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электронный журнал "Новые исследования Тувы"

Tuvan actor is playing in a historical epic film

Tuvan actor is playing in a historical epic filmMerited artist of Tuva and Yakutia Eduard Ondar came back from filming in Kazakhstan literally for only a few days. On Wednesday, 25 May, he played in the "Kultegin" play on his native stage, and today at noon  he is already leaving for Kazan with the group involved in this production, to take part in the 10th International Theatre festival of Turkic people. And already on 4 June, Eduard will be leaving the Tatar capital for Alma-Ata (Almaty).

In all this activity, he managed to make time for this interview, and came to the journal's office. And with him he brought a recording of a small trailer, a fragment of material filmed in Kazakhstan. He made an exception for "Tuvinskaya Pravda", and decided to publish photos from the filming in the journal . Which we are doing with gratitude.

Remember, what is being filmed is a great historical epic drama, based on real facts of 18th century:  1000 young men - practically boys - stopped Dzungarian invasion of their native Kazakhstan. The director - famous producer Akhan Satayev (his "Zabludivshiysya" with Russian actor Andrei Merzlikin is a candidate for American "Oscar"), finished his war movie "Likvidator" last year. He is a very religious person, a Moslem. He knows the acting profession from inside: he used to play in movies, too. The working name of this film is "1000 boys (brothers)", "Myn bala".

Our countryman -  in good spirits, pulled together, full of energy - showed up at the office with a southern suntan. In an elevated mood.

-  Everything is great. I came to Alma-Ata in the middle of April, and got involved in the work right away. I am playing the main evil character, Dzungarian Kolbakshi. And really, the role is in Old-Dzungarian language, which does not exist anymore in reality. Mongols consider it mostly forgotten. It is difficult, but that is all right, I can manage, I am learning the text. We found a common language with the director, and it is easy for us to work together. He loves the artists, appreciates our work, and has an individual approach to everyone.

The film is a joint project of studios "Kazakhfilm" and "Sata-film"; the chief of the latter is a director himself. The movie is calculated for two hours of screen time. An international group is involved in the shooting: Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kirgiz, Russians, Ukrainians, Chinese. There is a guy from Moscow. Many Mongols in crowd scenes. I am the only Tuvan, nobody bothers me. And the cameraman is French. Six cameras at the same time start rolling from different angles when they say "Shoot!"  and they record the sound at the same time, we have microchips fastened to the costumes for that. Contemporary technology. That way, sound does not have to be done separately. There were night shoots, too. They are planning to release two versions of the film - one in the usual full screen, and in 3D system as well.   I have to not on the work of the administrative group - everything is planned in detail. True, we are nine days behind the schedule, but that is the fault of the "celestial office"; when the weather affects the film, there is nothing you can do about it. But the authors hope that by the end of the year, on the occasion of Kazakhstan independence anniversary, they will be able to release the film.

In Hollywood, a film "Nomad" with Mark Dacascos was made recently. The Kazakhs think that it did not turn out too well. They are hoping for the success of their project.

-  You are filming in the South. How does it work out in the heat?

-  It is difficult. Just like  when we were shooting Andrei Borisov's "By the Will of Genghis Khaan", all the armor is real, just as heavy. So that there is plenty of physical exercise just wearing the chain armor. Even afterwards you are drenched. They take 5 -6 doubles. One has to be patient - but that is a part of a cinema actor's job.

I even had to work on getting a good rapport with the horse - but how could it work otherwise? But it all worked out. I have never seen such enormous ones before. They got him in Scotland. He is very impressive, a real dark-colored beauty, his name is Epp.

But we work in astonishing places. I have already traveled 1000 kilometers over Kazakhstan, and I have seen a lot of it. The nature is remarkable, there are beautiful canyons in the film, you can see it in the trailer. I have seen snakes, huge bugs. So I have enriched my knowledge in both biology and geography.  I visited Turkestan. I remember an original mosque. The people are hospitable, very nice to visitors.

-  And when will your work be finished?

-  It is planned for the end of June. My bad guy is supposed to die. I think that all will end with success. Because everybody is working very professionally. I do not regret taking part in this film. I think that I made the right decision.

Eduard Ondar was in a hurry. We thanked him for the meeting. He went on to take care of his work. And when we watched the film segment, we were happy with our countryman: a total reincarnation into a man from a long-ago era. A warrior. He sits his horse lightly, like he was a part of him, and rides impetuously. No drops of sweat can be seen in the film. The magic of cinema.

Marina Kenin-Lopsan, Tuvinskaya Pravda, translated by Heda Jindrak
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