Supporting the film industry of Uzbekistan

As part of the project “Strengthening the Sustainability of the Film Industry in Uzbekistan" funded by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, a first workshop on documentary filmmaking was held between 10 and 12 April in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The event organized by the UNESCO Tashkent Office in partnership with the National Association of Electronic Mass Media (NAEMM) and the National Agency “Uzbekkino” gathered 20 young professionals from various organizations working in the field of documentary films. The event is part of a 6-week course on documentary film, which will start on 24 April and end on 31 May 2018.

The film industry is one of the most promising cultural industries in the Uzbekistan. In 2004, following the Decree of the President on the Improvement of Management in the Field of Cinema, the National Agency “Uzbekkino” was established with the aim to strengthen the national system of film production financing. Since then, the film industry has seen steady development. According to data from UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS), between 2012 and 2015 the number of indoor digital screens increased from 4 to 21. In the same period, more than 2/3 of the films produced were documentaries highlighting the importance of this genre.  

However, despite the efforts made by the Uzbek government and the private sector, the film industry is still facing many obstacles. Challenges remain in particular concerning little capacity development support. While the quantity of Uzbek films is increasing, a margin of improvement remains with the regards to the quality of content.

3, 2, 1… Action!

Mr. Badarch Dendev, Head of UNESCO Office in Tashkent, Mr. Firdays Abdukhaliv, Chairperson of NAEMM and Mr. Zakirov, General Director of “Uzbekkino” opened the workshop.

“Young people are the future of any country and it is therefore important to pay attention to their preparation and development. To this end, the training aims to improve the skills and knowledge of young directors, producers, cameramen, editors and screenwriters. The future development of the film industry in Uzbekistan depends on them,” said Badarch Dendev

International expert, Ms. Juliana Parroni, led the workshop, which focused on the pre-production, pitching, editing as well as structuring of documentaries films. Following the workshop, 10 participants were selected to attend the 6-week course which will focus on the production of a documentary film to be presented at a closing ceremony scheduled for 4 June 2018.

“This new generation of Uzbek filmmakers has a unique opportunity to take an active role in their rapidly changing society,” said Juliana Parroni. “Non-fiction film has the ability to spark dialog and reaffirm positive societal impulses.  I hope that strengthening their understanding of this tool will give them another way to let themselves be heard.”

The workshops are part of the project "Strengthening the Sustainability of the Film Industry in Uzbekistan" launched in 2017 and funded by the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, through the Korean Funds in Trust (KFIT). This project aims at strengthening the national capacity to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expression through the development of the film industry. The project also aims at stimulating international cooperation and establishing business contacts in the Uzbek film industry.