By Laman Ismayilova
A movie night timed the 120th anniversary of the Azerbaijani cinema has been held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The gala event was organized by the Azerbaijani Embassy in Bulgaria and the Center for Azerbaijani Language and Culture as part of MENAR Film Festival, Azertag reported.
Member of Azerbaijani Parliament (Milli Mejlis) Agajan Abiyev, director of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre Marius Donkin, director of the National Museum of Natural History in Sofia Nikolai Spassov, representatives of the Bulgarian National Assembly and others attended the event.
Mayor of Sofia city Yordanka Fandikova sent a congratulatory message to the participants of the event.
Addressing the event, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Bulgaria Nargiz Gurbanova said that the year 2018 has been remarkable in the history of Azerbaijan for a number of jubilees.
This year Azerbaijan will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its creation. The year 2018 also marks the 110th anniversary of the first opera in the Muslim world "Leyli and Majnun", the 145th of national theater and the 120th anniversary of Azerbaijani cinematography.
The diplomat added that the embassy will conduct various activities timed for significant dates together with the Bulgarian partners.
Gurbanova stressed that Azerbaijani cinematography produces countless artistic, documentary and animated films and that these films are highly appreciated not only by local audiences, but also by foreign film lovers.
The film "By the Bluest of Seas", directed by Boris Barnet and Samed Mardanov, in 1935, was included in the list of the best films in the world based on the survey conducted among influential critics on occasion of the 100th anniversary of the world cinema.
The diplomat stressed that 13 Azerbaijani films, produced in recent years, participated in 38 festivals in 20 countries and 20 awards were awarded.
Further, national film “Pomegranate Orchard” movie by Ilgar Najaf was presented to the audience.
“Pomegranate Orchard” features a story about an old man, who lives along with his grandson and daughter-in-law in the decrepit house amidst of the huge pomegranate garden. Sudden comeback of his wayward son has changed a gentle rhythm of their peaceful existence. Forgotten bitter memories have come back and even more, new challenges are in store for them.
Scriptwriters are Asif Rustamov, Ilgar Najafov and Roelof Jan Minneboo (The Netherlands). Operator-director is Aykhan Salar (Germany), animation director is Rafig Nasirov, executive producer Akif Aliyev, and producer Mushfig Hatamov.
The cast includes Gurban Ismayilov, Anar Hasanov, Samimi Farhadov and Hasan Agayev.
Following the film screening , Ambassador Nargiz Gurbanova gave an interview to the Bulgarian National Radio. During the interview, the diplomat spoke about the history of Azerbaijani cinematography.
Sofia MENAR Film Festival features the best of Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa cinema productions, including feature films, documentaries and short projects.
The festival makes Bulgarian audience familiar with the culture and traditions of the Islamic world. It is held every year in January.
MENAR Film Festival will run until January 28.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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