Shal / The Old Man / 2012

This is a survival story – a Hemingway’s “Old Man and the Sea” as if written for Kazakhs. The reminder of lasting biblical values, which have become of particular interest nowadays when people care less to wave goodbyes with the aftermost moral statutes.

The old shepherd who lives with the wife of his son and his grandson far away from a big city and civilization has simple, ordinary and unremarkable life in a distant steppe. Their communication is very limited. They need to be able to forgive and save all wisdom. Great steppe morality is to do good things and not to wait any thanks.

This film is an attempt to talk about these notions in the language of the cinema. The authors set a mission to make the film cleanse people, to give them hope and light.


Moscow Int’l Film Festival

Beijing Int’l Film Festival

Kinoshock Int’l Film Festival (Open Film Festival of CIS countries, Latvia , Lithuania , Estonia) – Gran-prix, “Best Male Actor” prize

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (Official Competition EurAsia)

Asia Pacific Screen Awards (APSA) – Nomination for Best Performance by an Actor, Nomination for Achievement in Cinematography

National Prize of Kazakhstan “Kulager” as the best film of the year.


Running Time – 102 min.

Sound – dolby digital

Aspect Ratio – 1,85 


Producer – Alexander Vovnianko

Sound – Sergey Lobanov

Composer – Kuat Shildebayev

Camera – Murat Aliyev

Editor – Dmitry Slobtsov 


Yerbolat Toguzakov

Orynbek Moldakhan

Isbek Abilmazhinov

Additional links:

Yermek Tursunov: The Old Man (Shal, 2012) reviewed by Emily Schuckman Matthews