The establishment of the Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers dates back to January 1958, when the “Organizational Bureau of the Union of Azerbaijani Cinematography Workers” was set up. The bureau was headed by film director Latif Safarov, while film director Huseyn Seidzadeh was elected as deputy. The organizational bureau had five divisions: “Art cinema”, “Drama, theory and criticism”, “Documentary and popular science cinematography”, “Science and technology”, “Cinema lovers”. There were 82 members of the Union of Azerbaijani Cinematography Workers.
The Cinema House was opened on 10 February 1960. By that time, the number of Union members had reached 100: directors, screenwriters, cameramen, actors, artists, and composers.
The Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers was finally set up at the First Constituent Assembly, which took place on 11 January 1963.
The Second AUF Assembly (22-23 December 1964) elected film director Hasan Seyidbayli as chairman of the organization’s board.
In March 1976, the Azerbaijan department of the Bureau for the Promotion of Soviet Cinema was set up within the AUF. Every year it held a large number of creative meetings and organized film screenings for the public.
In May 1981, scriptwriter Rustam Ibrahimbayov was elected as first secretary of the organization’s Board at the Fifth Assembly of the AUF.
The Sixth congress held in 1985 was dedicated to current problems of cinema.
The Seventh Congress was held at a time when perestroika began in the USSR and in Azerbaijan. It was 1990. The AUF, together with “Azerkinovideo” Production Association, developed a new concept and program for the development of national cinema in new public and social circumstances, when there was an urgent need for an objective assessment of cinema processes. The secretariat of the Union of Cinematographers decided to launch a competition of Azerbaijani national films.
(The first competition was held in 1991, the second in 1993 and the third in 1995. In the mid-90s, Azerbaijani cinema, and indeed all Azerbaijani society, experienced serious difficulties, and the competition was suspended. It was resumed only eight years later, in 2003. Films made in 1995-2002 were demonstrated to a jury. The competition was called Qızıl Çıraq (“golden lamp”). The presentation of the Fifth National Film Awards Qızıl Çıraq was held on 2 August 2006).
The Eighth AUF Assembly was held on 15-16 December 1995. It was the first assembly held after Azerbaijan gained independence. The main issue discussed at the assembly was the preservation of cinema and its longstanding traditions in the country and its support by the state. A concept for the development of national cinema in new circumstances was developed.