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DIDOR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

On the eve of its 80th anniversary and the 75th anniversary of the Tajik Cinema, Dushanbe - the capital of the Republic of Tajikistan - brought together film-makers from Central Asia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, and Russia at the International Film Festival DIDOR as in the good old days. The Festival finally took place between October 12 and October 16, 2004, after the many years of a non-eventful life. The credit fully belongs to its organizers - the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) represented in the Republic of Tajikistan by the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) and the LLC KINOSERVICE.
DIDOR Film Festival was held with the official support of the Government of Tajikistan, TV and Radio Broadcasting Committee under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, Dushanbe Mayor's Office, the Cinema Union of the Republic of Tajikistan, "Tajik Film" Studio, and the embassies of France, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan in Tajikistan.

A bright festival pavilion in the Cinema House, Musavvar Minakov's signing, and the performance of "Ravshandiloni Rushon" ensemble attracted the attention of city residents and guests willing to participate in the opening ceremony of the Film Festival.

A white curtain slowly goes down. The frontage of the Cinema House is decorated with the memorial board with the names of Tajik cinema patriarchs: Ibrohim Baramikov, Bimbolat Vataev, Mahmudjon Vokhidov, Zohir Dustmatov, Gurminch Zavkibekov, Komil Yormatov, Boris Kimiagarov, Ato Muhamedjanov, Tohir Sobirov, Sofia Tuibaeva, Muhamadjon Kosimov. Memory brings back film frames with the participation of these outstanding masters of Tajik Cinema whose contribution to the history of Tajik art is really invaluable.

The audience is then invited into the Cinema House. The People's Actor of Tajikistan Marat Oripov begins the opening ceremony of the DIDOR Film festival and gives the floor to the State Advisor to President of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Karamatullo Olimov who reads aloud a welcoming letter from President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the International Film Festival guests and participants:

"Dear participants of the International Film Festival DIDOR,

I am happy to welcome you in the old land of Tajikistan during the 75th anniversary of Tajik Cinema and the 80th anniversary of Dushanbe - the capital city of the Republic of Tajikistan. Film makers meetings are very important for the strengthening of cultural relations between our countries. During the last few years, we have been welcoming representatives of various confessions. DIDOR International Film Festival is an "early bird" that has brought together film makers in Dushanbe. We are confident that you have something to show and something to talk about, and that your communication will be fruitful and will serve the noble task of mutual cultural exchange. Cinema art plays an important role in the moral and ethical education of the society, especially of young people, in the formation of the national self-consciousness, public spirit and progress support, and presents opportunities for good ideas and deeds. The most important mission of the cinema is to reflect the people's history. From the first days of its creation, the Tajik cinema depicted the history of our Motherland. Tajik films that were created with the participation of many other countries, whose representatives are present today at the DIDOR Film Festival, were awarded the prizes of the most prestigious film festivals. Peace and stability of our independent state present expanded opportunities for the creation of works of a high merit, reflecting national traditions and eternal moral values. 
Tajik film makers, along with their colleagues from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, France, Uzbekistan and other countries, inspired by these presented opportunities, tend to create works accordant with the constructive spirit of our times. 
I wish you the best success in your creative activity for the sake of harmony and prosperity of all countries!" 

Congratulations with the 75th anniversary of Tajik Cinema to the guests and participants of the DIDOR International Film Festival came from the Chairman of the TV and Radio-Broadcasting Committee under the Government of the RT Mr. Adbudjabor Rakhmonov, Deputy Mayor of Dushanbe Ms. Mahbuba Nuriddinova who wished everyone good luck and new heights in their creative activity. The Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) represented in the Republic of Tajikistan by the Swiss Cooperation Office (SCO) was presented by Mr. Daniel Zust who welcomed the Film Festival guests and participants and said that cinema is not one of life's luxuries but life itself. For many decades Tajikistan has been known by its prevalence of cultural traditions. During the years of independence, Tajik film makers created many works known to the whole world, Switzerland including. DIDOR International Film Festival provides young film makers with the opportunity not only to exchange experiences with foreign masters but also to make their own contribution to the art of cinema.


The Swiss Government was happy to provide support to DIDOR Film Festival. In his welcoming speech, the Swiss Government representative pointed out that Tajik cinematographers participated in the film festival held in Fridburg (Switzerland) in May 2004. New acquaintances and close cooperation with foreign film makers enriched their Tajik friends with new ideas. The Swiss Government holds hope to provide further support to the Central Asian rich culture. Special gratitude was expressed to local authorities and government structures for their assistance in the organization of this important cultural event.

Chairman of the Cinema Union of the CIS and Baltic States, a famous script-writer Rustam Ibragimbekov said in his welcoming remarks: "I appreciate the opportunity to visit my favorite city and meet my friends to congratulate all of you on behalf of the organization uniting fifteen cinema unions of the former USSR, now Eurasia. It is not a problem that this room admits only 150-200 people. What is more important, when you open the film festival program, you see how interesting and diverse it is. The level of a film festival is defined by its program. Besides, you have a terrific jury led by one of the most known film directors of contemporary Iran - Muhsin Mahmalbof. And of course we all feel Tajik hospitality that has always characterized Tajik people. I believe a new serious festival has just appeared on the cinema map."

Chairman of the Cinema Union of Tajikistan Mr. Munavvar Mansurkhodjaev pointed out the following: "The road to this festival was a long one. I remember how five years ago our film-director Safar Khakdodov and I roamed the streets of Novorossiysk. That is when the idea of this festival came to us, including its logo and symbol. At the 60th anniversary of Tajik Cinema, we were given national dolls of a bride and groom, and we decided to use them as film festival symbols. A good team was built during these years that have actually realized this five year old dream. The first festival is always hard because organization of cinema forums requires high professionalism. Before the festival began, we all participated in a very moving ceremony of opening memorial boards to the great patriarchs of Tajik cinematograph. And I believe they are with us. Their works, their skills and mastership is passed on from generation to generation. The evidence to it is the success of Tajik film makers irregardless wherever they are."

Safar Khakdodov - Director General of the DIDOR Film Festival - expressed his sincere gratitude to its sponsors and all participants of this wonderful film festival: "My personal thanks to Mr. Musin Mahmalbof, a famous Iranian film director, for his support in the organization of this event".

That was the end of the opening ceremony of the DIDOR International Film Festival. Movie fans though had a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the diverse festival program in the Cinema House and the premises of the former State Philharmonic Society. However sad it is, everything that has a beginning, has an end. The closing ceremony took place in the beautiful building of the Academic Opera and Ballet House named after S. Aini. The closing remarks were again made by Mr. Marat Oripov who welcomed the guests and introduced the Film Festival participants: Gulnara Abikeeva (Kazakhstan)
Said Gabdulin (Kazakhstan)
Aktam Abdukalikov (Kyrgyzstan)
Gulbara Tolomusheva (Kyrgyzstan)
Georgi Obashvili (Georgia)
Djamshed Usmanov (Tajikistan)
Latif Akhmadi (Afghanistan)
Komron Shirdel (Iran)
Mirvais Rikob (Afghanistan)
Muhsin Mahmalbof (Iran)
Mairam Yusupova (Tajikistan - Russia)
Mirat Sarulu (Kyrgyzstan)
Mirbola Salimov (Azerbaijan)
Marina Gulbakhori (Afghanistan)
Naryn Iglique (Kazakhstan)
Turdy Nodirov (Uzbekistan)
Mirvais Akhmadi (Afghanistan)
Sabzali Sharipov (Tajikistan)
Siddik Barmak (Afghanistan)
Umed Mirzoshirinov (Tajikistan)
Khumoyun Poeez (Afghanistan)
Ernest Abdyzhaparov (Kyrgyzstan)
Zharzh Kurbokoni (Iran)
Khoksor Ilhomi (Iran)
Nigora Iskandarpar (Iran)
Maezia Mushkini (Iran)
Amiron Mahmalbof (Iran)
Samandar Pulatov (Tajikistan)

DIDOR International Film Festival Jury included
Chairman - Muhsin Mahmalbof
Jury members:
Gulnara Abikeeva (Kazakhstan)
Mairam Yusupova (Tajikistan - Russia)
Aktam Abdukalikov (Kyrgyzstan)
Siddik Barmak (Afghanistan)
Sabzali Sharipov (Tajikistan)
Djamshed Usmanov (Tajikistan)

The most important moment came when the winners were announced.
The Viewers' Prize was given to the Tajik film "The Statute of Love" (Umed Mirzoshirinov).
The Prize for the artful reflection of the issue of the nations' friendship to the film "Old Women" by Gennadi Sidorov (Russia).
A Silver Statute for the best women's part - for the role lived like a life -to Tarona Alidusti (film "My Name Is Tarona. I am 15" by Rasul Sadr Ameli/Iran).
A Silver Statues for the best direction - to the film "Wild River, Calm Sea" by Marat Sarulu (Kazakhstan).
Prize for the original interpretation of love topic to the film "Above Sea Level" by Georgi Obashvili (Georgia).
A Special Prize of the Iranian magazine "Film" to "Kobul Sinamo" (Kabul - Film) by Mirvais Rikaba (Afghanistan).
The Prize of the Journalist Union of Tajikistan to the film "Stone Beating" by Latif Akhmadi (Afghanistan).

Grand Prix (Golden Statute) to the best full-feature film for its realism, humor, and optimism to the film "Village Council" by Ernest Abduzgaparov (Kyrgyzstan).

The House of Cinema of Mafmalbof (Iran) and the DIDOR International Film Festival allocated grants in the amount of USD 2,000 for the creation of short-feature film by young and gifted film makers Mirzob Nugmanov, Aloviddin Abdullaev, Denis Mechetov, SHahruyor Nazari, and another $2,000 grant to Bakhtiyor Kakhorov for the creation of a cartoon.

Winner and all participants of the film festival enjoyed the performance of the famous "Shams" band, the singer and composer Daler nazarov, and Khafiz Musavvar Minakov with the ensemble "Ravshavdiloni Rushon".

Prepared by
Mukharam Komilova



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