By Nigar Orujova
A press conference on an Azerbaijani film which has gotten into the Short Film Palme d'Or program of the 67th Cannes International Film Festival was held in France.
This festival is historic for Azerbaijan's cinema, because Azerbaijani films are participating in the main competitive programs for the first time.
Directed by Sergei Pikalov, "The Last One" ("Sonuncu") is a philosophical parable about two Azerbaijani heroes -a lonely old man who is a veteran of the Great Patriotic War and a 15-year-old peddler living in a small village.
The film was shot by "Azerbaijanfilm" studio and "Buta Films" company.
During the conference, the film's producers Nasib Piriyev and Mariya Ivanova spoke to foreign journalists.
Piriyev told the audience how examples of breakthroughs in such a big festival are important motivations for young filmmakers.
"It is a huge step for Azerbaijan and its cinema. 'The Last one' is a vivid example of the possibilities of co-production. Invented by the Russian group, the film was created in Azerbaijan by local actors, but a Russian director and operator. This is the first joint product of its kind in the CIS," Piriyev said.
"'The Last One' is our first work in the 'short film' category. We wanted to make an honest film that can be understood in any language and country around the world. And we've done it, which is confirmed by the jury's decision to include the film in the main competition program," he said.
The issue covered in the film -attitude to old people- concerns all humanity, and the new generation needs to pay attention to this problem, Piriyev believes.
"We are anxiously waiting for the results and hope very much that we will continue to carry out such projects in the future," he stressed.
Ivanova also noted the importance of the co-production of film projects.
"A film is primarily a team. We cannot say that only a director or a producer shot this film. The result is obtained when all merge into one -the idea, desire, and opportunity- as it happened with our film," she said.
"This also applies to international production: without actors, the stunning nature, and the Azerbaijani language, the film would have been different. It would have not been shot in Azerbaijan without the Russian group as well. Through co-production, the film has gained volume and many-sidedness, making the story more understandable and close to people of different cultures," she said.
ROSKINO Director General Catherine Mtsituridze said participating in the main program of the Cannes Film Festival is already a prize which confirms the high standards of the film.
"Participation in the Cannes Film Festival is already a success itself, a recognition of the film as one of the best in the world," she said.
"The Last One" is intelligent, sophisticated, and deep film, Mtsituridze believes.
The Festival, which started on May 14, will run until May 25.
An Azerbaijani pavilion is functioning at the Festival for the fourth time. It screens national films, holds meetings with foreign filmmakers, producers, directors, and actors, and discusses joint projects.
Print and video materials promoting tourism opportunities in Azerbaijan are also handed out to the visitors.
Moreover, a movie by directors Elmar Imanov and Engin Kundag will take part in the Directors' Fortnight as part of the festival.
The short film which is called "Torn" shows two stories of a boy and a man in the background of today's Baku.
The boy goes down to the yard to play football with local boys. The man climbs to the roof in the center of town accompanied by a young woman. The film shows how each of them untangles the tied knots of their relations.
The Short Film Corner of the festival also includes several short films representing Azerbaijan.
More than 20 filmmakers are representing Azerbaijan in the Cannes this year.