Meet the Crew

Thomas Schultz

About the Writer and Director

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Thomas is a filmmaker with an unwavering passion for the art of cinema. With a diverse skill set, and an education in Film/Video from Columbia College, Thomas has honed his talents to excel in a flourishing film career. 

Throughout his journey in the film industry, Thomas has worked on various projects, including popular TV shows like Empire, The Chi, Paper Girls, Fargo, Magnum P.I., among others.

Alongside his wife Madina, an aspiring producer, Thomas embarked on a remarkable journey to create a film in the captivating landscapes of Kazakhstan. Their collaborative effort resulted in a compelling project that showcases their passion for storytelling and their dedication to the craft of filmmaking.

Madina Baimakhanova, Producer/ Writer 

Madina was born and raised in Almaty, Kazakhstan and grew up with a passion for film and the love for travels. She is proud to show off her Producing and writing chops in her film debut on “The Pencil”.

Sain Samaldykov, Cinematographer

Sain Samaldykov is a talented and passionate cinematographer based in the vibrant city of Almaty, Kazakhstan. Whether collaborating on feature films, documentaries, commercials, or music videos, Sain approaches every project with unwavering passion and commitment.  Versatile and dedicated, he crafts compelling visuals that leave a lasting impression, making him a sought-after talent in Almaty’s film industry.

Aigul Nurbulatova, Production Designer

Aigul Nurbulatova received an art education in college at the Academy of Arts named after Zhurgenov in Almaty, and graduated from Turn University with a degree in Cinematography. She was nominated for the Golden Camera award at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival for her work as Cinematographer on In Flames. In 2018, she participated in the Asian Film Academy courses at the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. Starting from 2016, Aigul has been involved in various short documentaries and feature films, and has also participated in Kazakhstani and international film festivals

Katian Kerr, Editor 

Katian is an Editor based in Los Angeles. A Columbia College Chicago alumna, she has worked on an array of stories and content for a variety of clients, such as 47, American Express, and Kia. She was the in-house video editor for the Chicago Bulls and a Junior Editor/Assistant Editor at Camp Lucky in Dallas, TX. She received three Chicago/Midwest Emmy nominations for her work on “Noah & New York” and “Chicago Basketball Is Home” in 2015, and more recently for “Thank you, Joakim” in 2022.

Complete Crew List

Thomas Schultz 

Written and Produced by
Madina and Thomas Schultz 

Sain Samaldykov

Production Designer
Aigul Nurbulatova

Katian Kerr

Allen Pierre

Sound Mixer & Post Sound Designer
Azamat Konopya 

Boom operators
Arjun Nagumanov 
Nurbolat Yerbolatuly

Hair and Make-up
Yekaterina Chistyunina

First Assistant Camera
Ilyar Kasymov

Grip & Electric
Mark Nigay
Vladislav Lebedev

Angad Singh Rana

Add’l VFX Work
Noa Graphics

Color Correction
Miles Kerr

Art Assistant
Bauyrzhan Adilkhan

Production Assistant
Askar Delmanov

Special thanks to:
Katerina Yugay
Zhasulan Sabraliev
Darya Mamutova
IKIGAI STUDIO and personally Zaure Bitimbayeva

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