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September 17, 2022 (Time: 4PM)


Screening & talk
Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA



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ReserveSeat


(SOLD OUT)


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Past Screenings

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“Aimuldir – The Soul of a Burkitshi”

A short film by Oliver Klink & Jackson Nichols
Release July 2022

"The dream of a young girl defying tradition to become an Eagle Hunter"


The Plot

Mongolia is this vast country, knowns for its long cold winters and short cool-to-hot summers, its breath-taking sceneries ranging from deserts to the high mountain ranges. It is not uncommon to travel for days and not meet a human being, especially in Western Mongolia, the land of the Kazakh people, the largest ethnic minority in Mongolia.
The Kazakhs are nomadic people, with deep traditions of “making things only with the land” and hunting with golden eagles. They are known as “Burkitshi” (eagle hunters). Their tradition, passed on from father to son was on the brink of disappearing, until the young women started to reshape the tradition and brought their Soul to the art of hunting with eagles.
Meet Aimuldir, a 9 year old girl: she is fearless; she loves her eagle and her horse; and she is ready to face adversity to be a Burkitshi.

As her father says: “She has a long road ahead of her, she has to learn, and she needs luck.” This is her story!

Production


The movie was filmed on location in Western Mongolia between 2019 - 2022.

In 2016, during his first trip to Mongolia, Oliver Klink (film director), got acquainted with the Culture of the Eagle Hunters. He documented his trip with a short video, produced by Dylan Baxter

In 2017, he met Aimuldir, a 9 year old girl from Western Mongolia, who dreamed of becoming a Eagle Hunter. Oliver Klink followed her endeavour over the next 5 years, taking still images and short video clips.

In 2018, Oliver Klink, published his monogram, "Cultures in Transition: Spirit, Heart, Soul", which won 9 awards for best photography book of 2019. The book explores the changes that people go through, the subtleties that make their life evolve, their spiritual guiding light. The chapter "Soul" was dedicated to the Eagle Hunter's culture.

Shortly after the successful release of the book, Oliver Klink worked with Jackson Nichols (Producer) to bring Aimuldir story to the big screen. After three years in the making, with the last footage captured during the Mongolian Winter in February 2022, the movie is released at a premiere screening at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (July 2022).

Film Details

Length: 30 minutes
Filmed in 4K with Canon, Sony and Fuji cameras, and DJI drones
Post Production: Adobe Premiere

Main Characters


Aimuldir Family
Aimuldir's Family
They live in the Altai Mountains, Western Mongolia. The father is a third generation eagle hunter. They have two children. Aimuldir's sister is scared of eagles.




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Eagle Hunters
Many thanks to the countless eagle hunter families that we met along the way. They welcomed us with open arms, introduced us to their culture, and during the winter of 2022 invited us to follow their winter migration.

Another special thanks to my friend and guide, Tilyek Bakhyt. His deep knowledge of the Kazakh culture and relationships with the eagle hunters were instrumental in creating this film.



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Film Production


Oliver Klink
Director
Oliver Klink's studies in physics and photography were the catalyst for his love of light and the complexity of our existence. As a fine art photographer, he travels the world to capture the intricacy of our ecosystems, our cultural changes, the environments we inhabit, and the insights into our world and ourselves. His artistic goal is telling stories with his images, making the viewers dream, and providing a glimpse of “the world as it should be”. In 2019, his book, Cultures In Transition won NINE AWARDS for best photography book (IPPY, International Book Awards, PubWest, Mifa, Foreword Indies, PX3, IPA, IBPA). Originally from Switzerland, he currently lives in Los Gatos with his wife.




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Jackson Nichols
Producer/Editor
Jackson Nichols has been a Graphic Designer for 30 years, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has worked for such companies as Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, and Abbott Diabetes Care, designing and art directing tradeshow exhibitions and sales materials. He is also an avid documentary and fine art photographer and videographer, seeking to reveal the magical moments that transcend the commonplace, defining the character and culture of a story. He recently exhibited his work at the Carnegie Arts Center in Turlock, California, showing 64 black & white photographs as part of his documentary “FESTA – A Celebration of Culture and Faith” with the 143-page fine art book to accompany the exhibit. He also premiered his new film “The Dream” documenting the formation of a new Forcado Group, Luso Americanos, in California’s Central Valley. Jackson lives in Fremont, CA with his wife Dianna and their dog “Roxy”.

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Music


H. Norovbanzad
Khusugton/S.Tsogtsaikhan
Kuy konil tolqini
Agamza Jasai Beriniz

Footage


Videography
- Jackson Nichols
- Eskam Bahkit

Drone
- Eskam Bahkit
- Jacqueline Teng

Still Photography
- Oliver Klink

Behind the scene photography
- Brian Ertley
- Dan Ross
- Jacqueline Teng
- Laurie Phuong Ertley
- Linda Goytia

Inspiration


9 Awards
The movie was inspired by the book Cultures in Transition.

Nestled in the snowy mountaintops of Western Mongolia, the Kazakhs have mastered the ancient and noble art of hunting with eagles. For nomadic tribes, their survival depends not only on training these majestic birds but in passing on their skills to the younger generation. For centuries, this knowledge has been transferred from father to son, but that’s all beginning to change.

The young women are becoming Bürkitshi, the Kazakh word for eagle hunters. This shift is no accident. Eagle hunting has slowly transitioned from a means of survival to a sightseeing attraction. This influx of commercialism has altered their trading power and divided the community. No longer are they exchanging goods and furs, now they are earning currency through tourism. Teaching the art of eagle hunting to women makes the Kazakh even more interesting to tourists and prevents the sport from becoming diluted or dying out altogether.

These images are a glimpse into the soul of the hunters in a time of rapid change. There is a deep bond and a rich unspoken language between the Bürkitshi and their eagles. Yes, the hunt is violent, but the Bürkitshi’s intimate connection with their animals instills the sport with a sense of grace and art.

For those who truly live as Bürkitshi, the future doesn’t faze them. They still hunt in the way of their ancestors, migrate through the rugged terrain and share stories over cups of fermented mare’s milk and baursak (fried dough balls). Only now, these stories are being told by brave new huntresses.

Purchase the Award Winning Book




Distribution


The film is available for private showings.

The following packages are availabe:
- Film (30 minutes)
- Film + Talk (60 minutes). The talk touches on subject related to the making of the film, the current status of the Eagle Hunter's culture and the progress made by the young women Eagle Hunters
- Film + Talk + Cultures in Transition Award winning book (90 minutes). We will discuss all the steps taken from inspiration to the completion of the film.

Special pricing for education, and non-profit organiations.

Please direct all inquiries to Oliver Klink (408-910-6701, based in San Francisco (PDT)) or email oliver@culturesintransition.com

Praises ...


(Carol S.) - Friday night screening was fabulous.

(Cynthia P.) - We thoroughly enjoyed the film and your talk. What a rich story.

(Carolyne Z.) - What a wonderful evening, in so many ways: A great film project; great conversation;

(Julie V.) - The film was beautiful and moving, and I enjoyed the talk with you and Jackson Nichols. It was inspiring to hear Aimuldir's story and to see a film focused on a girl's story and aspirations

(Jen C.) - Congratulations on the sold out Premiere and all of your accomplishments. Your work is so important and brings us closer to some understanding about the precious lives of indigenous people and their environment across the globe.

(Michael S.) - The film, in my view, really is a meditation. You just absorb it and let it absorb you.


Aimuldir - Soul of the Burkitshi Trailer


The Making of the Movie - Behind the Scene

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  • Bolatbek - Eagle Hunter
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  • Eagle Release
  • Siezbek and his Brother - Eagle Hunters
  • Kulzira and a Male Family Member

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