Award-Winning Female Kyrgyz Director Launches Heartfelt Film Project

As the ‘Lonely Pine’ feature film project is being presented at Berlinale 2019, Director and Screenwriter Dalmira Tilepbergen from Kyrgyzstan puts her best hopes on a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help start the production of the most important project of her life. “For me, this project is more than passion. It has been my life's work, mission and ambition. Lonely Pine tells the moving story of a seven year old girl who believes that the mole on her lip is a gift from God and that all her wishes will come true. She is a high-spirited tomboy who lives a carefree life, wishing to be the son her father has never had. It is an honest, touching and often humorous story of life, love, loss of innocence, acceptance of responsibility, unfulfilled desires and unexpected tragedy'.

‘The last words I said to my father were, "I wish you were dead"', says Tilepbergen. 'With this film I want to show my father's soul how much I love him and hope that he has forgiven me for the cruel words I said to him at a very young age. I want to promote the idea that each of us must accept the responsibility of what we think and say. Western audiences know nothing or very little about Kyrgyzstan and our everyday life. Within our film we are planning to use a clip from a popular western film which depicts a strong woman who has made history. We wish to use it as an example to help inspire Asian women, because even today these women are subject to gender infringements which are woven into the cultural traditions of Asia. This part of the world continues to be dominated primarily by men. I want to create a special universal story which has global appeal.’      

Crowdfunding for ‘Lonely Pine’ has just launched on Kickstarter and will continue for 27 days. For as little as 25 dollars you can receive a private link to see Dalmira’s previous award-winning film,  Under Heaven. Among other rewards on offer are the original shooting script with director’s handwritten notes, a visit to the film set with an overnight stay at the 5-star eco-farm in the Issyk-kul region, a set of authentic hand-made Kyrgyz ‘shuttlecocks’ called ‘dushans’ and other hard to resist incentives.

The First Part of the Interview with the film director of Lonely Pine-Dalmira Tilepbergen

“ She asked, ‘Why did you even start filmmaking? What story do you want to see on the screen the most?’

This conversation sobered me up; suddenly I was back to square one.”

-Dalmira Tilepbergen

Interviewer: Good Morning, Dalmira. How are you doing? How is your project going on so far?
Dalmira: Morning! I am doing quite well, but also being busy with Lonely Pine, makes me feel even better. Right now, we are on development phase of the movie, you can follow us on Squarespace where we update our audience with some fresh news regarding Lonely Pine and topics that are related to the movie. Also, I would like to announce that Lonely Pine project will take part in Co-production Film Market of Berlinale, one of the Big Three films festivals in the world which also includes Cannes and Venice. The presenter is our Polish co-producer-Film Produkcja. This is very exciting for our team and we are happy to use the opportunity!
Interviewer: Sounds very ambitious. Can’r wait to see the film. We will put the link of your Squarespace account at the end. Now, if you don’t mind, let’s start our interview. As I know so far, the film, Lonely Pine, is about your childhood, but when you realized that it is about a time to share your story with people and why you chose the film format to share your story for that? 

Dalmira: This story has been haunting me since my childhood. Since the moment my family lost my father actually. That was the event that left a deep wound in my heart. It influenced my life in a very profound way, and eventually formed me as the person that I am now. That pain of loss and guilt dulled with time and gone into the depth of my memory, but it would still not let me go. I wouldn't dare tell this to my family, and even more so, to my mother.

The year I graduated from high school and went to university to study physiology, there was a moment when I just couldn’t keep my pain within me any longer. I put the story on paper, but still wouldn’t show it to anyone. At that time I knew the draft was not as deep or emotional enough comparing to how I actually felt towards the long-past events. I was rightly hesitant to share the novel with other people as it didn't feel complete. As time went by I kept adding details to the story. One day I had a thought, - what if I saw this story on screen as a film? That would bring the solace that I craved for such a long time... These thoughts led me to the cinema world. As I turned 33 I re-worked and expanded my novel into a script and submitted it into a short film script competition. It got rejected with a note that the story was much longer than it should have been - in a short format. I had to put it away for a while for that and other various reasons, but mostly because I felt the script was not ready for a full feature yet. From time to time I would re-write and add to it while working on other films, both documentaries and features, and I almost completely forgot about this script until one day my daughter Aisha asked me directly, - Why did you even start filmmaking? What story do you want to see on screen the most?
This conversation sobered me up; suddenly I was back to square one. I put aside all other ideas and projects and fully concentrated on ‘Lonely Pine’. Last year I sent the script to some of my friends and received their enthusiastic feedback. Then, feeling more confident, I started sending it to some producers.
The most important goal in finding the right producer is to look for a like-minded human sole that would take the story right to heart and stand for it. Intuition led me to Marina Dessiatkina from Canada, a documentary director with long experience in producing/directing for television, first in Russia, and later in Canada. The choice was right, I was convinced. Marina became ‘Lonely Pine’s Lead Producer and things started moving ahead.
I felt that the Universe itself opened the way to this project because new great people, and wonderful film professionals became naturally attracted to it and started to assist it’s implementation. I would like to mention my new friends from Kazakhstan, Karlygash and Kulyami Murtazin, and their incredibly warm family. Every time I come to Almaty, I feel endless gratitude for their hospitality, openness and tremendous help.
I went beyond your question, but I felt the need to speak not only about myself, but about my story as well. I must give thanks to my family, soulmates, and close friends who helped me along the way, and who put their heart into this project through funding it because they believe that my private story is capable to become one of those universal screen stories that touch people’s hearts and make a difference in their lives.

Dear Reader:

Our team values its audience; thus, we would like to know what you prefer to read more about on our blog page and for this we created the poll that you can find below.
Thank you for your input!

Choose one topic that you would like to read more about on our blog page.

Sustainability in Films.

Ecology problem is known as a very sensitive topic that is spread worldwidely. One of the most effective way to deal with this problem, in my opinion, is to promote an idea to remain nature clean. Media has an ability to call out different global messages, so why can’t we use its function purposefully, like calling out people to keep nature clean? Since our upcoming is going to take a place in Kyrgyzstan, we made up our mind on including some landscapes from Issyk-Kul so that we can remind people how gorgeous this place it’s and how it’s crucial to save a pearl of the Republic of the Kyrgyzstan.

Each year we can see the growing number of sustainability in the film industry. For example, in “The Amazon Spider-Man 2” we can see that movement. Our company, Culterra Magica, as Canada-based production company with social responsibility philosophy and practices, intend to implement environmentally safe techniques similar to the best low-budget world cinema works. Natural light, hand held shots and documentary style where appropriate will be used on the set of 'Lonely Pine' feature project. We strongly believe that a good story could survive a low budget, something that has inspired new and veteran filmmakers around the world decades ago.
In addition, we want to use as little additional construction materials of chemical nature for the set, but use real-life interiors and exteriors instead. For the film crew we would employ local recycling agencies to make sure there is no waste left in the nature after wrap-up.

Lonely Pine film crew will be supporting locally made all-natural and delicious thirst quenchers to support sustainable ecology-friendly practices while on the film set.

Lonely Pine film crew will be supporting locally made all-natural and delicious thirst quenchers to support sustainable ecology-friendly practices while on the film set.

Win Something Great!

As a group that values its audience, we want to hear your ideas about different ways of spreading out news about our upcoming movie in a natural way, meaning without spending a lot of money on advertisement from the film budget. A person who will offer the best solution will win the opportunity to see what a typical day on a movie set looks like and the allowance to attend the first movie premier. If a person can’t arrive to the country where the film will take place, then he/she will win the right to watch this film first in the world. Especially, we believe that it will be a great experience for people who are into film, women’s studies, cultural diversity, and journalism. Don’t miss this chance!

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Casting

We are looking for actors for the following characters:

ARNO, 7 year-old girl of Kyrgyz or Kazakh ethnicity, with tomboy personality and adventurous character.

MOTHER of Kyrgyz or Kazakh ethnicity, in her mid-30s who is in love with cinema and her 4 daughters.

FATHER, a man in late 30s or early 40s of Kyrgyz or Kazakh ethnicity, a herdsman who fought in recent war.

GRANDFATHER (DEDUSHKA SHUGUR), an older man of Kyrgyz or Kazakh ethnicity, with strong personality and eternal wisdom.

SATAR, a man of Kyrgyz or Kazakh ethnicity in his mid to late 30s, the anthagonist of FATHER.

 

Above, you can see the example of SHUGUR character appearance

Above, you can see the example of SHUGUR character appearance

Preferable type of Mother-character        Further calls for casting and audition notices will be announced on this blog. If you are interested in taking part in auditions, please send your resume and videos to the film director direct via dalmira.cinema@gmail.com Thank you for interest!

Preferable type of Mother-character  

 

Further calls for casting and audition notices will be announced on this blog. If you are interested in taking part in auditions, please send your resume and videos to the film director direct via dalmira.cinema@gmail.com Thank you for interest!

Team Blog

Nice to meet you all!  I am the part of our blogger team. So, a bit about me. My name is Latifa. I am a Kazakh student who is currently studying in USA. The interesting fact about me is that I tried myself in different fields of interests from sport to science. For now, I stopped on Social Media industry. In this blog, I talk about Tengriism. It is known as very ancient religion that was mostly spread among Turks. Since the movie is within that time frame, viewers will see some figurated Tengriism elements. To fully understand the depth of "Lonely Pine" movie, we open up this topic. Furthermore, Tengriism, as I mentioned before, is ancient religion and full of interesting myths. Maybe after reading some basic information, you would like to know more about old nomads' belief.

Nice to meet you all!
I am the part of our blogger team. So, a bit about me. My name is Latifa. I am a Kazakh student who is currently studying in USA. The interesting fact about me is that I tried myself in different fields of interests from sport to science. For now, I stopped on Social Media industry. In this blog, I talk about Tengriism. It is known as very ancient religion that was mostly spread among Turks. Since the movie is within that time frame, viewers will see some figurated Tengriism elements. To fully understand the depth of "Lonely Pine" movie, we open up this topic. Furthermore, Tengriism, as I mentioned before, is ancient religion and full of interesting myths. Maybe after reading some basic information, you would like to know more about old nomads' belief.

Lonely Pine - The best film project at the Eurasia Film Market

The Lonely Pine film project became the best film project at the Eurasia Film Market!
Dalmira wins a tuition voucher for any of New York Film academy's four-week programs. Congratulation!

Eurasia Project Market greets the winners: https://eurasiafestival.kz/eng/news/winners-of-eurasia-project-market-will-go-to-new-york-film-academy-for-training.html