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French thesp Gerard Depardieu will be guest of honor at the sixth edition of the Eurasia Intl. Film Festival that opens next week in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The world’s only festival dedicated to showcasing Central Asian and Turkic cinema, this year’s event also has a focus on contemporary French cinema.

An international competition lineup of 12 films includes Tajik director Nosir Saidov’s “True Noon” (Istinny Polden), about a young couple whose marriage plans are disrupted by forced ethnic division of their town — fresh from a Toronto festival screening — and Akan Satayev’s Kazakh thriller “Strayed,” about a man whose wife and child go missing after they become stranded while driving through a remote area.

There is a special focus on developments in Kazakh cinema, roundtables and industry discussions in a program that includes more than 40 feature films, including the Turkish winner of this year’s Berlinale Golden Bear, “Honey,” directed by Semih Kaplanoglu.

The festival’s focus reflects both the Turkic languages prevalent throughout Central Asia and Kazakhstan’s long-time links with France, a country with which it has made numerous co-productions.

The French focus, presented in association with French state film body Unifrance, includes a night of short films — followed by breakfast of tea and croissants for those who make it to the morning.

Kazakh film and Turkish television and works in progress will also be presented to industry reps during the festival.

The festival runs Sept. 21-25.