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The Amateur Photographer’s Family Portrait

December 15, 2022


The Amateur Photographer’s Family Portrait


The Amateur Photographer’s Family Portrait

by Nurlan Hasanli
Radium Films | Georgia

Documentary | 1st feature


While a filmmaker, whose script was shot without notice and ruined by the Ministry of Culture in Azerbaijan, seeks creative revenge by uniting his family to make the film.


Azerbaijani filmmaker Nurlan (32) sets out to bring his script, shot without notice and ruined by the Ministry of Culture, to life with his family as an act of creative revenge. As the family members become aware of his situation, they eagerly join the project. Unexpectedly touched by this support, Nurlan realizes that making this short film would be more enjoyable due to the family members’ quirks and dreams: The grandfather cares for his Alzheimer-stricken wife, and his mission is to buy a place for a family grave to accommodate the entire family. The mother insists on Nurlan having a ‘proper’ life – a home, children, and a regular job, not as a director.
The younger brother, employed in the still unsafe region of Nagorno
Karabakh, is the family’s main concern as he constructs safe roads
there, anticipating the next war. The cousin from Gen Z, itching to
emigrate from the homeland.
Nurlan rediscovers his family and, through them, offers a humorous
portrait of his country’s realities.

Director’s Profile

Nurlan Hasanli is a screenwriter and director based in Baku, Azerbaijan. Sarajevo Talents 2022 alumnus whose main focus is comedy, black comedy and absurd genres. He became interested in cinema while studying politics in Baku, worked in a hotel while learning cinema in Istanbul, and when he had unrequited love in Budapest, he decided to become a writer. After returning to his home country, he initially wrote TV series for some time but eventually decided to quit his job to focus solely on writing movies. However, he found himself compelled to write in different fields and became a hack writer. He has penned numerous screenplays, some of which have been turned into films, while others remain unfinished or in development. Despite the challenges, Hasanli fell in love with his work and realized that he had the skills to excel in it. He began making his own films. Additionally, he founded a humorous magazine and, not to be overlooked, co-founded a YouTube channel where he presents programs covering a wide range of art-related topics.

Company Profile

Bars Media Documentary Film Studio was established by Vardan Hovhannisyan, a frontline-filmmaker who began his career as a stringer covering flash points across the collapsing Soviet empire. Bars Media is one of Armenia’s first independent production companies, specialized at creating documentaries focused on human stories, culture, history, conflict, and pressing social trends overlooked by the headlines.
Bars Media’s documentaries have broadcasted on BBC-Storyville (UK), Arte (France-Germany), WDR (Germany), PBS (US), NHK (Japan), YLE (Finland), NPO (Netherlands) among other international channels. Located in Armenia, the studio is uniquely positioned at the geographic and cultural crossroads of Europe and Asia, between East and West, giving it the ability to access and tell a wide range of stories from the Caucasus region and beyond.