The State of Uzbek Film: An Interview with Ali Khamraev

by Laurence Jarvik on 8/14/2004

From The Moscow News, Sanobar Shermatova reports:

“ALI KHAMRAEV, a prominent Uzbek film director, talks about Western filmmaking practices and explains why oligarchs won’t be patrons of the arts

“In Soviet times you were a renowned film director in Uzbekistan; you spent 12 years living in Italy, and now you work in Moscow. Having changed so many countries, what do you feel you are, professionally speaking?

“I am a fortune hunter. What is fortune nowadays? It may be a sudden meeting with someone like Rustam Ibragimov. The young businessman invited me to his Tashkent office. We had a talk along the following lines: “I hear you need money for a project.” “I do.” “How much?” “For a start, $200,000.” “Okay.” After that I collected another $1.5 million and made Bo Ba Bu that won the Golden Arrow last year at the Faces of Love festival.

“Q:As simple as that?

“This man was a godsend. His colleagues laughed: “Money down the drain!” But he is a cultured man, he has a degree from the Foreign Languages Institute in Tashkent, and worked for years as an interpreter at international film festivals. When he learned that I had not made films for ten years, he decided to help…”

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