Russia, Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan


Ayka just gave birth.
She can’t afford to raise a child.
She has no job, debts to be paid, not even a room of her own.
But there is no way to suppress her natural instincts.

Director's Statement

It began with a dry newspaper statistic: “In 2010 in maternity hospitals in Moscow, 248 babies were given up by mothers from Kyrgyzstan.” I was in shock for a long time after reading this: How could it be? What could be the reason behind Kyrgyz mothers voluntarily giving up their babies en masse, abandoning them in a foreign country? What could force them to commit such an act, unnatural for any woman, much less women from the intensely family-oriented cultures of Central Asia? I realised I had to make a film about this: a film about a Kyrgyz girl abandoning her newborn child in a Moscow maternity ward and the circumstances that led to this decision. The fact is, however, that this film is about all of us: about what happens when relations between a person and their environment reach such extremes that the he or she begins to deteriorate morally. Life itself, nature, must intervene and force the individual to re-evaluate and to change, sometimes even against his or her will.

Director's Biography

Russian director Sergey Dvortsevoy was born in 1962 in Chimkent, Kazakhstan.
He graduated in 1982 from the aviation college in Krivoi Rog, Ukraine, then furthered his studies at the Radiotechnical Faculty of the Electrotechnical Institute in Novosibirsk. He then attended film school in Moscow, graduating in 1993. He worked for nine years for the airline company Aeroflot as a radio engineer. After several documentaries, Dvortsevoy made his first fiction feature in 2008: TULPAN. The much-acclaimed film made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Un Certain Regard Prize.

2018- AYKA
2008 - TULPAN
2004 - IN THE DARK (V Temnote), doc
1999 - HIGHWAY (Trassa), doc
1998 - BREAD DAY (Hlebny Den), doc
1995 - PARADISE (Schastie), doc

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Sergey Dvortsevoy

Written by: Sergey Dvortsevoy, Gennady Ostrovsky

Produced by: Thanassis Karathanos, Sergey Dvortsevoy, Martin Hampel, Anna Wydra

Cinematography: Jolanta Dylewska

Editing: Sergey Dvortsevoy, Petar Markovic

Production Design: Olga Jurasova

Costume Design: Aleksandra Demidova

Make-Up & Hair: Tomasz Matraszek

Sound Design: Martin Frühmorgen, Joanna Napieralska

Visual Effects: Jarek Gawroński

Cast: Samal Yeslyamova (Ayka)

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2018