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The Bulgarian director’s film made in Yakutia participates in Berlinale

  • Published in Culture
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The 'Aga' film of the Bulgarian director, in which the Yakut actors starred, is included in the main program of Berlinale. This film was shot entirely in our republic. The organizer of the filming process in Yakutia, producer Sardana Savvina told YSIA about the details of the new film.

The film's director Milko Lazarov is a well-known Bulgarian filmmaker, the winner of the Venice Film Festival prize. A team of 30 Yakuts, led by producers Sardana Savvina and Lyubov Borisova (Al Look Studio film company) acted as a film commission, and Bulgarian filmmakers - as a customer. The movie will be positioned as a co-production film of Bulgaria, France and Germany.

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The German side provided the camera, sound and postproduction, the French – film stock. Yakut company ‘Al Look Studio’ acted as a partner in the production of the film in Yakutia. They organized the whole shooting process, found locations, and performed an audition for the main roles, hired assistants, drivers, and security.

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Filming took place from February to April last year in the vicinity of Yakutsk, Mirny and Khangalassky ulus. Foreign viewers will be able to admire the beauty of our nature, to see the Lena Pillars and diamond deposits.

The shooting locations were selected not by chance: the filmmakers searched for a settlement that would be a collective image of the far northern land. By the way, the film was planned to be shot in Greenland or Canada. But after the visit to Yakutia they decided to shoot in Russia.

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Sakha Theater actor Mikhail Aprosimov and actress Feodosia Ivanova (‘Bonfire’ star in the film. The minor cast - Sergei Egorov (‘Ferrum’) and Galina Tikhonova (‘My Murderer’). An important role in the film is played by a dog, even an audition was performed to find it. As a result, Malamute named Hector of the local breeder, Ilya Onoprov, performed well in the film.

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In the capital of the republic, the shooting took place in a specially constructed pavilion. The set and shooting locations were created by a team of Yakut masters led by the chief stage designer Agi Davaachu from Germany.

"We recreated the gloomy northern nature on the Lena River. I had serious doubts that we could work out the project. But in the end everything turned out the way we wanted. And their team and our team worked on equal terms,” says Sardana Savvina.

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The working title of the film was Nanook, which from the Inuit language is translated as "man." But it turned out that there was a movie with the same name - "Nanook of the North," so the name was changed into "Aga," the name of the main female character's daughter.

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Producer Savvina notes that the film will be in the Yakut language. It is still unknown whether ‘Aga’ will be released for local distribution, it depends on European producers.

The world premiere of the film will take place at the Berlinale-2018 International Film Festival. It was selected for the main program and will be shown along with the films of such famous directors as Lav Diaz, Steven Soderbergh, Jose Padilla, Wes Anderson, Alexey German Jr. and many others.

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