TODAY.AZ / Arts & Entertainment

History of Azerbaijani animated films

21 September 2018 [13:12] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews


By Laman Ismayilova

From children to adults, people around the world cannot get enough of animated films.

Do you remember how we were filled with worry and concern about our favorite characters? Now we are grown-ups, but many of us still enjoy watching our favorite animated films and series.

Animation films also have educational aspects. They play a significant role in their intellectual and emotional development. Moreover, animation films have positive effects on kids’ brain development.

Animation splashes a wide palette of colors and harnesses music that boosts brain organization and ability.

The inventor of the viewing device called a praxinoscope (1877), French scientist Charles-Emile Reynaud, became known as the First Motion Picture Cartoonist.

The earliest cinema animation was composed of frame-by-frame, hand-drawn images. When combined with movement, the illustrator's two-dimensional static art came alive and created pure and imaginative cinematic images - animals and other inanimate objects could become evil villains or heroes.

The creation of animated films in Azerbaijan began in the 1930s.

 In 1933, "Azerbaijanfilm" studio carried out preparatory works for making this kind of cinema in advance, and brought materials from Moscow. 

During the shooting of documentary films "Lokbatan" and "The Symphony" (directed by B. Pumpyanski) they used technical animation.

And the instruction film "Cat" was fully animated. Thus, the film was considered as the first work in making of cartoon films in Azerbaijan.

The film was demonstrated on the screens of the Soviet Union until 1938. After release of the film a group of initiators in the studio for the first time decided to make animated film.

The theme for the film was taken from Azerbaijani folk tales. A. Papov wrote the script. The scenario called "Unluckiness of Abbas" was directed by E. Dikaryov.

The animators included G.Khaligov, J. Zeynalov, M. Magomayev and A.Mirzayev. The film operator was G. Yegiazarov. In addition, a little before the start of the Great Patriotic War the preparation was made for shooting the 2nd animated film "Sindbad–the sea traveler". However, the beginning of the war suspended the work and it remained uncompleted.

In the late 1960s, Azerbaijanfilm studio was provided with necessary facilities to make animations.

The shootings of animated film "Dwarf-Jirtdan" on the motives of folk tale of the same name were completed on February 28, 1969. Thus, by the shooting of Dwarf the 2nd phase in history of animated films in Azerbaijan began.

Over 20 animation films were produced in Azerbaijanfilm studio during the 1970s.

In 1970, animators presented three animation films, two of which were microfilms "Bear and mouse" and "Lion and bull" under Seyid Azim Shirvani's same-titled work. The latter was included in all-union anthology "Caleidoscope-71".

It was the first full-featured animated film shot by the Azerbaijanfilm after the restoration of the animated film workshop. The film "Fitna" was a color application film. This film was shot basing on motives of same name tale of great Azerbaijani poet N. Ganjavi.

"Jackal of jackals" puppet film (1972, film director M. Rafiyev) is the first and only wide-screen animation film in Azerbaijan.

Many artists played a great role great in the creation of animated films in Azerbaijan.

Nazim Mammadov laid the foundation for multiplication in Azerbaijan with "Bear and the Mouse". He was the director and artist, as well as the animator of the film. The film talks about not to forget kindness and goodness.

Mammadov had also been involved in painting, graphics and illustrations to more than 400 children's books.

The Azerbaijan Animation Museum named after Nazim Mammadov was established in 2015 with the support of the Youth Foundation under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan and at the initiative of the Azerbaijani Consulate of Art.

Over 30 animated films were produced in the film studio in the 1980s, including "Spring games", " Story of pomegranate tree", "Chrysanthemum leaf",  "Difficult issue", "Man is coming to the forest", "My chickens", "Magic tree", "Flying Giraffe", "Strange dragon", "Magic kerchief" and other works.

About 19 animation films such as "Once somewhere...", "Lovely Fatma", "Caravan" were created during the 1990s.

Nowadays, animation in Azerbaijan is being continue its development with great success.

In 2013, only two to three animation films were screened in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan's first national animation film "Jirtdan and Tapagoz" made in 3D format was released in 2012.

Baku to host 1st International Festival of Animation Art

The first International Festival of Animation Art (ANIMAFILM) will be held in Baku on October 19-21.

The project aims to develop creative and production activities of filmmakers, film and animation studios of the country, review various genres of professional animation by foreign directors and exchange experience.

More than 80 applications from 22 countries have been submitted for participation in the festival, Trend Life reported.

Among them are films from France, the U.S., Iran, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, Spain, Japan, etc.

The festival will feature several contests: "Azerbaijan Animation", "Best Short Animation Film", "Best Short Animated Azerbaijani Film", "Best Animated Social Animation", "Best Advertising Animation", "The Most Original Screenplay for Animation."

Winners will be determined by two members of the international jury. Among the jury members are well-known Azerbaijani animator Elchin Hami Akhundov, writer Sevinj Azimova, head of the Guild of Georgian Animators Ketevan Janelidze, Czech animator Miroslava Janicatova, Iranian filmmaker Leila Novruyi and others.

Thematic evenings, seminars and master classes, presentation of the book "Azerbaijan Animation", children's programs and other surprises await guests of the festival.

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