Project Name: Adai

           Director: Abish Mukhtaruly

          Creative producer: Gregory Bagaev

          Category: Development

          Country: Kazakhstan



Urban Qazaq Abish goes to the homeland of his ancestors of the Adai tribe, Mangystau, known for its rebellious spirit and unique culture, in order to understand his true identity.



After the Almaty tragedy in January 2022 Abish goes to the land of his ancestors - Mangystau which was the cradle of the protests.

Film is divided into parts-seasons, which are very important for nomads.

Spring has symbolic importance for nomads as a beginning of a year and of life. Qazaqs visit friends, and relatives to find out how they survived the cold - family ties have always been important for nomads.

Summer is a struggle with severe weather conditions in a semidesert, as the number of wells is limited.


We portray how Adai people's war life is represented in folk song traditions.

Autumn is a time for returning home. The main storyline in this episode is about people who returned home after a long period of Soviet repressions.

Winter is a time when nature dies. There is a genre of folk songs devoted to death - Joktau, a song of mourning. Though it is not only symbolic - most of the tragedies of Adai people happened in winter.


Director's statement

The film director Abish is the one of the Adai family. Moreover, there are some more reasons why we are making the film:


       Decolonization process

       Generational passage of traditions

       Preservation of unique culture of Mangystau region


"Our goal is to inspire my fellow qazaq people to start their journey of embracing their heritage and traditions, also, to represent my culture to the whole world."

Abish Mukhtaruly


The story will be told from the perspective of Abish. In addition to this, the story is filmed by russian members of the team who are the descendants of the colonizers, people from another cultural contexts, another filming tradition. It gives a multicultural complex view to Mangystau and Adai people. The audience will see different Adai people, who honor traditions and culture which was born from the Tengri religion and Islam.

Abish is an appropriate protagonist because on one hand he is one of Adai, on the other hand, he is an urban man, so we have a right distance to the theme, neither very close nor too distant.

Our story is unique, because there are no other modern documentaries films about these subjects. Historically this theme was repressed by the Soviet government, now it is unofficially banned by Kazakhstan authorities.


 90000 USD.

Contact Information

            Email: abish2017@gmail.com

Creative producer:

           Email: bagaev.festival@gmail.com