The International Film School

The International Film School (higher courses for scriptwriters and directors) was established by the Azerbaijan Union of Cinematographers in 2007 on the basis of Order No 1993 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated 23 February 2007 “On the development of cinema in Azerbaijan” and a relevant decision of the Cabinet of Ministers. The goal behind creating the film school was to enhance the interest of young people in cinematography, identify talents and train new highly qualified personnel in the field of cinema. Diplomas of the International Film School of the Azerbaijan Union of Cinematographers had an international status.

Students were trained in five departments: “Film Direction”, “Film Drama”, “Producing”, “Cinema Studies”, “Acting”, “Animation and Multimedia”.

As part of the educational process, regular trainings were organized in cooperation with specialized international organizations and world cinema celebrities. For example, in 2008, Azerbaijan the Union of Cinematographers together with the Association of Independent Cinematographers of the South Caucasus conducted training courses for film school students on the improvement of documentary film-making and the development of feature films projects in the South Caucasus.

Since 2007, renowned cinema professionals have performed master classes for students – director, scriptwriter and producer Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland), director, scriptwriter, producer and actor Jan Sverak (Czech Republic), documentary film director Georgi Khaindrava (Georgia), scriptwriter and actor Pavel Finn, director and scriptwriter Gleb Panfilov, theater and film actress Inna Churikova, journalist and scriptwriter Oleg Panfilov, film critic, cultural expert, broadcaster, journalist and teacher Kirill Razlogov, journalist, film critic and translator Yelena Razgolova, director, producer and scriptwriter Vitaly Kanevski (Russia), professor at Columbia University, well-known documentary filmmaker Peggy While (USA), professionals from the Los Angeles film school and other world-renowned filmmakers.

The International Film School of the Azerbaijan Union of Cinematographers has initiated a number of projects aimed at developing Azerbaijani cinema. One of them is “Baku, I love you”, where films were shot together with film studios.

Graduates of the film school include director and scriptwriter Nargiz Bagirzadeh, scriptwriters Irada Bagirzadeh, Sabina Huseynli and Esmira Mammadova, directors Javid Tavakkul, Fariz Ahmadov, Elmaddin Aliyev, Khayyam Abdullayev, Gulchin Akhundlu, Ali Hasanov, Elchin Asadov, Eldar Ismayilov, Murad Muradov, Gunel Najafzadeh, Kamala Rzayeva, director and animator Gulchin Ozer, actor Zaur Shafiyev and film producer Alakbar Imanov.

Some works of the film school graduates have been honored with prizes at international film festivals.