Ayka is a drama, portraying the life of a young Kyrgyz woman who has migrated to Russia to support herself and settle her debts. Thus, the film represents the reality and challenges migrant women meet in Russia. These challenges include migrant and labor rights as well as social issues linked to gender stereotypes, sexual abuse, and maternal instincts. The heroine is the image of a Central Asian woman who persists despite the difficulties life has in store for her.
The film has been nominated and won prizes. Actress Samal Yeslyamova won the award for Best Actress in 2018 at Cannes. She also won the award for Best Actress at Asian Film Awards Academy. The film was selected as the Kazakhstani entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards making the December shortlist.
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