“Walnut Tree” by Yerlan Nurmukhambetov

One film that won almost all our hearts on the FIPRESCI jury is Walnut Tree, a Kazakhstanian film about the everyday lives of people living in a small village, directed by Yerlan Nurmukhambetov. Basically it is a film about a wedding ceremony, and is full of compassion, laughter and humor. (FIPRESCI)


“A young Kazakh couple wants to get married according to a centuries-old tradition. For this, is it necessary to steal the future bride? Eastern cinema with a great sense of humor.”

(Warsaw IFF)

“The film occupies a unique place in contemporary Kazakh cinema in that it neither wholly glorifies nor disparages life in Kazakhstan. It is full of light satire that gingerly pokes fun at several characters, regardless of social status. (Read more…) “


“A film that shows a way of life that’s unfamiliar to most of us but proves how humour, kindness and forgiveness connect us all.” (Screendaily)



  • Busan International Film Festival 2015 – New Currents – GRAND PRIX;
  • Warsaw International Film Festival 2015;
  • Vesoul International Film Festival 2016 – MENTION SPECIALE JURY INTERNATIONAL “pour sa capacité à donner le sourire avec sa galerie de personnages truculents dans un contexte économico-politique difficile”, MENTION SPECIALE PRIX DE LA CRITIQUE “pour un portrait vivant et drôle d’une communauté rurale”;
  • Sao Paolo International Film Festival;
  • Fajr International Film Festival 2016 – BEST ASIAN FILM;
  • Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2016 (MSPIFF – 35th) – Asian Frontiers;
  • International Film Festival Innsbruck 2016 – AUDIENCE AWARD;
  • International Bosphorus Film Festival;
  • Screening at National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan;
  • Focus on Asia International Film Festival 2016, Fukuoka, Japan;
  • Film festival in Tokyo by MoFA, Japan;
  • Kazakh National “TULPAR” awards 2016 – Director of the year, Film of the year;
  • Kazakh Critic’s Choice 2016 – Best Film
  • Petaluma International Film Festival, USA
  • Hanoi International Film Festival 2016
  • International Bosphorus Film Festival 2016, Turkey (nominees – Best Director, Best DOP, Best Editor, Best Actor)
  • San Paolo International Film Festival 2016
  • Special screening in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 2017

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Considering the emotional and narrative content this film can be easily called a hymn to the lives of ordinary people. It shows the everyday life of the modern village of the southern regions of Kazakhstan. We want to show the story of a young couple who fell in love and got married with the respect to the ancient traditions. So the man gathered his friends and stole a girl (after her agreement). The story ends with big southern wedding. The second part of the film shows the life of a young family, an appearance in her children, etc ..The most valuable in this film is cinematic form, language of cinema. The director Yerlan Nurmuhambetov managed to combine comedy and art-house, avoiding the theatrical cliches. (Darezhan Omirbayev)


Genre: Comedy, drama

Director, scriptwriter – Yerlan Nurmukhambetov

Producer – Yerzhan Akhmetov

Director of photography – Murat Nugmanov

Editor – Aibol Kasymzhanov

Music – Sultan Abet

Art director – Beken Narbay

Main cast – Rustem Zhanyamanov, Balnur Asyl, Nurzhan Zhumanov, Asylbek Musabekov


About the film:

Screendaily: “Walnut tree” win at the Busan Film Festival