EXCLUSIVE: UK writer-director Faisal A Qureshi wins $10,000 pitching prize at third Astana International Action Film Festival in Kazakhstan.

Timur Bekmambetov’s Bazelevs Productions has optioned UK script The Adversary after it won the $10,000 pitching prize at the third Astana International Film Festival (July 1-3) in Kazakhstan.

UK shorts writer-director Faisal A. Qureshi’s script about a stranger recruited to defend a Jewish settlement from rampaging Cossacks was selected by a jury comprising Bekmambetov, director Kevin Reynolds, The Raid executive producer Todd Brown and Apollo 18 producer Michelle Wolkoff.

Qureshi was associate producer on Chris Morris’ Four Lions.