Asif Kapadia and Adam Bakri to film in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is the main location for a major new feature film, Ali and Nino, gearing up to shoot from late February.
The period drama tells the love story of Ali, a young Muslim boy (played by Adam Bakri) and a Christian Georgian Princess, Nino, on the eve of the imminent Bolshik revolution around 1917.
Much of the story is set in the Old City part of the capital Baku – an area full of beautiful ancient buildings such as palaces and towers which in 2000 became the first Azerbaijan location to be classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Christopher Hampton has written the screenplay for the film, adapted from the book by Kurban Said which was first published in German in 1937. There is still some debate as to the real author behind the pseudonym, but the book has gone on to be published in 30 languages and is today widely considered to be Azerbaijan’s ‘national novel’.
The upcoming big screen version comes from UK-based Archery Pictures and producer Kris Thykier; Asif Kapadia, who won multiple awards for documentary Senna, directs.
Israeli-born Palestinian actor Bakri is best known to date for his role in Omar, Hany Abu-Assad’s thriller which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at last year’s Academy Awards.