The River was supported by Sørfond in 2017, and is a co-production between Kazakhstan, Poland, Norway. The film is closing the so-called ‘Aslan trilogy’, which was initiated with Harmony Lessons and Wounded Angel.
The Norwegian co-producer Hilde Berg from Norsk Filmproduksjon AS is happy and proud to be selected for the Venice Film Festival and Toronto Film Festival:
“It is a fantastic start having the world premiere in Venice and then competing in Toronto the week after. We are so proud on behalf of the film, and are looking forward to see how the audience react to it,” says Berg.
The film will have its Norwegian premiere during the Films From the South-festival in November.
Director Emir Baigazin also comments on the collaboration with Sørfond;
“The River, in my opinion, is the deepest film of the Aslan trilogy. I am very excited that the efforts my team and I have put into producing this film have been rewarded with invitations to the prominent competition programs of respected festivals on two continents. I would love to acknowledge the precious contribution of Sørfond, and our Norwegian co-producer Norsk Filmproduksjon who believed in the ideas behind The River from the very beginning and provided their heartfelt support to the project”.
About The River
A family lives in a remote Kazakh village. There are five sons. The oldest, Aslan, is thirteen and, in accordance with the Eastern tradition, he becomes the Father's deputy, in charge of all the work, and delegating tasks to his younger brothers. Fair and humane, he sympathizes with his siblings when they err, and accepting the father's blame for them. No wonder the brothers love him. One day Aslan takes the children to the River, a moment of deep happiness, as the River is deep enough for a real swim. Since then, life is different. The children become more diligent in their daily chores, while the River turns into the focus of their lives.
About Emir Baigazin
Born in 1984 in Alga Province in Kazakhstan, Emir Baigazin studied at the Kazakh National Academy of Arts in Almaty. In September 2007, he studied in the Asian Film Academy (AFA) at the Busan International Film Festival. In February 2008, he participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival. His debut feature Harmony Lessons (written, directed and edited by Baigazin) celebrated its premiere in the Berlinale Competition 2013, where it won a Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution and the Morgenpost Readers’ Award. Emir’s next full-length feature, The Wounded Angel (written, directed and edited by Baigazin) was supported by the Berlinale Residency 2013 and has won the International Arte Prize during the Berlinale Co-Production Market 2014.Wounded Angel premiered in the Panorama Special official program at the Berlin international film festival in February 2016. The River is closing the so-called ‘Aslan trilogy’, which was initiated with Harmony Lessons and Wounded Angel.