ALA KACHUU – Take and Run, tells the story of a young Kyrgyz woman who becomes a victim of bride kidnapping. Although this custom is forbidden by law in Kyrgyzstan, it is still widespread in other regions of the world under the guise of tradition. Only a few girls are able to escape marriage after being kidnapped. Many accept their fate for fear of being rejected and ostracized.

The film is based on the true fates of young women who confided their experiences to me during my many years of research. I am convinced that the stories of these women deserve attention. As a filmmaker, I want to contribute to society’s awareness of women’s rights and be a voice for those who are rarely heard. The Kyrgyz name for bride kidnapping is “Ala Kachuu.” My goal was to depict the usual sequence of events, but with a strong character who has the courage to stand up for herself.

Producing the film in a foreign country was a great adventure. In addition to the language barrier, it was also a matter of bringing together two completely different cultures. The respectful interaction, the intercultural team spirit and the openness of the Kyrgyz impressed me deeply and led to one of the most valuable experiences in my life. (Source: Ala Kachuu Website, Director note)



Maria Brendle


Maria Brendle is an award-winning director and screenwriter from Zurich, Switzerland. She received her bachelor’s degree in film from the Zurich University of the Arts and her master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience (aon) from the Academy of Neuroscience Cologne. Maria graduated from the renowned Drehbuchwerkstatt Munich. She works with a focus on women’s issues.




AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM, 45th Cleveland International Film Festival

BEST SHORT FILM, 42nd Durban International Film Festival

THE MARLYN MASON AWARD – First Prize, 38th Flickers’ Rhode Island Film Festival, New voices, new perspectives of women in film.

SHORT PLUS AWARD, 15th Five Lakes Film Festival 2021

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT, 4th Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival 2020

PUBLIC AWARD, DC Shorts International Film Festival 2021

THE GRAND PRIX GOLDEN BEGGAR (production company), 27th Golden Beggar International Film Festival

AWARD FOR EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE, 19th Accolade Global Film Competition

BEST SHORT FILM, 12th One Country One Film Apchat-Issoire International Film Festival

BEST FILMMAKER, 4th Cordillera International Film Festival

BEST SHORT FILM, 8th Mind The Indie Film Festival, Bulgaria

BEST NARRATOR SHORT, 7th Sydney World Film Festival

BEST DRAMA SHORT, 4th Stockholm Independent Film Festival

BEST NARRATION SHORT, New Jersey Independent Film Festival

BEST PROPERTIES, 16th Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

BEST DIRECTION, 16th Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

BEST PERFORMANCE, Alina Turdumamatova, 16th Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM, 41st Brussels Independent Film Festival

BESTER FILM,  Toronto Feedback Female Film Festival
Listen to the festival interview with our director Maria Brendle
Watch the FEEDBACK video from the audience
 (scroll down in the interview)

BEST NARRATOR FILM, 7th Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival, Hong Kong

BEST FILMMAKER, 4th Moscow Indie Film Festival

BEST MEDIUM-LENGTH FILM, 3rd Amazing Shorts and Films! Film Festival

BEST DIRECTION, in medium length film, 3rd Amazing Shorts & Movies! Filmfest

BEST SCREEN PLAY, in medium-length film, 3rd Amazing Shorts & Movies! Filmfest

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY, in medium-length film
3rd Amazing Shorts & Movies! Film Festival

BEST ACTOR IN SUPPORT ROLE, in medium-length film: ALINA TURDUMAMATOVA, 3rd Amazing Shorts & Movies! Film Festival

BEST ACTOR IN SUPPORT ROLE, in: medium-length film: NURBEK ESENGAZY UULU, 3rd Amazing Shorts & Movies! Film Festival

BEST NARRATOR, 6th Boston Short Film Festival, Boston, USA

BEST DIRECTOR, 11th Bridges International Film Festival

PLANTINUM REMI, 54th WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival

BEST SHORT FILM, OTB Only The Best International Film Awards

FOURTH FINALIST, 10th LASA International Film Festival

HONORABLE JURY AWARD, 9th Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival

HONORABLE JURY, 16th Cyprus International Film Festival

BEST FICTION, The 4th Izmit International Short Film Festival

BEST NARRATION SHORT FILM, 1st Bruges International Film Festival


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY, 6th Imagine This Women’s Film Festival

BEST SHORT FILM, Oberschwaben Film Festival

PUBLIC AWARD – BEST SHORT FILM, 13th Naples International Film Festival

NARRATION SHORT, 22nd Newport Beach Film Festival

Date & Time
Date: 10. December 2021
Time: 1.00 pm (Short films I)
Original version with English subtitles
Duration: 39 min

Feature film
Director: Maria Brendle
Camera: Gabriel Sandru

Gaffer: Silvia "Fafa" Fierz. Sound editor: Ivo Schläpfer. 1st assistant director: Cosima Frei. Production coordinator: Nadine Boller. Make-up: Cholpon Saitova. Costume: Fatima Kacyvova. Production Design - Elchibek Shamenov. Edit: Luca Zuberbühler. Music Composer: Martin Skalsky. Sound design: Michael Duss, Triplet Studios. Color grading: Jürgen Kupka, Unsere Farben. Production: Nadine Lüchinger, Flavio Gerber. Co-production:Martin Skalsky, Buzzinho Codestar Productions GmbH.

Sezim - Alina Turdumamatova
Dayrbek - Nurbek Esengazy Uulu
Aksana - Madina Talipbekova
Sezim of the mother - Taalaykan Abazova
Sezim the father - Kanat Abdahmanov
Sezim sister - Aybike Erkinbekova
Grandmother - Jandat Djamanbaeva
Dayrbek the mother - Sheker Joomartova
Father's Dayrbek - Ruslan Orozakunov
Aunt - Jyldyz Mikieva
Goat - Karagat

Trailer (Vimeo)

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