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​Timur Bekmambetov - Director of BEN-HUR's remake visited his home town Atyrau

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By Zulfiya Bainekeeva

Image 1Famous director and producer who was born in Atyrau and graduated from school named after Kirov, once left to study at the university and later became famous outside of Kazakhstan. Occasionally he returns to his small homeland to visit his numerous relatives and to honor the memory of his mother who is buried here. He also visited the office of “Atyrau Zharyk" (local power company) where his father worked for many years. Power engineering specialists established a memorial board in memory of his father - Nuruakhit Bekmambetov and showed it to his famous son.

10 years ago Timur kindly agreed to give big interview and even presented to me and my colleagues the CD disks with his movie “Night Watch", but this time his schedule was tight. Nevertheless, he answered to our questions.

According to Timur Bekmambetov, he still lives between Moscow and Los Angeles where he currently works for the legendary film studio MGM's big project “Ben-Hur".

- It is an ancient history that is 2000 years old. The screenplay is based on a well-known classical novel by Lew Wallace “Ben-Hur". The plot is classical, about two brothers, about revenge and forgiveness.

- What actors are involved in the movie?

– Morgan Freeman, Jack Houston … The movie will be released to big screens in spring of next year.

- During your visits to Astana (Bekmambetov is the founder and the president of “Astana" International action film festival) very often there are discussion going on about possible joint projects that would be based on the history of Kazakhstan? Have they been implemented?

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- Yes, there were such proposals, but, unfortunately, so far there is nothing concrete in place. There was a competition of screenplays, but not about Kazakhstan. The winner was the screenplay about space and movie based on that screenplay has been already released, it is called “Apollon-18". That's it.

Bekmambetov's film company “Bazilevs" practices numerous competitions: for screenwriters of full-length and animation movies, for developers of special effects, etc. In 2010 within the Astana festival framework the company announced competition of screenplays. The American Brian Miller won the contest with the movie “Apollo 18". The budget of the movie was $5 million and it collected cash of $25,5 million.

- Are you still interested in such projects?

- Of course, always.

- You've been living for a long time outside of not only Atyrau, but also Kazakhstan. You are interested in things that happen here?

- Yes, of course. I keep in touch with my relatives who live here, from them I learn about life here.

- Last time you came here 10 years ago …

- Yes, I visit Atyrau very seldom, but I hope that now I will coming more frequently.

- What is it connected with?

- With age and I have more time, - Bekmambetov laughs. Actually, as I get older, I am more drawn to Atyrau".

Photo taken by Saule Tasbulatova

June 16 2015, 11:07

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