Film critic Sevda Sultanova wrote a new article for the Azlogos website about the actual problems of our national filmmaking. The article also underlined the problems of students studying at Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts. We present the exact part of the aforementioned article.

I want to publicise the complaints of Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Arts students who made a diploma film. Students majoring at film directing at the “Cinema-television arts” department of the university complain that there is no sufficient condition for them to shoot their diploma films. According to them, the university makes high demands on diploma works, while not funding them. For example, diploma films are required to be shot in 4K format, which is costly for students. However, the HD format, which costs less, is already considered a professional format in the world. Additionally, making the film in this format is also a financial burden for the student.

Over and above this, students say that they have serious problems with the equipment for making their films. University`s editing equipment is not available to all students. Because there are many queues to use it. On the other hand, it is also said that its quality is problematic.

According to the students, they shoot their diploma films by their own expenses, they have to rent expensive equipment. Sometimes a film takes 1000-2000 AZN or even more.

When the administrative committee approves the diploma topics it would be good to select scenarios that will go to great expense. Simple, low-budget (or no-budget) scenarios that refer to the students’ own lives and personal experiences and do not require the involvement of professional actors should be recommended. Because professional actors sometimes ask the student for a fee. In world practice, famous actors are cast for free in the directors` debut works. We also have this experience: Mammad Safa, Elshan Rustamov, Zemfira Abdulsamadova, Gulzar Gurbanova and others are involved in debut works wih free of charge.

The demand for creative quality (the ability to work with an actor, the author’s point of view on the event, the psychological visual solutions of situations, editing and scenario skills) is right rather than technical one. That is to say, let the student make a film with a mobile phone, but the work in terms of creativity of high quality.

In general, if a university does not provide funding for diploma thesis, so it cannot require high-level work according to its technical parameters. No, if it requires, then the university should be involved as a kind of producer in the film. If the university does not have enough funds and good equipment, it can closely cooperate with private productions, especially “Azerbaijanfilm” studio, AzTV, ITV local channels, so that these institutions can provide free technical support to students.

I have sent a request to the Press Office of the University regarding this issue. In case of an answer, I will write about their position.

Sevda Sultanova