From June 24 to June 28, 2021, a multi disciplinary creative festival was held in London, combining three major events:
IX Literary festival OEBF, III ECG Film Festival &V Romford FIlm Festival.
The Eurasian Creative Guild (London) established the ECG Film Festival in 2019. The principle aim of the festival is to acquaint English-speaking audiences with the works of talented authors and directors from Eurasian countries, creating both an online and offline opportunities for artists to find new followers whilst facilitating introductions with industry professionals.
The jury members comprised of: Belarusian producer, cultural activist and expert in the field of musical art, Sergei Titov; English actor and writer, Tim Bentinck; British director, screenwriter, producer and film critic, Spencer Hawken; Researcher, composer and filmmaker from Wales, Michael Daniel Sagatis; English director, animator and theater designer, Tim Wilson; Director, film critic, entrepreneur and cultural activist, Parminder Veer.
46 films in total were shown at the festival with submissions coming from Kazakhstan, Ukraine, China, Portugal, Russia, Uzbekistan, Belarus, the Republic of Crimea, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, France, and Turkey. The ECG Film Festival was organized to run in conjunction with Romford Film Festival resulting in a truly eclectic event that attracted a sizable and excited audience of film lovers, industry professionals and the independent press.
Among the guests of honor were the mayor of Romford – John Mylod, representatives of local authorities, delegates from the embassies of Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan, as well as journalists from Kazakhstan, Russia and the UK.
The awards ceremony was held on 28th June at Premiere Cinemas, Mercury Shopping Center, Romford, London.
The winners of the ECG Film Festival 2021 are:
Best Feature film (Grand Prix) – “Munabiya” Director Taalaibek Kulmendeev (Kyrgyzstan), the premiere of the film coincided with the opening of the Kazat Akmatov Memorial in London.
Jury comment: Michael Daniel Sagatis: A sweetly shot and sincerely produced film that shows the natural beauty of Kyrgyzstan.
Best Documentary film – “The road to the peak ” Directors Oksana Zhukova, Oleg Drevnitsky (The Republic of Crimea)
Jury comment: Parminder Vir : Love the film, incredible woman!
Best Short film – “Duel” Director Anastasia Baulina ( Russia)
Jury comment: Spencer Hawken: Interesting story, beautifully shot, interestingly dystopian, or was it. I couldn’t tell.
Best music video – “None” Nevrida (Belarus). Award from Belbrand «Vector. Musical Story»
Jury comment: A strong and vibrant music video
Best screenplay Hacked Future – Maxud Sarsembayev, Mansur Sarsembayev (Kazakhstan). Zaure Tourekhanova: Original script, high-quality, professionally painted structure, competent design.
Best Animated film “A gray goose “Despair” Director Dilshat Rakhmatullin (Kazakhstan)
Jury comment: Spencer Hawken. “Colourful and clear animation that tells a story, without a language barrier”
Best Mobile video THE BALCONY Director Sergei Tymchenko (Ukraine)
Jury comment: : Michael Daniel Sagatis: Superbly filmed, great pace and tension amongst the characters and rounded off with a thumping tune!
Additional diplomas were awarded to:
Audience Choice Award: Best feature film – “Grand Cancan”. Director Mikhail Kosyrev-Nesterov (Russia)
Audience Choice Award: Best Documentary film – Suicidal Alentejo. Directors Nuno Martini, David André (Portugal)
Audience Choice Award: Best Short film – I RAN AWAY. Director Luba Balagova (United Kingdom)
Audience Choice Award: Music video – “The memory of the victims of the coronavirus”. Director Leyda Kazımova (Azerbaijan
Audience Choice Award: Best Animated film – A Steppe Tale Director Galina Vinogradova (Uzbekistan)
Audience Choice Award: Best Mobile video The Lost Pen by Beraat GOKKUS
The surprise of the festival was the first anti-premiere in the field of cinema “Dynamo-Award”
The first winner of the award was: BelarusFilm, headed by Vladimir Krachevskiy.
Belarusfilm made every effort to ensure that the film “Kupala” was not released for three years, but lost the opportunity to participate in an international festival, thereby depriving the audience and the creators of the film to enjoy a very high quality example of Belarusian cinema. The film was highly appreciated by the jury (Michael Daniel Sagatis: “An enchanting and captivating film about the national poet of Belarus. Beautifully shot and scripted in deference to the multiple nations and languages that are integral to these regions”).
The film was withdrawn from the festival at the last moment and most of the videos online were either blocked or deleted. Experts attribute this both to the lack of professionalism and cowardice of the Belarusfilm leadership and the increasingly authoritarian political situation in Belarus.
The 2021 ECG film festival jury was composed of:
Tim Bentinck; Director, screenwriter, producer and film critic, (England)
Spencer Hawken; Founder and Director of the Romford Film Festival (England)
Michael Daniel Sagatis, Researcher, composer and cinematographer (Wales)
Tim Wilson; Director, animator and theater designer (England)
Parminder Vir; Director, film critic and cultural figure (United Kingdom)
Zaure Turekhanova. Children’s writer, screenwriter, (Kazakhstan)
Sergey Titov, Producer, cultural figure. (Belarus)
Sadyk Sher Niyaz, Director, public figure (Kyrgyzstan)