1997 tells a simple story, based on the daily life of young people in Alma Ata. The protagonists try to discover the world in their own way; the film tries to understand the inner world of today's young generation. The plot concentrates on three days (31 August to 2 September 1997) and is made up of four separate stories. In one of them, Rustem one day meets Miko, a delicate young girl. Her sweetness sets the tone for their budding relationship. Drawings and parts of Rustem's diary are included in the film. According to Amirkulov, the story is subservient to the visual aspects of the film. The greatest praise he could wish for is that the viewer recognises the people on the silver screen as if they were acquaintances. The Kazakhstani film-maker works, like his compatriot and Film-maker-in-Focus at this festival Serik Aprymov, in a poetic-realistic style. Amirkulov: 'We wanted to portray the everyday life of very ordinary people, without losing sight of the romantic aspect. My students in the workshop at the Alma Ata Film Institute worked closely with me on the screenplay, the music and the actual filming. It was a very enrichening experience, both for them and for me. My earlier films were historic dramas, this is my first contemporary love story.'