A short documentary “Waiting for the Sea” shot in Muynak, Karakalpakstan, has won honorable awards in several international film festivals.
This short documentary by the New York film Director George Itzhak that was shot in Muynak, Karakaplakstan, has won an honorable place and several awards as “The Best Documentary Film” and “The Best Camerawork”. The awards were given at such international film festivals as the “Moscow Shorts International Film Festival” and “Long Story Shorts International Film Festival”.
The documentary was also nominated in several other international film festivals. The author of the “Waiting for the sea” tells about a sad story of drying up of the Aral Sea, at the same time demonstrating the electronic and national music of Karakalpakstan.
George Itzhak was impressed by the idea of Abstract Electronic Music Festival STIHIA (Element), which was first held in September 2018 in the city of Muynak, Republic of Karakalpakstan. In August 2019, George Itzhak traveled to Uzbekistan for the second release of the Music Festival Element, as well as to immerse himself in Uzbek culture and the capital's young electronic scene.
Muynak city is known for its tragic fate: once located on the southern shore of the Aral Sea and famous for its fishing industry, the city is now dozens of kilometers away from the coast of the Aral Sea.
The documentary created by George Itzhak reppresents his personal vision of an Uzbek person, who has never lived in Uzbekistan, as well as his search for links between ancient traditions and the futuristic movement. At the same time, showing sensitivity and esthetics, he destroys the stereotypes and clichés often used to represent Uzbekistan, Karakalpakstan and the Aral Sea. The main goal of the director before the trip was to try to understand the visual language of the country, to dive into the atmosphere and demonstrate his own experience.
Yet being born in Tashkent, George Itzhak actually grew up and lived in New York all his life. He works as a documentary and news producer on NBC Nightly News, one of the best evening news shows in the United States, During the interview with the journalist of the Novastan portal, dedicated to post-Soviet Central Asia, the producer talks about how he found out about the Music Festival “Element”:
“It all started with an image that someone shared on Facebook: it was an Element poster, and it was an image of a woman in traditional Karakalpak clothing. Nevertheless, at the same time, it was a poster conveying the style of electronic music. Almost like a magical painting: it combined traditional culture and the way I am used to seeing Uzbekistan with this very young and futuristic aesthetic. The combination of these two elements impressed me a lot; I clicked on it and continued to dive into this topic. Therefore, I found out about the Element festival”.
Later on, the author called his co-producer Neha Hirva, and told her that he had a crazy idea, which didn’t cost much, but promised it would be a great adventure. Neha agreed immediately. They started to exchange images, ideas and explore the world of Central Asian cinema together. The documentary "Waiting for the Sea" was nominated at world film festivals, and took an honorable place in such a Long Story Shorts International Film Festival, Moscow shorts International Short Film Festival, Prague International Film Festival, Lebanese Independent Film Festival, Ojai Film Festival, In the Palace International Short Film Festival, Lonely Wolf London International Film Festival, and Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival.
The producer plans to play the film in the UK and Germany in the near future, where they have a large community of creative people and filmmakers, in to open a window to Central Asia.
You can watch the "Waiting for the Sea” documentary by the Link: https://vimeo.com/403508520/0c1b0229ac