Articles & Notes — August 2, 2012 at 12:56 am

Azerbaijan wraps up film on great Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra

Azerbaijani documentary filmmaker Ziya Shikhlinsky has wrapped up shooting “Where this road leads…” – a film devoted to great Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra.

Guerra was one of the most prolific contributors to the Italian cinema.

He wrote over 100 screenplays through his career and collaborated with some of the most prominent film directors of the world, including Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni and Andrei Tarkovsky.

Guerra was honored by the Venice Film Festival with a lifetime achievement award in 1994, and won the Writers Guild of America West’s Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievementin 2011. Legendary Italian poet and writer died aged 92 in March of 2012 in Italy.

Ziya Shikhlinsky told Azerbaijani state-run news agency AzerTAg that the film is based on Guerra’s memories of Baku (capital of Azerbaijan).

The story has it that in 1976, Guerra and Michelangelo Antonioni came to Moscow, where they held negotiations regarding a joint production of a film.

Both Guerra and Antonioni were to look for nature and landscapes for the film, and thus they visited the different soviet republics, among which was Azerbaijan’s capital.

“We were amazed not by Baku itself, but by its surroundings, by the aesthetics of Absheron villages. There’s absolutely stunning scenery of the valley, the cemetery, and poles, between which lies this road. We never found out where this road leads. This was probably the most beautiful thing we have ever seen,” Guerra reportedly said at that time.

The film’s premiere is scheduled for September, which will be organized jointly by the Italian Embassy in Baku, and will take place in the House of Cinema of Azerbaijani Cinematographers Union.

That house hosted the 1976 meeting between Tonino Guerra, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Azerbaijani cinematographers.

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