director, script, director of photography, producer Emir Baigazin
production designer Sergey Kopylov
music Justyna Banaszczyk
cast Zhalgas Klanov, Eric Tazabekov, Zhasulan Userbayev, Ruslan Userbayev, Bagdaulet Sagindikov, Sultanali Zhaksybek, Kuandyk Kystykbayev, Aida Iliyaskyzy

Introduction by Emir Baigazin
A family lives in a remote Kazakh village. There are five sons. The oldest, Aslan, becomes the father's deputy in charge of all the work and delegating tasks to his younger brothers. Fair and humane, he sympathises with his siblings when they err, and accepts the father's blame for them. One day Aslan takes the children to the river, a moment of happiness as the river is deep enough for a real swim. Since then, life is different. The children become more diligent in their daily chores, while the river turns into the focus of their lives.
Born in 1984 in Alga Province in Kazakhstan, Emir Baigazin studied at the Kazakh National Academy of Arts in Almaty, majoring in film direction and cinema. In September 2007, he studied in the Asian Film Academy (AFA) at the Busan International Film Festival, and in February 2008, at the Berlinale Talents Campus of the 58th Berlin International Film Festival. Since 2013, he is a member of the Asian Pacific Screen Awards (Australia). His debut feature Harmony Lessons (written, directed and edited by) celebrated its premiere in the Berlinale Competition 2013, making Baigazin the first ever filmmaker from Kazakhstan to take part in the contest. The film won a Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution and the Morgenpost Readers' Award among other recognitions. Emir's next full-length feature, The Wounded Angel (written, directed and edited by) premiered in the official selection of the Berlin international Film Festival in February 2016. The Wounded Angel was selected for a number of international festival and received the grand prix of Funf Seen Filmfestival Special Jury Prize at the Jeonju festival in may 2016 and the Blue Angel for Best Director at the Kosice Art Film Fest in June 2016. Emir Baigazin's next feature, Would You Like to Stargaze?, received the Hubert Bals Foundation's grant for script development in 2015. The film premiered at the Anomimul Film Festival in Romania in 2018, and Baigazin won an award for "contribution to world cinema's beauty." In 2018, the director released The River: the third part of the "Aslan Trilogy," initiated by Harmony Lessons and The Wounded Angel. The film won the directing award of the Orizzonti section at the Venice Film Festival, and the Holywood Foreign Press Association's residence award.

Emir Baigazin