large city. As a movie director and an artist, it is vital to visit other countries and touch upon their culture in order to compare it to my own country.
Samal Yeslyamova (SY): Tokyo feels like a special city like no other in the world. I feel the people’s love for their country.
Askhat Kuchinchirekov (AK): I first became interested in Japan after watching Kurosawa’s “Rashomon”. I especially like Japanese literature by writers such as Kobo Abe, Ryunosuke Akutagawa, and Haruki Murakami, all of whom I are just as great as Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, and Tolstoy. I’m also interested in Japanese women!

I heard it took four years to complete this movie. Why did it take so long?
SD: Yes, it took four years from the planning stage. Six weeks before shooting started, I asked the cast to experience a nomadic life. As shooting progressed, we ended up changing about 80 percent of the scenes. There was a lot of discussion among us when dealing with sensitive scenes such as the suicide one.

How was nomadic life?
SY: I was born and raised in the city and so up until then, I hadn’t known what countryside life was all about. Living out of a tent wasn’t an easy life, but in the end, I think it was one of the most interesting experiences in my life.

Mr. Kuchinchirekov, I understand that you are a singer—how did you feel agreeing to film this movie under harsh conditions?
AK: There’s a proverb that goes “One is given three turning points in life”. This movie was definitely one of the turning points in my life and life itself. I feel a much richer and larger person after having taken part in this movie.

Is there any special reason why you used the scene where the sheep is giving birth at the climax?
SD: That scene was just another scene in the original script, but since it turned out to be such a powerful and beautiful scene, we decided to bring it in the end.

What were the reasons for selecting Samal Yeslyamov and Askhat Kuchinchirekov?
SD: Rather than a professional, I was looking for actors who approached this movie with an open mind and someone with individuality. I walked all around Kazakhstan with a small camera in hand and met over one thousand candidates before I met them.

This movie is a joint-production among five countries but the movie itself is Kazakh and Russian. How do the other countries come in?
SD: The producer is German, the Director of Photography is Polish, and the sound effects were created by a Swiss team.

What are the reasons for using Boney M’s music?
SD: Boney M is quite popular in Kazakhstan and Russia, plus their music fits in well with the movie. But of course it’s because I like them!