National Cinema Day is a professional holiday for all filmmakers, which is celebrated in Azerbaijan on August 2. This year, the country marks the 121st anniversary of national cinema.
A gala evening dedicated to the National Cinema Day has been held at Nizami Cinema Center.
The evening was attended by representatives of culture and art, well-known filmmakers, as well as representatives of the young generation, who are just starting their path in movie industry.
Speaking at the event, First Deputy Minister of Culture Vagif Aliyev congratulated the filmmakers on their professional holiday and wished them great success and achievements in their creative work. He noted that the state with great attention and care relates to the cinema workers.
Aliyev spoke about the history of Azerbaijani cinema, stressing the successes achieved by domestic filmmakers in recent years. He emphasized that the Azerbaijani cinema is developing and makes the audience happy with new films. Art, documentary, animated films of Azerbaijani directors participate in international festivals in different countries of the world and win prestigious awards, Aliyev noted.
Then, a group of film industry workers received honorable certificates. Diplomas were awarded by Jahangir Mammadov, the head of the cinematography department of the Ministry of Culture.
The event featured videos with fragments of films made in the last ten years.
The Chairperson of the Azerbaijan Cinematographers Union, People’s Artist Shafiga Mammadova spoke about the New Breath prize, established for young filmmakers, as well as about the Hasan Seyidbayli and Rasim Ojagov medals, and the scholarship in honor of the 100th anniversary of the famous playwright and film director Hasan Seyidbayli.
Mammadova also spoke about upcoming events, anniversary evenings, which the Union plans to hold in future.
Then Shafiga Mammadova presented the National Film Award to People’s Artist, screenwriter Ramiz Fataliyev for his merits in Azerbaijani and Soviet cinema.
Also, People's Artist, screenwriter Abdulahad Mahmudov received the prize in honor of his 75th anniversary and contribution to Azerbaijani cinematography.
New Breath youth prize was presented to the young filmmaker Fariz Akhmadov, while the head of the Cinema Radio project Kamran Gasimov presented the actor Kamran Agabalayev with the "Modern View on the Audiovisual Sphere" prize.
Then, feature films by young directors Kanan Yashar, Parvin Hasanova as well as a project by Orkhan Agazade were screened.
Azerbaijan Cinematographers Union was established in 2012. This decision to create the Union was taken during the event at the Nizami Cinema Center dedicated to the theme "Cinema and Conceptual Problems".
The main activity of the Union is presenting national films in the international arena, their shooting, organization of international symposia and conferences, formation of cinema infrastructure.
Azerbaijan has a rich cinema history and has significantly contributed to the international film industry.
Today, the Azerbaijani cinema has come to be an internationally recognized modern art enjoying a huge popularity and recognition at international film festivals, which frequently award the national films. Over the past years, more than 300 films and 1,200 documentaries, as well as hundreds of cartoons were filmed.
Shortly after the Lumiere brothers from France invented cinematograph, an apparatus for making motion pictures, in 1895, Russian photographer and cameraman Alexandre Michon began shooting motion pictures that depicted everyday life in Baku.
The first short, silent film of Azerbaijani cinematography "You are caught" was shown in Baku on August 2, 1898. The audience witnessed a historical event - the birth of Azerbaijani cinematography.
To honor this historical day, the national leader Heydar Aliyev signed an order on December 18, 2000, to declare August 2 as professional holiday of cinema workers – Day of Azerbaijani Cinema.