100 Frames: Tulpan (2008)


“Tulpan, the first fiction feature from Moscow-based flilmmaker Sergey Dvortsevoy, is all about wonder: not only the wonder of a staggeringly exotic and implacably demanding place—the unimaginably vast and extremely well-named Hunger Steppe—but that of the hearts and minds of those who give themselves over to it with such devotion.”—Jim Shepard

A series of still images from the Kazakh ethno-documentarian Sergey Dvortsevoy’s unforgettable feature debut (winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival) evoke the film's unique melding of humanist comedy, ethnographic drama, and nature film. 

Kazakhstan-born filmmaker Sergey Dvortsevoy’s critically acclaimed films include The Little One (2018), In the Dark (2004), Highway (1999), and Bread Day (1998), which was nominated for the prestigious Joris Ivens Award at the Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival. His first fiction feature, Tulpan (2008), centered on the lives of the people in Kazakhstan’s Hunger Steppe and won the Prix Un Certain Regard at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. It was also Kazakhstan’s 2009 Academy Awards submission to the Foreign Language Film category and received the 2009 Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Feature Film.

Jim Shepard, a professor of creative writing and film at Williams College, is the author of six novels and four collections of stories. The short-story collection Like You’d Understand, Anyway was nominated for a National Book Award in 2007 and won the Story Prize in 2008. His novel Project X won the 2005 Massachusetts Book Award. His writing has been published in McSweeney’sThe BelieverGrantaThe Atlantic MonthlyEsquireHarper’sThe New YorkerThe Paris ReviewPloughshares, and Playboy. Along with novelist Ron Hansen, Shepard adapted his short story The World to Come into a 2020 eponymous film.