Altan Khalis Independent Film Festival was successfully held for the fifth time on June 9-11, 2017 in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Altan Khalis Association and iCinema partnered in organizing the festival, with Nomadia Pictures as the official main sponsor, Goethe Institute as a sponsor, and supported by the Arts Council of Mongolia. The festival jury consisted of a honorary guest Ella Manzheeva, film director from The Republic of Kalmykia, Russia, columnist B.Baabar and Tuguldur Munkh-Ochir, producer at Nomadia Pictures.
Following the screening of the festival’s opening film, “Tschick” (2016), an engaging panel discussion was held with honorary guests including Fatih Akin, renowned German filmmaker, and actor Anand Batbileg. On a side note, just ten days prior to director Fatih Akin’s arrival in Mongolia, his latest film “In the Fade” (2017) had competed for the highest prize of the Cannes Film Festival and actress Diane Kruger had won the Best Actress Award for her role in the film.
June 10 In Competition and Out of Competition films were screened. Director Fatih Akin taught his Master Class, in which he compared filmmaking with martial arts and encouraged filmmakers to fight courageously in order to make their films. Finally, a honorary guest and filmmaker Ella Manzheeva’s “The Gulls” (2015) was shown to the audience. Following the screening, Ella Manzheeva discussed about the film and its meaning with the audience.
June 11 In the beginning of the day, director Ella Manzheeva taught her Master Class under the theme “How to write the script for and make your first film?”, which gave a detailed explanation for young filmmakers on who to connect with and what stages they need to go through in order to find their way into the world of cinema.
Afterwards, a compilation of films that resulted from Arts of Council of Mongolia’s media art project “Urban Encounters: Between Migration and Mobility” was screened. A total of 17 films made by 14 Mongolian artists under the guidance of two visiting teachers on how to make films using archival footages were received with delight by the audience.
Following the screening of the second group of in-competition films, awards ceremony was held, announcing the prize winners, and with this, Altan Khalis International Film Festival 2017 ended on a great note.
Best Animation (International) IT IS MY FAULT - Sha Liu (China) Best Animation (Mongolian) TRAVEL - Iveelt Bayarsaikhan
Best Documentary MORIOM - Mark Olexa (Switzerland) This year, no Mongolian films were selected in competition and hence, only one award was given.
Best Experimental Film (International) FACADE - Carol Nguyen (Canda) With this film, Carol Nguyen received her second prize from Altan Khalis Film Festival. Earlier in 2015, she won the Best Narrative Film prize for her film "This Home is Not Empty".
Best Experimental Film (Mongolian) DELUSION - Munkhbat Zorigt Director Munkhbat Zorigt won his first award from the festival this year. In 2015, his film "Ezengui ergen toiron" competed for awards whereas in 2016, his film "Feel.Color.Human" was screened as an out-of-competition film.
Best Narrative Film (International) LIMBO - Konstantina Kotzamani (Greece)
Best Narrative Film (Mongolian) WONDERFUL FLIGHT - Bat-Amgalan Lkhagvajav
Special Jury Mention THE ROAD - Densmaa Tsevelmaa
Altan Khalis Award SEEING OTHERS IN ME - Zolbayar Dorjsembee
The festival's highest prize, Altan Khalis Award, included Altan Khalis Cup and MNT 2,000,000. It was notable that a Mongolian film won the prize for the first time in the last three years.