TNV director general about new series Ber-ber hal: 'It is a series about my family'

The series about the problems of a Russian-Tatar family in a big city airs this year

TNV director general about new series Ber-ber hal: 'It is a series about my family'
Photo: Vasily Ivanov

The filming of the Tatar-language melodrama Ber-ber khal is underway in a huge three-story cottage in the village of Voznesenie. The creators of the 30-episode series traditionally broke a symbolic plate for the success of the work. This is the first project of the specially created film company, Vatan 21 Century,, which is tasked with making several TV series and one feature film a year. What the new film will be about, how the casting took place, who financed the project, in what image we will see the famous Tatar comedian, and how Ilshat Aminov solved the language problem in the family — read in the material of Realnoe Vremya from the set.

“A project with convincing effectiveness”

On 26 June, on the set of the new TV series 'Ber-ber hal' ('There was a case'), its creators, according to the long-standing cinematic tradition, broke a plate symbolising the launch of the project. The dishes, on which the filmmakers and actors signed, shattered into small pieces: this is considered a good sign.

The series is filmed by Vatan 21 century film company by order of Novyy Vek television and radio company. Therefore, one of the fragments was taken as a souvenir by the director general of the TV company, Ilshat Aminov. Together with him, Deputy Chairman of the parliament of Tatarstan, Chairman of the Commission on the Preservation and Development of the Tatar Language Marat Akhmetov, Chairman of the Committee of the State Council of the Republic of Tatarstan on Education, Culture, Science and National Issues Ayrat Zaripov visited the location. The ex-minister of culture of Tatarstan, director of the Kazan Kremlin Museum-Reserve, Ayrat Sibagatullin, also came. When he was the executive director of TNV, the first Tatar-language sitcom 'Rehet Yashibez!' was filmed.

On the set of the new TV series 'Ber-ber hal' ('There was a case'), its creators broke a plate symbolising the launch of the project

The guests visited the location — and this is a three-story mansion in the village of Voznesenie, got acquainted with the creators of the series and the actors, and even watched one of the scenes being filmed, which was later broadcast on the TV screen in the living room during a tea party. Marat Akhmetov became interested in the project for a reason. Firstly, it was stated that the bilingualism of the series should encourage viewers to learn the Tatar language, and secondly, he took an active part in the financial support of the filming.

As Ilshat Aminov told Realnoe Vremya, the money was allocated by Tatneft PJSC, and this amount is enough to shoot all 30 episodes of the film. He did not name the final figure, but noted that the cost of one series is small by Moscow standards.

Ilshat Aminov thanked Tatneft and the Commission for the Preservation and Development of the Tatar Language for their active support.

Marat Akhmetov himself stressed that he is always ready to help and support projects “with convincing efficiency”.

“Together with all the concerned members of the commission, the State Council, businessmen, we constantly look for a spiritual request for our language, ways to assimilate its beauty and literary grace as much as possible. As for the measures, I think that the film being shot today is going to be one of the most popular. The problems raised in the basis of this film, in its content, exist in thousands, one hundred thousand Tatar families. I hope that this series will help viewers to find their fate as a good lesson or a good example in solving this problem," said the vice speaker of the republican parliament.

Marat Akhmetov himself stressed that he is always ready to help and support projects “with convincing efficiency”

Father is a Tatar, mother is a Russian, children are a gamer and an instagrammer

The series 'Ber-ber hal' is a melodrama with elements of comedy and thriller. She tells about the relationships in an interethnic family, where the father is a village Tatar, and the mother is an urban Russian, about the search for harmony between representatives of different generations, between speakers of different languages, cultures, traditions, religions and family values.

The director and co-author of the script, Almaz Akberov, opened the veil of secrecy over the plot, which is kept secret. For the first four episodes, the family is looking for the main character — the missing babay, played by famous Tatar comedian Gamil Askhadullin. When the grandfather is found, it will turn out that he has problems with memory. The family unites to help him remember everything. But this is not the only problem — the family has difficulties every time. People unite overcoming them.

“Our main goal is to create some images of idols. Because babay is like an old man from the village of Aldermesh. He is the same in character and type: sometimes cunning, sometimes strict, sometimes wise. He is the centre that unites everyone and makes them live in our way, in Tatar, inspires other, true values to their grandchildren who are obsessed with computer games and Instagram.”

The director said that Gamil Askhadullin reveals himself in the series as a dramatic actor and appears in a new image — a wise aksakal who “cements” the family. His partners at the venue are leading actors of Kazan theatres: People's Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan Radik Bariev (Kamal Theatre), Honoured Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan Zulfiya Valeeva (Tinchurin Theatre), People's Artist of the Republic of Tatarstan Firaya Akberova (Kamal Theatre), as well as Elvina Nasybullina, a graduate of the theatre school, and Azamat Zaynulin, presenter of Shayan TV channel.

Director said that Gamil Askhadullin reveals himself in the series as a dramatic actor and appears in a new image — a wise aksakal who “cements” the family

In general, according to Akberov, there were no problems with casting, because before writing the script, he and producer and journalist Albert Shakirov came up with characters, their images, “features” — and they were already looking for performers for these types.

The timing of each episode is 26 minutes. Fifteen have already been filmed. Now the music for the series is being written, which should become an important accent, create the atmosphere of the film. The film is going to be released on TV screens this year.

“We have gathered a strong team”

Almaz Akberov was the director of the first Tatar sitcom 'Rehet yashibez!' ('We live well!'), filmed by TNV. However, he believes that the new project is fundamentally different from the previous one.

“There is one episode — one story, at the beginning of the series there was a problem that was solved more by humorous techniques, through the prism of each hero. But it was more for laughing, but this series — for thinking, looking at yourself from the outside.”

Environment on the site is almost homely

There are a lot of young people in the film crew of 'Ber-ber hal'. The environment on the site is almost homely In a huge house, there is a place to get some privacy, relax, or chat with colleagues.

“This is a great luck, because we do what we love and know how to do. We have gathered a very good, strong team that comes here every day as if to their home and lives pieces of life: lively, brightly. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry on the site. This is very valuable and important," Akberov said.

From series — to feature film

Ilshat Aminov admitted that Ber-ber khal is a personal project for him. Many stories from his family life are included in the script.

“This is not the first series that we are shooting, but it is especially dear to me, because in principle, it is a series about my family. This is my life, I've been through it myself. All these raised issues were once. But it ended with that my wife took Tatar language courses, and she still attends them — only the pandemic prevented it. She understands that this is very important, it strengthens the family, harmonises our relations. It is very important when people do not oppose each other, do not try to defend their own cultural code, cultural values, but strive to find interesting things in another cultural code, try to understand it, perceive it, process it and pass it through themselves. And then there is harmony. When people meet each other halfway, there is harmony. When everyone defends his own, there is always a conflict. We are for harmony, for the interpenetration of cultures to give birth to something new, beautiful, eternal. What is the most important thing for us? Love. This film is about how to achieve love," the general director of TNV shared.

Vatan 21Century film company has more modest tasks so far — to shoot several TV series and at least one feature film a year

He said that the director's group has a desire to make a feature film on the basis of the TV series 'Ber-ber hal', which can then be shown in cinemas. This is the path taken by Yakut filmmakers, who annually shoot four TV series and two feature films. “Fantastic, but they do it! Because they believe that cinema is the most accessible and emotional language to draw attention to the language, culture and harmonisation of national relations," Aminov said.

Vatan 21 Century has more modest tasks so far — to shoot several TV series and at least one feature picture a year. In case of real break, Aminov admitted that their distribution is possible in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and other republics.

There are still many unresolved problems in the film industry of Tatarstan: a shortage of screenwriters, unresolved technological issues... “But we live with hope. If a film is needed, there will be people," he said.

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By Eleonora Rylova. Photo: Vasilya Ivanova
Tatarstan