FINDING YINGYING (SXSW2020) – Review by Ulkar Alakbarova

Yingying Zhang left China for America to pursue her dream. She was enrolled in the University of Urbana Champaign College of Agricultural Consumer and Environmental Sciences in Illinois. She liked studying, enjoyed being independent, and wrote in her own diary. Everything was going according to her plans when one man, viciously and heartlessly, took everything away from her, including her life.

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SUNDANCE 2020: Coverage From Afar – Ulkar Alakbarova reports

I know that covering the festival from Toronto is not the same as being in Park City, Utah, but it is great to know that my mission has still been accomplished, more or less. After all, does it really matter where we are? We are still close to what drives the ever-expanding cinematic universe – cinema itself, and storytelling, and the ability to see the movies in any part of the world.

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KLAUS – Review by Ulkar Alakbarova

We’re all trying to get better every day but how many of us really ask what it means to be the best version of oneself? Since the subject appears to be easy, there are millions of ways to approach it, and it all starts with how other people see us. Are we kind and considerate toward others, or do we come across as selfish and spoiled? Netflix’s “Klaus” is yet another animated film but it touches upon what should have never stayed in the dark – the importance of self-discipline with the combination of an important lesson that can be learned only under special circumstances.

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BOOK SMART- Review by Ulkar Alakbarova

We all went to school with a single reason in our minds – to get an education that will help build our life, find a good job, and be successful. Of course, colleges and the universities are just the beginning and there is no time to have fun at all, take it easy, or look around to see what our peers would do. Imagine, at some point, you wake up to find yourself at the podium to receive your diploma after having worked tirelessly, never missed a single book from the local library and look at those who never did what you have done, yet still graduating.

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WELCOME TO MARWEN – Review by Ulkar Alakbarova

It’s true that films based on true stories fall under harsh criticism due to lack of accuracy or addition of fictionalized characters that never existed in real life. But if that character or any part of the story told does not manipulate the truth, then it should be fine, isn’t it? Welcome to Marwen, co-written by Caroline Thompson and Robert Zemeckis and directed by Zemeckis himself, tells the true story of a man who, after surviving a brutal attack, finds his way to live through PTSD by creating a little world of his own known as Marwen.

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