In an exciting week for Pop Up, the renowned film organization proudly announced the recipients of three Pop Up Film Residencies awarded at prestigious film events in Brazil, Kazakhstan, and the Philippines. These coveted residencies signify the culmination of Pop Up’s fruitful collaborations with the Alternativa Film Project and QCinema Project Market in Asia, as well as their enduring partnership with BrLab in Brazil.

Alternativa Film Project – Assel Aushakimova (Kazakhstan) – Internet Stars

Assel Aushakimova, the visionary director of the first Kazakh feature film featuring a queer protagonist, stands as a pioneer in Kazak cinema. Transitioning from a successful career in banking, Aushakimova has already made waves with two feature films, “Welcome to the USA” and the dark comedy “Bikechess,” set to premiere in 2024 after winning Karlovy Vary’s FF Works in Progress Award. As a participant in the Alternativa Film Project’s Impact Lab, Aushakimova will further explore her filmmaking journey with her third feature film, “Astana Internet Stars,” during the Pop Up Film Residency.

BrLab – Maíra Bühler (Brazil) – The Marriage

Renowned Brazilian filmmaker Maíra Bühler, acclaimed for documentaries like “Diz a Ela Que Me Viu Chorar” and “Elevado 3.5,” is set to make her fiction directorial debut with “Um casamento.” Co-written with Ugisé Kalapalo, the film narrates the captivating journey of a young indigenous woman to Rio de Janeiro, where her life takes an unexpected turn after marrying a white man, transforming into a media spectacle. The project, a production by André Sobral from Abrolhos Filmes, was supported by the Hubert Bals Fund in the development category, solidifying Bühler’s place as an emerging force in Brazilian cinema.

QCinema Project Market – Carlo Enciso Catu (Philippines) – Hold My Gaze

Carlo Enciso Catu, a 29-year-old multi-awarded Filipino filmmaker, has consistently explored the complexities of Philippine family dynamics and the normalization of LGBTQ+ stories in his work. With accolades for his debut film, “Ari: My Life With A King,” and a Gawad Urian nomination for Best Director, Catu is set to embark on a new cinematic journey during his Pop Up Film Residency. His upcoming film, “Hold My Gaze,” promises a narrative filled with lies, deceit, and murder as three damaged souls seek solace and redemption through the love of another, all under the ever-present third shadow.

Pop Up Film Residency in Paris – First Semester 2024

All the talented filmmakers, Aushakimova, Bühler, and Catu, will converge in Paris during the first semester of 2024 for their Pop Up Film Residency. This unique opportunity will be hosted by the accomplished Chilean scriptwriter and festival director, Antonia Girardi, providing an enriching environment for these cinematic visionaries to further hone their craft and bring their creative visions to life.


Pop Up’s commitment to fostering global cinematic talent is evident in the diverse and exceptional filmmakers chosen for the Pop Up Film Residencies. As these creative minds embark on their respective journeys, the world eagerly awaits the cinematic gems that will undoubtedly emerge from this exciting collaboration between Pop Up and the international film community.