Ilgar Najaf’s full-length feature film “Sughra and Sons” was screened on April 4 at the “Azerbaijan” cinema, organized by Azerbaijan Union of Filmmakers. Film critic Sevda Sultanova, who gave an introduction speech, emphasized that the screenings of local films organized by AUF are always welcomed by great interest. After the screening, discussions were held between the audience and film crew.
One of the screenwriters, Dutch screenwriter Roelof Jan Minneboo asked a question by Sevda Sultanova, “As a Westerner, what difficulties did you encounter while writing an Eastern theme?” and the answer was “I do not accept the existence of the concept of Western and Eastern people. In my mind, the human and his/her story are taken as the main theme in the film. This film is not about war but Sughra herself. Festivals are always interested in characters, not events. The nature and language of Azerbaijan is so poetic. During the premiere of this film in Korea, I witnessed the audience watching in admiration. He added, “However, the author should never make a film for the festival, he should make the story he wants to tell”.
“Where did the story of the film come from and why was the black and white chosen?” asked by the audience. The director’s answer was as follows: “Almost none of the events in the film are cooked up, they are based on the stories I heard from my grandfathers. In particular, certain details shown in the film (cooking potatoes on the bonfire, finding out a watermelon in the snow, etc.) refer to moments that happened in my personal life, especially during my childhood. We discussed these details with Asif Rustamov (the co-author of the film script), and later Roelof joined the working process, and as a result, this film came to fruition. In order to convey the atmosphere of the film, we chose the black and white style with the cameraman Ayhan Salar.
Honored Artist, an actor Rasim Jafar, who played the teacher in the film, noted “Sughra and sons” was his second collaboration with Ilgar Najaf. (previous film was “Theatrical life” in 2008 ) and mentioned that he enjoyed the process of the filming.
Secretary of AUF, director Ali Isa Jabbarov said to the director: “There can be two types of truth in a film made on a historical subject: historical and artistic truth. While filming, when transmitting the historical period, how important did you find it not to go against the historical truth?”
The director answer was: “A film dedicated to any historical topic and facts requires great mastery and responsibility from the author. So the director should pay special attention to convey the subject as accurately as possible and also universalize. These stories depicted in the film are well known to Azerbaijani audience. And as an author, I filmed a story that I heard, saw and believed.”
Publisher Shahbaz Khuduoghlu said, “The theme of the film really surprised me. Because, this topic has not been widely discussed and almost never touched upon in the Azerbaijani literature. Although this topic is quite close to us. I heartily congratulate the film’s crew on this first step they took,” he shared peace of his minds.
Dashkasan district is the shooting locations of “Sughra and Sons”. It was starred by Ilgar Jahangir, Gunesh Mehdizadeh, Samimi Farhad, Aydan Hasanzadeh, Khalida Guliyeva, Rasim Jafar, Gurban Ismayilov and others.
The film was awarded at Busan International Film Festival (South Korea), Kerala International Film Festival (India), the “Worlds of Filmmaking” section of the Turkish-German Film Festival held in Nuremberg, Germany, and was nominated for the “Best Screenplay” award of the XIV Asian and Pacific Film Academy as well as a special diploma of the jury at the Southeast European Countries Film Festival held in Los Angeles.