Tajik Cinema Day Date in the current year: October 16, 2024

Tajik Cinema Day Tajik Cinema Day is celebrated annually on October 16. On this day in 1929, the footage of the arrival of the first train in Dushanbe (then Stalinabad) was screened for the first time; it is considered the birthday of Tajik cinema.

The first films made in Tajikistan were documentaries and newsreels. In 1930, the republican government established Tajikkino, later known as the Stalinabad Motion Picture Studio and Tajikfilm, to produce movies locally. For the first couple of years since its establishment, the studio continued to focus on patriotic documentaries and agitprop newsreels.

In 1932, Tajikkino released its first feature film, When Emirs Die directed by Lydia Pechorina. It focused on class conflict and told the story of the establishment of the first collective farm in Soviet Bukhara. During the 1930s, the primary focus of feature films produced in Tajikistan was the building of socialism.

During World War II and the post-war years, the production of feature films in Tajikistan came to a halt. The Stalinabad Motion Picture Studio temporarily merged with the Soyuzdetfilm Film Studio that was evacuated from Moscow to Dushanbe.

For about a decade after the war, Tajikistani filmmakers exclusively produced documentaries. The production of feature films started again in the mid-1950s. During this period, Tajikistaki directors began to film not only social dramas, but also comedies, melodramas, biopics, and adaptations of prominent literary works.

Among the most notable films produced in Tajikistan between the 1950s and the 1980s are Dokhunda, I Met a Girl, Children of Pamirs, The Flag of the Smith, The Legend of Rustam, Rustam and Sukhrab, The Legend of Siavush, One More Night of Scheherazade, New Tales of Scheherazade, The Last Night of Scheherazade, A Man Changes Skin, Fate of the Poet, and more.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing civil war nearly destroyed Tajik cinema. Most experienced filmmakers emigrated abroad due to a lack of resources and state support of the film industry. The first full-length feature film in independent Tajikistan was released in 2009, 18 years after the proclamation of the country’s independence. True Noon directed by Nosir Saidov was chosen for the official selection of the International Film Festival Rotterdam and screened at the Marrakesh International Film Festival.

In 2017, the government of Tajikistan adopted the Tajik Cinema Development Program for 2018–2022 and established the state-owned enterprise Tajikfilm by merging the Tajikfilm Studio and the Tajikkino State Unitary Enterprise of Film and Video. As of 2021, Tajikfilm has produced three animated films, six short films, ten feature films, and fifteen documentaries.

Tajik Cinema Day was established to commemorate the birthday of Tajik cinema, as well as to raise awareness of the pressing issues of the industry, such as a lack of financing and qualified specialists. The holiday is marked by film festivals, film screenings, and other cultural events designed to promote Tajik cinema.

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Tajik Cinema Day, holidays in Tajikistan, cultural observances, Tajik cinema, film industry of Tajikistan