Haytarma, with a budget of more than half a million dollars, was filmed in 2012 in Crimea. A tragic page in the history of the Crimean Tatars is shown in it from the perspective of famous pilot, twice Hero of the Soviet Union Amet-khan Sultan.
The film was made by the first Crimean Tatar TV channel ATR and funded by businessman Lenur Islyamov. It was directed by famous Kyiv actor Akhtem Seitablayev, who also plays the protagonist. It stars Oleksii Horbunov, Yurii Tsurylo, Andrii Saminin, Oleksii Tritenko, and Dmytro Surzhykov. The filming was held in Alupka, Bakhchysarai district, and Sudak. The crowd scenes involved 1,500 Crimeans from all over the peninsula, including elderly people who themselves experienced the deportation of 1944.
Let us recall that the Soviet NKVD security service undertook the deportation from May 18 through 20, 1944, following the decision of the State Defense Committee signed by Joseph Stalin. According to various sources, 183,000 to 188,000 Crimean Tatars were deported, while currently, Crimea is home to around 300,000 Crimean Tatars.
Was it right to participate in the Nika Award during the tense standoff between Russia and Ukraine, after the Russian annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol? The Day asked the National Union of Cinematographers of Ukraine’s chairman Serhii Trymbach.
“In early March, representatives of Lithuanian and Latvian unions asked me whether it was worth it to continue cooperation and stay in the confederation. I said unequivocally that it was, and young cinematographers from the Baltic States agreed with me. As you can see now, the Ukrainian film Haytarma, directed by Seitablayev, was recognized as the best film of the CIS and the Baltic States region. This is a victory for healthy forces! Fortunately, there are people in Russia who understand that we do not need confrontation under any circumstances. We, the cinematographers, are people of culture who should do everything possible to have the art working for unity, not discord. I am very pleased that the jury recognized the film dealing with a very terrible page of history, the deportation of Crimean Tatars from Crimea in 1944. The fact that Muscovites awarded a prize to this film speaks for itself… I want to congratulate director Seitablayev on his creative victory!”