Boy Nomad

Director: Niobe Thompson
Director: Dennis Wells
Country of Origin: Canada

Boy Nomad follows a year in the life of 9-yeard old Janibek, who lives with his family in Mongolia’s Altai Mountains. His first love is racing horses, but this winter, his father will bring him on the toughest journey in a nomad’s life: the winter migration. When the film crew arrives, they discover the Altai is gripped by a “zhut”, a hard winter that blocks the passes and threatens to wipe out the family’s only possession: their animals.

Says Director Thompson, “Janibek takes us on a journey any of us would consider a serious expedition, beset by extreme cold, isolation and the risks of the alpine world. Because of these challenges, the winter migration has never been filmed before. As we crossed the most inaccessible passes, I was separated from my film crew for long stretches of time and the film relies partly on footage I shot from horseback. We slept in stone huts along the route, bringing hay to keep the livestock alive on the back of a camel. Our herd of horses broke a trail for the smaller animals, and all the time, we dreaded when our goats and sheep would begin dropping their babies.

Yet looking at Janibek smiling through the storms, we realize that he is at home on the back of a horse. There is nowhere else a Kazakh boy would rather be. A coming-of-age story from the roof of the world.”

Producer: Niobe Thompson
Cinematography: aAron Munsen, Daron Donahue
Editor: Scott Parker
Composer: Darren Fung