From the “WTF” files comes word that the inaugural Astana International Action Film Festival, taking place June 27 through July 1 in Astana City, Kazakhstan (yes, that Kazakhstan), will feature a slate of more than 20 action films from a variety of countries. OK, right. So far, so good. Organized by director/producer Timur Bekmambetov, the festival’s stated aim is to bring together the Asian and Western film markets, by “showcasing a unique lineup of full-length action films along with a diverse forum of feature discussions from Academy Award-nominated producers, as well as a broad range of international filmmakers.”
So, gala premieres are set to include The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, District 9, The Last Airbender and Inhale, among other movies, and featured guests will include Harvey Weinstein, Mike Tyson, Lawrence
Bender, Sharlto Copley and Swedish multi-hyphenate Dolph Lundgren. And the official screening program will include the extended cuts of both Grindhouse flicks, Planet Terror and Death Proof, plus Lundgren’s Command Performance and the new The Karate Kid, along with… the forthcoming animated flick Despicable Me and Lucy Walker’s excellent nuclear non-proliferation documentary Countdown to Zero? Am I missing something here, or have the parameters of “action” been grossly elasticized? Is Bekmambetov promising model hookers for all the guests, or are the giftbags really that nice? For a full festival schedule, click here.