As the 8th Eurasia International Film Festival wrapped in September, IPA President Mirjana Van Blaricom said “the people who discovered Eurasia in 2012, the many distinguished guests, have seen how instrumental the festival is to the region as we have built up the moment since its inception.”
Founded first in 1998, a mere seven years after the region emerged as an independent republic, Eurasia IFF was established to highlight the locations and filmmaking resources available in country – resources that date back to Sergei Eisenstein’s two-part opus “Ivan the Terrible” (1944 – 1958), which was shot in Kazakhstan. By 2005, the second festival was held, reinvigorated with Kim Ki-duk and Emir Kosturica bridging East and West. Making the trek to the Central Asian Republic since then, the eclectic mix of honorees include Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Costner, Catherine Deneuve, Eric Roberts, John Cusack, David Carradine, Gerard Depardieu, Christopher Lambert, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Natassja Kinski, Steven Seagal, and Armand Assante, who filmed a documentary chronicling the area’s rise as an independent nation.
Van Blaricom has served as a presenter at the film festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan, has served on the Jury, and been actively involved since the early years of The Eurasia International Film Festival. For the 8th festival in 2012, she invited Dennis Haysbert. “Dennis delighted the crowds and represented the best of everything American film actors can offer to an international audience. It was a runaway success.”