Festivals: call for entries

"Media-K" accepts applications from filmmakers and creative groups to create socially significant content
Deadline: 18.00 - 25.10.2021

Pitching for short fiction films from Uzbekistan & Kyrgyzstan
Date: 15.09 - 15.11.2021
Place: Almaty, Kazakhstan 
Salem Short — первый питчинг короткометражного жанрового кино от Salem

New film festival "Snow Leopard - Guardian of the Mountains"
Date: 27.08.2021
Place: Kyrgyzstan 
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 00:00

Algimantas Vidugiris’s memorial day – the 25th of the June 2011, Cinema House, Bishkek

Algimantas Vidugiris, a famous Kyrgyz film-maker have died on the age 74th years old. Mr. Vidugiris is one of the founders of the Kyrgyz National cinema, created “Kyrgyz cinema-miracle”. He was a brilliant camera-man, documentaries, film-director, writer, publicist, and scientist.

Many films of Mr. Vidugiris was devoting to the Great Kyrgyz Construction of the 20th century – Toktogul’skaya HES. In the beginning of the 1960’s graduates of the All Union State Institute of Cinematography (known as VGIK) started arriving in Kyrgystan to stage their debut films. One of the graduates was a young Lithuanian, Algimantas Vidugiris, who found his major theme here, the construction of the Naryn Hydro-Electric Stations. Initially, the construction of Toktogul’skaya HES represented a gorge in the rocks along which the thousand – year Naryn River sped at a full gallop, as furious as a snow leopard. The future HES with its two-hundred-meter dam, with water reserve a bit less than the size of the sea, could only be seen in the drawings and plans, not in reality. The publicist Valery Sandler wrote that the present city was also reflected in the drawings. Yet at that time the city represented only dozens of sheltered tents, waiting for the best times of the first foremen, the first bulldozer operators and rock-climbers. The tents served as shelter to the cameramen who were writing the history of Toktogul’skaya HES «from the first tent-peg».

Vidugiris was among them. In his interview in the «Soviet film» journal in 1973 he said: «I have been searching for people of mighty heart and spirit, but not with biceps, the men who can do everything and even more than that. Sometimes they have been doing a million things more than they were expected. Our characters had to stimulate people to look into themselves, to believe in their powers, to step out of the narrow borders of their own needs. The most important thing for me is to catch the birth of a new person of our society. This requires thorough and long observation and search. Therefore, the documentary director should be, first of all, a researcher. I have been shooting the construction of Toktogul’skaya HES for several years. I am shooting plots for cinema journals about the construction. My films «Naryn Diary» (1971) and «In the Year of Restless Sun» (1977) are about it. An astonishingly colorful picture of Kyrgyzstan and images of various personalities and fates are passing by me. I come to a construction area and live there for weeks; I attend the working meetings and take part in the holidays. To be short, I am living through the common interests and common lives of the builders. These people are becoming the characters of my films. I hope that in the future I will be able to tell about a powerful personality, who performed deeds like Hercules. This hero is our contemporary, the Soviet person, the builder of Toktogul’skaya HES».

During the building of the Great Kyrgyz Construction of the 20th century, Vidugiris found not just Hercules. The film-director deducated his debut in fiction, i.e., the heroic ballad «Men Without Women» (1981) to the characters of Toktogulka. The audience saw their favorite actor, Suimenkul Chokmorov, in the leading role of the foreman of the erectors, Kasym. The character is a beautiful and sincere person. He makes a labor deed every day, yet he does not resent this because for him this is his daily work.

The accident at the high-mountainous PTL contributes to the full exposure of the characters. Being highly qualified experts, they deal with a breakdown. The screen in the mountains, where a person walks along the wires at a terrific height to deal with a breakdown, as well as where the bulldozer passes from one shore to another to stop the accident, are impressive and vivid as are the scene of the raging bottomless mountainous river and the rough gray mountainous slopes.
Asap we will inform more about his memorial day.


Gulbara Tolomushova