Premiere of the "Ali and Nino” movie was held in the Heydar Aliyev Center Oct. 5.
Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, the Foundation’s Vice-President Leyla Aliyeva, the movie’s cast and crew, and representatives of the public attended the event.
"Ali and Nino” is about Azerbaijan’s fight for independence in early 20th century and love between two young people of different religions.
The film, based on the namesake world bestseller "Ali and Nino” novel by Gurban Said, was shot in 2015.
After the premier of the movie, its producer Kris Thykier made a speech greeting Azerbaijan’s First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva and the audience.
"Madam first lady, thank you for your support and for being here tonight. It has made it a wonderful evening for me and for my colleagues,” he said.
Thykier said the movie’s premiere in Baku was in fact its world premier.
"It was appropriate that it [the premiere] should be here in Baku,” he said.
"This is the first time I have seen the film in the Azerbaijani language,” Thykier added. "I think it may well be the first major international picture that has been dubbed so beautifully into Azerbaijani.”
He also expressed hope that ‘Ali and Nino’ will have success in Azerbaijan and the world.
"The making of this film was a great adventure for me. It was a wonderful experience for me and I have fallen in love with this country,” said Thykier.
He further invited the cast and crew of the movie to join him on the stage.
Thykier firstly introduced his producing partner in the making of the movie, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s Vice-President Leyla Aliyeva.
He said that without Leyla Aliyeva’s passion, creativity and undying support this film would have never happened.
"And I am lucky to have been able to work with her, to consider her a friend,” he said.
Thykier also thanked the Director of the Heydar Aliyev Center Anar Alakbarov and the team at the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for hosting the movie’s premier and for the help in filming it.
He also thanked the movie’s distributors in Azerbaijan, the ministry of culture and tourism, the officials and the residents of the Old City for their help and support.
"I would like to thank the people of Azerbaijan, Baku,” he said, adding the love, support and outreach from everyone in the city and across the country was amazing.
Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva is the executive producer of the movie.
The movie’s producer is Kris Thykier and director is BAFTA Award winner Asif Kapadia, while its script was written by the Academy Award winner Christopher Hampton.
The film was shot in various parts of Baku, as well as in the streets of the historical Old City, Gobustan, Khinalig, Ganja and Gadabay.
The movie lasts 104 minutes. Starring in the film are Adam Bakri as Ali and María Valverde as Nino. Other actors are Halit Ergenc, Mendy Petinkin, Connie Nielson, Riccardo Skamarchio, Homayon Ershadi, Fakhraddin Manafov, Assaad Bab, Numan Acar and others.
"Ali and Nino” was first screened Jan. 27, 2016 at the Sundance film festival.
The film will hit the CinemaPlus cinemas Oct. 6 in Azerbaijani and English.
"Ali and Nino" will also be screened during the opening ceremony of the Asian World Film Festival, which will kick off Oct. 24.
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