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Karlovy Vary International Film Festival currently looking for projects for Works in Progress selection

Work in Progress 2023:

At this event, producers and directors from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa will introduce new films that will premiere after the Karlovy Vary IFF.

Thursday, 29 August 2013 00:00

Stone Fall - new project of Dalmira Tilepbergenova


At the frame of the Forth Art-House Film Festival (23-27.08.2013) Kyrgyz film-director Dalmira Tilepbergenova had a pitching of her new project Stone Fall. 


Now we present it.


The full-length feature film:

STONE FALL (Kamnepad-Togolongon tashtar):

Style: Drama

Running time: 90 minutes

Language: Kyrgyz

Location: Kyrgyzstan, Issyk-Kul area

A film by: Dalmira Tilepbergenova 

Logline: A tangled young man searches for his way to be forgiven after his dark thoughts had badly injured his brother.

Main idea: Dark feelings, such as jealousy or hunger for revenge are like stones falling in the mountains. They mess things up bringing death and misery. Once an evil thought is born inside your mind, it becomes uncontrollable. The only way to stop it is to admit that one is responsible for his thoughts as well as for his actions.

Elements: Although the main conflict is rather psychological, the story itself is fast-moving. It includes elements of love story and criminal drama. Some actions are made with a big share of humor. There is a lot of small details of day after day Asian life. We are also not afraid of showing some social problems for they are part of our being as well.    


The action takes place in modern times, in a small Asian mountain village. Two brothers Kerim and Aman are waiting for their father Adamkul to come back from Russia where he raises money to pay down Kerim’s dept. Both of them work as assistants of a stonemason who makes memorial stones. Aman dreams of the day he will build a big stone house for his family. This idea makes Kerim laugh.

A girl named Saltanat is in love with Kerim. She is an orphan and lives with her old grandmother. Kerim likes her too, but he does not really love her. Aman who is secretly in love with Saltanat is dying of jealousy. After he sees her and Kerim together he accuses his brother. Aman says it is Kerim’s fault their father has to work like a slave and Kerim does not even care. Kerim escapes back to the city to prove he can pay down his own dept.

After a little while Saltanat discovers that she is pregnant. Raised as a puritan girl, she feels ashamed and decides to commit suicide. Aman rescues Saltanat. He brings the unconscious girl to the blind shaman Aziz, who heals her.

Not knowing what happened Kerim tries to raise money by selling marijuana in the city.  By accident he loses all of it. A moment later he gets to hear that his father came back and that he is very sick. Kerim plays all-or-nothing game: he steals some drogues from a gang and sells it to another one, hiding behind the gang’s leader’s name – Oldjo.    

Kerim comes home and finds out that his father was already buried. He also learns that Saltanat and Aman are going to get married. He never really loved Saltanat but he wants her back, it is a question of pride. Saltanat is adamant. Kerim gets angry with his brother for his happiness. Two brothers meet on the top of the Red Mountain. Aman is also angry with his brother for Kerim did not show up at their father’s funeral. But Aman is strong enough to forgive. Kerim is not that strong. He hates his brother for Aman is everything Kerim could never become: he is loved, respected and peace minded. There is a moment Kerim wishes his brother would be dead… Like an answer to his wish, a big stone falls down and kills his brother before Kerim can warn him… Saltanat discovers what happened. She does not care if Aman was murdered by thought or by action. She just wants the murderer to leave. Kerim still cannot believe he is guilty. 

It turns out that Aman is not dead. He is badly injured. Saltanat brings him back to village on a tractor. Poor mother can not believe her eyes.

 Meanwhile Oldjo – the gang’s leader – comes to the village searching for Kerim.   Oldjo’s gang members are beating Kerim in front of Mother. Villagers stand up rather for her then for Kerim. Oldjo stops the fight. He swears at his guys and offers his own car to move Aman to the hospital.

He moves Mother and her two sons to a deserted area and shows his real colors. Raised in an orphanage he hates the very idea of the motherhood. He invents a sophisticated torture for the woman. One son of hers will live the other should die. She must choose. Mother refuses to play his diabolic game. Oldjo’s accomplice Tapan can no longer watch her being tortured and kills his boss. 

Tapan moves Aman to the hospital. He warns Kerim: the only way out for Tapan is to accuse Kerim of Oldjo’s murder.  Kerim will be hunted. He has to run away.

Kerim walks on the road. A bus picks him up. The driver asks usual questions anyone would ask to a stranger like who Kerim is and where he was going. Kerim answers without hiding anything. For the first time he admits his guilt. For the first time he is ready to make something right. He decides to go back and bury his brother according to traditions.

But instead - he comes to his Mother’s funeral. All that happened was too much for her. Her heart could not do it. Kerim falls on his knees screeching for forgiveness. People cannot forgive him. 

Kerim buries his mother. After that he goes up to the mountains. He finds the stone that injured Aman and turns it into a bulbul – the symbol of the worst enemy. Kerim means to make a bulbul of him self.

Step by step the villagers accept his repentance. They start to hand him some food and clothes; they call it “sadaga” (alms). Kerim finishes the bulbul. It starts to snow. The world around Kerim becomes white and pure as if washed from sin.



Director's Visual Concept and Description of other Artistic Elements



Visual concept is rather classical and even severe. We lay aside such «actual» methods as sharply moving camera or jump cuts. The first part actions are mostely developed on the base of continuity editing, we often use long panoramas, beautiful landscape distant views, delta plan shots. As we get closer to the final, film style becomes quasi minimalist. Some actions are supposed to be almost static (for example: mother’s funeral). When we want to dip into character’s feelings or approach reality, we use handheld camera (for example: the bazaar shots or the moment when mother begs the bandits to leave her son).


In the beginning we have many morning actions, there is a lot of vivid color in details (apples that Kerim brings to the blind shaman Aziz, Saltanat’s dress and bracelet etc.) Step by step the onscreen world looses color (people wear black, there are less and less colored objects). The nature itself becomes darker. There are more evening and night shots. The onscreen world becomes quasi monochrome. In the very end it starts to snow. Vivid colors never come back, but the onscreen space becomes brighter and purer.



During the whole movie we avoid any off-screen music. Natural sounds turn into a kind of music and we often use them to reveal character’s real feelings while he (she) tries to hide it (for example: sound of reeds for Saltanat’s excitation in love scene or beeping cars for Kerim’s despair while he learns his father is dying).