The Board of the Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers made a statement discussing the latest situation of the Azerbaijani cinema in the meeting held on December 12,2020.

The statement says: “By mentioning some successes of Azerbaijani cinema over the past decade, the participation of such films as Puppets, Nabat , Downstream , Red Garden, Pomegranate Garden , Towards Evening in prestigious international festivals as well, we must admit that this period was a period of stagnation for our cinema as a whole.

The personnel policy pursued by the Ministry of Culture is the main reason for current situation. To put it mildly, those who were responsible for the state cinematographic policy acted unprofessionally. As a result, it was impossible to carry out reforms based on the State Program of the President of the Republic of AzerbaijanOn the Development of Azerbaijani Cinema for 2008-2018. State film studios were not supplied with technical equipment,the development of private film companies was neglected, co-production was not supported, membership to “Eurimages” Fund was not implemented,the festivals with international reputation which played a unique role in establishing creative ties between Azerbaijani and foreign filmmakers such as International Film Festival East-West, International Audiovisual Festival were suspended. At the same time, steps were taken to dissolve the Azerbaijan Union of Filmmakers, functioning for more than 50 years, and the unity of filmmakers in the country was shaken.

In addition, not enough attention was paid to the formation of the film press, which plays an important role in the development of our cinema and the promotion of its achievements.

Taking into account the above mentioned, the Board of the Azerbaijan Union of Film-makersconsiders it important to take the following urgent measures in order to ensure that our national cinema will meet modern requirements:

-A Cinema Center based on best practices in international film management, with a role as a State producer should be established. It will be a key component of the Cinema Development Concept, which has been postponed for years and discussed last year, but has not yet been adopted.

– The cinema center should implement the state policy for cinema, support the creative aspirations of film professionals and consider a realistic, full depiction of the life of our people on the screen important.

– A special structure should be established in the Cinema Center for the presentation and broadcasting of Azerbaijani cinema abroad.

– Taking into consideration the negative practices of last years, a body carrying out public control over the activities of the Cinema Center should be established. For this purpose Public Council, consisting of the Union ofFilm-makers, the Guild of Film-makers, other public film organizations and independent specialists should be created under the Center.

-Along with the suggestions listed above, special attention should be paid to the development of film education, students should be sent to leading world centers, the existing Film School should be supported, and Film Actor’s Theater consisting of Azerbaijani students of the Shukin Theater School and a new generation of Azerbaijani actors should be formed.

-It is necessary to provide support to cinema chains that suffered during the pandemic period, special attention should be paid to screening national films in the cinemas of the country.

– Noting the importance of film festivals for the development of cinema, it is necessary to revive the East-West International festival, International Audiovisual Festivaland other similar initiatives should be supported.

-The Ministry of Culture should support the restoration and operation of the film media.

We hope that this statement will be welcomed by the cinema community, creative organizations and relevant official structures.”

The Board of the Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers.