Manchester filmmaker Faisal A. Qureshi has won the $10,000 pitching prize at the third Astana International Action Film Festival in Kazakhstan for his script The Adversary, which is based on the film genre Ostern, or 'Eastern', the Russian equivalent of a Western.
These were Russian films set on the steppes during the Russian Revolution or Civil War. They were propagandist in intent, but could still be watched as action films. The most famous was White Sun of the Desert, made in 1969. The Adversary is about a stranger recruited to defend a Jewish settlement from rampaging Cossacks.
Qureshi believes that the panel who awarded him the prize did so because:
the genre was something that they had not seen before or had even heard of. And I suppose because I am very enthusiastic about the subject.