Go Viral Festival Central Asia Is Over in Shymkent


Act like a champion, be a champion. This phrase can be considered as an informal slogan of the second, final day of the Go Viral Festival, which was held on May 18, 2024 in Shymkent (Kazakhstan). At the event, participants played transformational games, learned how to use artificial intelligence in creative industry, watched short films made in 48 hours, in short, acquired new knowledge and emotions.

Artificial intelligence and human brain

‘Act like a champion, be a champion!’ — Ilyas Seisov, web developer and speaker of the session ‘Use of artificial intelligence (AI) in creative industry’, boosted the mood of Go Viral participants. He explained that AI systems in coding help make a code cleaner. AI can explain the code, help fix a mistake in the code.

“If you want to become a programmer now, it is time as it is easier to do it now than it was, say, two years ago. AI is a good tool for minor work such as amendments. However, you cannot rely on AI in full,” Ilyas Seisov said.

According to him, the problem is that AI-generated content is still of low quality. That is why a human must structure the content. And it is up to a human if they can preserve their unicity in the age of AI development.

“We need to use a complicated language, more human one. The request [for AI] should be made in a qualitative and conceptual way. Specific details should be added,” Seisov gave advice on “how to keep uniqueness.”

Marketing expert Kamal Bakhtiyarov explained how to integrate AI and the media.

“AI is based on the human brain. AI can be used in many spheres, from writing posts on Instagram, to making marketing plans,” Bakhtiyarov said.

According to him, there is already a super powerful AI. For example, in Japan neural networks make diagnosis of people better than doctors do. “Anyway, even in future handicraft will be more valuable,” the speaker said.

Sports in the digital environment

Argen Darmanov, CEO of ‘Mancho’ IT company, co-founder of cybersport community in Kyrgyzstan, and production manager Alymkul Timurov, spoke about the future of cybersport sphere.

“Sport is not only about physical activity, sport is generally about competition, like chess. Any activity related to competitions, like chess, can be called a sport,” Alymkul Timurov said.

According to Darmanov, people have liked games since the ancient times and modernity is not an exception.

“Cybersport has many sponsors, like vehicle companies, restaurant chains. There is the Saudi Esports Federation, which deals only with cybersport. Cybersport teams also buy up football club. Last year, cybersport was part of Asiada in China, and this year it will be a part of Olympic Games in France,” the speaker said.

In other words, cybercsport professions are quite promising. Cybersportsmen earn enough even in the start of their career, at least they can earn 500 dollars. The more they play, the more they get. For example, a Russian cybersport team Team Spirit recently won 18 million dollars at one of the championships. Cybersportsmen of Kyrgyzstan earned more than 2 million dollars.

By the way, cybersport involves not only sportsmen, but also commentators, programmers, analysts, organisers, marketing specialists, streamers, bloggers, directors, psychologists, coaches, virtual operators. In short, all those who want to be involved in this sport will find their way in it.

How to make cartoons and jokes 

At the master class from ‘Taskyn’ studio, festival participants learned to tell stories in pictures – make animated films. They started with a storyboard. The storyboard is a sequence of images that visually tell the storyline or the scenario. “It is not necessary to have drawing skills to draw a storyboard,” Aigerim Abdramanova of ‘Taskyn’ studio said. “Every shot can be drawn beautifully, but then one-hour work can last for a week. A storyboard does not require beauty and details, but it requires simplicity and easiness.”

Yekaterina Andronova

“The main purpose of storyboard is to deliver emotions of a character, not the beauty of shots,” Yekaterina Andronova said. “The storyboard has certain movements, which a character can make – walk, sit down and even jump.”

The speakers explained that there are important components of every storyboard. They are a detail shot, close up, medium shot, master shot, and long (establishing) shot. Close up shows a character’s face and emotions, medium shot demonstrates gestures and arm movements, master shot reveals the character entirely, and long shot is a place where the action happens.

“The most important part of a storyboard is idea. Don’t think about a beautiful picture, it is not important. The most important thing is to tell a story by storyboard,” speakers said.

“We will teach you to write successful stand-up comedy with interesting jokes” Aleksei Lugovskoi, stand-up comedian and editor of Stand Up Astana project, and stand-up comedian Ruslan Tai said at their master class.

Aleksei Lugovskoi told about the structure of a joke. It consists of two important parts – setup and punchline. Setup is a setting, i.e. the first, unfunny part of a joke, which creates the context and paves a way to the punchline.

“The most important part of the joke is punchline. It must make people laugh,” Aleksei Lugovskoi said. “Punchline is the culmination of joke, it turns setup around and adds some unusual meaning to it. It is the punchline that must deliver the biggest laugh.”

“Just remember you cannot make all people laugh. There are cases when the audience does not laugh,” Ruslan Tai said. “I remember how I left the scene and felt second-hand embarrassment, and I sat on a chair and started to cry. You have to be ready for everything and you should never feel down and shrink into yourself after a blooper.”

Trending traditions

At the session “Fashion industry: a mix of traditions and contemporaneity”, speakers told how and why they came up with creation of ethnic brands.

Kristina Ilyas, a jeweller and founder of jewellery brand YAS of Tajikistan, mixes contemporary and traditional motives. “I could not wear what the market offered to me. So, I started to create my own,” Ilyas said.

The fact that people want to stand out and mass market does not satisfy people now helps her develop.

Elnora Ibragimova-Rizayeva, designer of Uzbekistan, founder of women’s clothing brand Stone City, said, “We have a magnificent cultural heritage and I must tell about it.” When she did it by means of her first collection, she was ripped to pieces as her collection was impractical. “But minimalism is not what I want, I want to tell about the Uzbek culture,” she explained why she did not quit and started to help other local brands.

The same desire to show her culture encouraged Aizhan Firsova of Kyrgyzstan to create her own brand ‘Cut a dash’. Cut a dash is more than just an ethnic brand. Aizhan develops it as an eco-brand, too. “The path I’ve chosen is not only to demonstrate our culture, but also to style it,” Aizhan Firsova said.

Accept yourself as you are

The first cybermodel of Kazakhstan, creative producer, founder of Inclusive People project, Aiman Moldabekova, appeared at Go Viral. She was really inspiring! Aiman was born without a right hand, but she never followed public stereotypes, which make people feel ashamed of their peculiarities. On the contrary, she put some zing into her peculiarity.

Aiman told the audience about the problems of rejection of bodily peculiarities by the society, that one should accept oneself as they are. “If you don’t prove yourself with what you have, you can hardly present yourself,” Aiman Moldabekova said.

The cybermodel helps people to accept themselves via various projects. Thus, she helped people with disabilities to raise funds for prosthetic devices as she is aware of the problem, and now she is involved in a project that is committed to support people with special needs by means of photo shoots.

“No one is the best, no one is the worst. Every person matters!” Aiman Moldabekova said.

They made it in 48 hours

Short films were demonstrated during the two days of the festival as part of the 48 Film Race competition. Beginning filmmakers had two days to make a film and they were free to choose the theme. No wonder every film was special.

This year, films mostly reflected the issues of a contemporary society. Short films gave an idea of how important the support of loves ones was in every person’s life; told about nostalgia and acceptance of mistakes made in the past; about attempts to cope with psychological or moral issues; about problems of people deprived of their voting right and freedom of action, and about many other things.

It is safe to say that each author coped well with revealing the idea of their films. It was incredibly hard for the jury to pick winners. Nevertheless, they made a list of winners.

Best Film — “A house with no address” [Dom u kotorogo net adresa]. Team Independent for cinema from Uzbekistan.

Best Student Film — “The house” [Dom]. Team Gold Star Group from Uzbekistan.

Best Amateur Film — “Adi”. Team Rage of Besh from Kazakhstan.

Partner’s Choice “Best insight into safe migration experience” — “Umid”. Team Impulse from Uzbekistan.

Special Jury Prize— “Menin suyiktim”. Team EMAA_TEAM from Kazakhstan.

Best Comedy — “Cinema show” [Kinoseans].  Team Snova Win-Win from Uzbekistan.

Best Action Film — “The voice of silence” [Golos tishiny]. Team “Gorod Geroyev” from Kazakhstan.

Best Drama/Melodrama — “Sirena”. Team T-Media from Kyrgyzstan.

Best Horror/Thriller — “Owal Ram” (Addiction). Team OM from Turkmenistan.

Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy — “Adaptation” [Adaptatsiya]. Free Team from Kazakhstan.

Best Musical/Experimental Film — “Moments”. Team Eyeless Vision from Kazakhstan.