FLMTQ: What aesthetic approaches did you embrace to translate these themes— of urban boredom, loneliness, alienation, even a critique of capitalism— to the screen?
NT: Everyone is afraid of the city. They hide inside their interiors like men in cages. I tried to depict a beautiful and terrifying city. Though all the cities are the same.
FLMTQ: Can you reflect on the state of the Kazakh film industry? Is it easy to get projects funded? If not, what are common difficulties?
NT: I cannot speak for the entire Kazakh film industry. I can speak only for myself— it's very difficult to get funding for my films. As I said earlier, every time it's a surprise when they give me funding to make a film.
FLMTQ: Any new projects in the works?
NT: Last year I finished a micro-budget feature film called City Filth, on revenge and justice. Right now I'm making a feature film titled Three Elements with my students— I began teaching filmmaking at an university. We are in post-production.
My future project is Zhezkazgan Mon Amour, with planned shooting in Winter 2017-2018. And many other projects which I try to move (I Love Sinead O’Connor, The Amazing Story of Michael Conrad, The Provincial Diary, etc.)— ideas come to me easily, I just write them down.