Composer from Kazakhstan receives nomination at Cannes Shorts Film Festival in France

The work of the Kazakh composer received a nomination at the Cannes Shorts Film Festival in France. It was written by David Litvinov from Petropavl as a soundtrack for the short film ‘Victoria’, which was shot also by domestic director Alexander Shingurov.

David Litvinov and Alexander Shingurov decided to make a movie starting with writing of the composition, and then edit the film to this music. The four-minute story was shot for the Central Asian 48 Hour Film Race, which was organized by the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to Kazakhstan. The competition challenged participants to make a short film in just two days. The movie ‘Victoria’, which focused on the theme of peace, won in the ‘Best Drama’ category at the Cannes Shorts Film Festival. Composer David Litvinov admitted that this was an unexpected win.

“I really didn’t expect that I would have my work nominated at the Cannes Shorts Film Festival. When I and filmmaker Alexander Shingurov were discussing which festivals we should submit the film to, the best case we hoped for was to get selected for the fest. So, to have the work nominated at such a prestigious competition with more than 30 participating countries was a huge surprise. And it's so great to receive the nomination as one of the top five composers at the festival. This is my first greatest achievement,” he shared.

Litvinov uses ethnic instruments for his music. His collection also includes dombyra, a Kazakh national instrument.

“Kazakh music culture is very familiar to me. As a student, I played the bass dombyra in the folklore-ethnographic ensemble ‘Sherter’ for four years. I have been waiting for a long time to get a chance to achieve something as a Kazakh folk music composer. And I made it. Right now, I am working on a play based on a novel by Saken Zhunussov. Also, I had a compelling work on the play ‘Namys’ back in 2021,” the composer added.

The works of the domestic composer are in demand not only in Kazakhstan. Litvinov also writes music for plays in Russian theatres.