Film about Ibn Fadlan, NFT tokens and Tugan Batyr’s universe

The Russian Muslim Forum opened in Bolgar on 4 January — it was the first event of the Year of the 1100th Anniversary of the Adoption of Islam in Volga Bulgaria

Film about Ibn Fadlan, NFT tokens and Tugan Batyr’s universe
Photo: dumrt.ru/ru/

Not only conferences and the Cathedral Mosque: at the first event of the Year of the 1100th Anniversary of the Adoption of Islam in Volga Bulgaria — Russian Muslim Forum — there was presented a trailer of Ibn Fadlan documentary. Also, there was introduced the project Tugan Batyr reviving the image of the Tatar knight.

The start of the celebration of the 1100th Anniversary of the Adoption of Islam by in Volga Bulgaria

The organiser of the forum the Tatarstan Religious Muslim Directorate calls the event “a kind of congress of Russian Muslims in the Itil River.” From 4 to 8 January, it hosted delegates from Tatarstan, Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk Oblasts, Kuzbass, the Republic of Bashkortostan, Mari El. The programme included lectures, sermons, presentations, masterclasses, quests, training, competitions. Particularly on 5 January Mufti of Tatarstan Hazrat Kamil Samigullin talked about events of the jubilee year, while Rector of Russian Islamic Institute and Kazan Islamic University Hazrat Rafik Mukhametshin delivered a lecture on the history of Islam in Russia.

From 4 to 8 January, it hosted delegates from Tatarstan, Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk Oblasts, Kuzbass, the Republic of Bashkortostan, Mari El. Photo: dumrt.ru

How Ibn Fadlan went to Kazan Expo

Also, a big trailer of the film Ibn Fadlan based on Ahmad Ibn Fadlan’s travel notes was presented at the forum. In the 10th century, he visited Volga Bulgaria as secretary of an embassy of the Abbasid caliph, al-Muqtadir of Baghdad. Bulgar King Almush invited them so that they would help to build a mosque and a fortress. Ibn Fadlan’s notes became one of the few detailed sources about Bulgars’ life, historians still rely on them.

The first news about the film appeared last January when the Tinchurin Theatre published photos from Astrakhan: one of the leading actors Zulfat Zakirov participated in the film temporarily called Ibn Fadlan’s Volga Trip. Moreover, he plays Ibn Fadlan himself. Then Rudolf Khaynurov was called the director of the film. Earlier, he was famous as the author of the almanac Fall. Dig. Breathe and the film Five Answers to the Bottom.

The first news about the film appeared last January when the Tinchurin Theatre published photos from Astrakhan. Photo: instagram.com/k_tinchurin_teatri

As producer Khamza (Aynaz) Mukhametzyanov said, he and Ramis Nazmiyev were responsible for the shooting. Khuzur TV channel became the initiator of the project. In summer, he particularly organised a meeting on the preparation of the film with experts from Moscow, Ufa and Kazan. Khaynurov, as Mukhametzyanov says, didn’t agree with the conditions he was offered — he didn’t like the honorarium and the fact the film wouldn’t be full-length.

The shooting goes on now. Particularly, the area of Kazan Expo was used. There was shot an episode in which Ibn Fadlan reads the caliph’s letter to Almush. This event is considered to be the starting point when Islam began to be considered the official religion of Volga Bulgaria.

It is planned to finish the rough draft by 15 April. The premiere is scheduled to be in Bulgar on 21 May. Crimean actor Asan Bilylalov is featured as Khan Almush. By the way, Bilal full-length historical and adventure cartoon translated into Tatar by Khuzur TV was going to be shown at the forum in Bolgar.

A grant of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives was won to publish the book. The fund allocates 1,909,540 rubles, 1,046,250 rubles will be co-financed. Photo: instagram.com/radik__abdrakhmanov

Tugan Batyr: book today, computer game tomorrow

Tugan Batyr is the second project that was going to be presented at the forum. Native Village national tourist complex together with the Tatarstan Religious Muslim Directorate is developing it. In summer, the image of Tugan Batyr was presented to Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov. He was shown a small sculpture of the hero created by artist Anastasia Shamova and sculptor Alexander Bochkaryov.

Tokens were presented at Relictum NFT Marketplace in Moscow on 16 December: it is characters, the cover of the first book on Tugan Batyr and the chance of becoming a hero of the tale.

The idea of the image of the national Tatar hero belongs to co-founder of Native Village and head of Kindness charity foundation is Nearby Radik Abdrakhmanov at a grappling tournament. As the director of the Grappling Federation in Tatarstan, he discussed the problem of the absence of national heroes together with another fan of free wrestling, Mufti Hazrat Kamil Samigullin.

Tatar writer Zulfat Khakim wrote the first book The Legends of Tugan Batyr. Forest spirit Shurale, Batyr’s love Gulchachak, his friend Falcon are among the characters. The book couldn’t help but have artefacts, for instance, a ring helps when shooting an arrow.

A grant of the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives was won to publish the book. The fund allocates 1,909,540 rubles, 1,046,250 rubles will be co-financed. Abrakhmanov says that he thinks about how to monetise the project.

The book will be printed in Tatar, Russian, Turkish, English and have an audio version. But Abdrakhmanov’s plans go further — he plans to create Tugan Batyr’s universe.

“Also, it is planned to create a show of batyrs (Editor’s note: Tatar knights), computer games (we are holding talks with developers),” the businessman says. “There will be created souvenirs, a tour according to the book, probably a play, full-length cartoon and feature film. We will call our grappling team Tugan Batyr, I plan to host tournaments with different sports, including cybersport.”

Radif Kashapov
Tatarstan