Waiting for the Sea: Opening of Rome Film Fest 2012

Waiting for the Sea by Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov is the opening film of the 7th Rome Film Festival (Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma, November 9 – 17, Auditorium Parco della Musica).

Marco Müller, artistic director of the Festival, has also announced that director, screenwriter, and author Jeff Nichols will preside over the International Jury that will award the prizes to the films in Competition during the seventh edition of the Rome Film Festival.

Waiting for the Sea is the new work by the great Russian director, screenwriter and producer of Tajik origin, author of the award-winning feature films Kosh ba kosh and Luna Papa, and will be presented in its world premiere screening in Rome. The film, a spectacular epic film that blends genres and cultural traditions, took Khudojnazarov  six long years to prepare and to make. Waiting for the sea, to screen Out of Competition, is a Russian, German, Belgian, French, Kazakh and Ukrainian co-production; it stars Russian superstar Egor Beroev, German director and actor Detlev Buck, and actress and top model Anastasia Mikulchina.


Jeff Nichols, director, screenwriter and author of Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, and Mud will chair the jury – composed of seven other leading figures in the world of cinema and culture from different countries – which will award the Golden Marc’Aurelio for Best Film, the Best Director Award, the Special Jury Prize, the Best Actor Award, the Best Actress Award, the Emerging Actor or Actress Award, the Award for Best Technical Contribution, the Award for Best Screenplay.




Waiting for the Sea (V O¾idanii Morja)

The sea has disappeared in a sandstorm. A village dies slowly day after day. The sailor Marat is the only one who challenges fate and decides to drag his ship, reduced to a heap of rust, across the desert, in an ultimate attempt to find the sea and his reason. The great Russian director of Tajik origin Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov, author of the award-winning films Luna Papa and Kosh ba kosh (Silver Lion in 1993), returns with Waiting for the sea, a majestic fresco, a masterpiece of poetic realism in which man’s will to resist surrendering to the tragedy of life, is celebrated with the magical realism of one of the most significant authors in contemporary film. Set in a breathtaking landscape, like a western at the end of the world, Waiting for the sea is a spectacular epic film that blends a wide range of genres and cultural and spiritual traditions which are unfortunately in danger of disappearing. Mocked by the villagers who must tolerate the presence of a useless airport where the sea once swelled to carry the boats of the fishermen as they sailed out at dusk, Marat faces a journey filled with uncertainties in search of a reason to live. Followed by Tamara, his wife’s sister who is desperately in love with him, played by top model Anastasia Mikulchina, Marat will have to face a mob of truckers who want to take his ship apart with a sort of post-Soviet Mad Max suspended in a dream all his own.

Waiting for the Sea is a remarkable Russian, German, Belgian, French, Kazakh and Ukrainian co-production that director Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov directs as a stirring visual symphony. Sustained by an imposing vision that captures the breath-taking beauty of the vastness of Kazakh spaces, the film offers the viewer a world lost in time. Horses, camels, trains, airplanes, sidecars, trucks and ships. Magicians, fortune-tellers, sailors. Passion, adventure, betrayal, dreams. And love. Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov, after six years of preparation and production, returns to the splendour, to the magic realism that distinguished Luna Papa and confirmed him as one of the great figures of contemporary film. Waiting for the Sea is total cinema. A film that proves that it is still possible to narrate spectacular adventures full of surprises and emotions and at the same time delve into the deepest-hidden recesses of the human soul.



Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov

Born in 1965 in Tajikistan Bakhtiar Khudoinazarov is a Russian director, producer and screenwriter.

After working as a journalist and assistant director, he studied at the All-Russian State University of Cinematography, where he directed two short films (Shutniki in 1986 and Verish Nje Verish in 1988) and a documentary (Sobachija Okhota in 1987). After completing his studies, he directed and co-authored his first feature-length film, Bratan (1991), earning the nickname of the “Soviet Wenders” and winning a number of awards in various international film festivals.

He then directed his second film, Kosh ba kosh (1993), co-produced by various countries (Germany in particular, given that he had come to live and work in Berlin) and for which he collaborated on the screenplay again with Leonid Makhkawov. This film won him the prestigious Silver Lion in 1993 at the Venice International Film Festival.

The cast of Luna Papa (1999), his next film and an international co-production written in collaboration with Georgian director Irakli Kvirikadze, starred young Russian talent Chulpan Khamatova, the famous German actor Moritz Bleibtreu and Uzbek actor Ato Mukhamedzhanov. Khudojnazarov created a poetic atmosphere similar to that of Kusturica for which the crew built an entire village in a Central Asian desert. Luna Papa, which became his most famous film, renowned the world over, won him many awards, including the Nika Award for Best Director (the most important national Russian award). His new work V O¾idanii Morja
recreates the atmosphere of Luna Papa, enhancing it in a flamboyant and entertaining film.

He then directed Shik (2003), another co-production, from a screenplay by Oleg Antonov, again with the soundtrack by Daler Nazarov. In 2005 he directed Tanker Tango, a Russian romantic comedy.




Jeff Nichols

A director and screenwriter, Jeff Nichols was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, and is now considered one of the most promising American authors of the new generation. His film debut, Shotgun Stories, presented at the Berlin Festival in 2007, won the FIPRESCI jury prize at the 2007 Viennale and the Grand Jury Prize at the Austin Film Festival. His second feature-length film, Take Shelter, was presented in the Dramatic Competition section of the Sundance Film Festival 2011 and in its international premiere in the Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Festival 2011, where it won the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Award. His latest film, Mud, made its debut last May in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. As of today, Nichols is the youngest director to have ever competed for Cannes Golden Palm