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‘Myn Bala’ heads to Oscars

Kazakhstan selects Akan Satayev's pic

MOSCOW — Akan Satayev’s epic story of warfare in Central Asia, “Myn Bala: Warriors of the Steppe” is Kazakhstan’s entry for foreign-language Oscar consideration.

The sweeping $10 million-budget movie is the true story a group of teenage rebels who rose up against a brutal Mongol army occupying their lands in the early 18th century.

Shot against spectacular landscapes with lavish scenes and costumes, the movie took more than $1 million in its first weekend on local release in May, and was picked up at the Cannes Film Festival in May for world sales by Toronto’s 108 Media.

The film is Kazakhstan’s biggest-budget pic in a decade and reflects the growing confidence and maturity of the local film biz.

It was produced by Aliya Uvalzhanova of New Film Format and Kazakhfilm Studio prexy Yermek Amanshayev.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 10. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.

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