Kazakhstan is set to release its own equivalent of fantasy drama series Game of Thrones.
The 10-part historical epic, entitled Kazakh Khanate, will be a “Game of Thrones-style TV series” centering on the events leading up to the creation of the first Kazakh khanate in 1465 by two leaders, Zhanibek and Kerey, during the fall of the Mongol-ruled Golden Horde empire. Directed by Kazakh filmmaker Rustem Abdrashev, the series will depict events that are seen in today’s Kazakhstan as the foundations for the contemporary state.
This narrative has gained particular recognition over the past year, as Kazakhstan marked the 550th anniversary of the khanate throughout 2015 with a host of events designed, according to president Nursultan Nazarbayev, to “showcase Kazakhstan’s long history”.
According to producer Arman Arsenov, the making of the series was also prompted by comments by Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the history and age of Kazakhstan.
“Remember when Putin declared that Kazakhstan was a country that had no history? It spurred us on,” Arsenov stated.
However, criticism has been raised regarding the historical accuracy of the series.
“History is extremely complicated and subjective,” director Abdrashev responded to such claims, “but aside from history, we’re making movies, and this should be an artistic production. The priority isn’t to distort history but to tell an interesting story.”
Although the series is being made by the state-run Kazakhfilm studio, in the face of an economic crisis the government is now covering only three-quarters of the 2bn tenge (approx. US$5.5 million) budget, leaving the filmmakers to make up the remaining budget through crowdfunding.
After the release of the TV series, which is set to be dubbed into Russian, the directors hope to release a feature film in a variety of languages, including English, Turkish and Chinese.