ABOUT THE FILM
“The story of “The Precinct” inhabits an interesting cross of genres – the uncanny with the mysterious – which throws an intense focus on the dilemmas and pressures on contemporary relationships. The setting is Baku – which itself is of interest to an international audience, as there are very few cinematic windows into this culture that have the strength of storytelling to be able to travel abroad.
This is a classic story of a man whose past prevents him from fully inhabiting the present. The set-up soon dives into a mysterious realm within a Precinct where everything is suggested and nothing revealed – establishing dramatic tension and preparation for the twist in time that slowly unravels a past that reveals the main character's personal trauma. This past carries an authentic view on early photography in Azerbaijan, which also adds to the story's appeal”. (Clare Downs)
“During the Independent Film-makers' Association – South Caucasus (IFA-SC) workshop in Georgia, I had the opportunity to read the screenplay of the film “The Precinct” – written and to be directed by Ilgar Safat – that your company developed and intend to produce. It is my pleasure to inform you that I found this screenplay extremely interesting and well-written, with fully-developed characters, and with a subject that shows an unusual approach to the contemporary reality of your country.
In the best tradition of the genre, this story speaks to a much more common audience around the world and opens up the possibility for an interesting international success. Far from the clichés of what we would expect from a typical Azeri film, it gives an important opening towards a universal story set in a particular place. In this way, Ilgar Safat’s film can make an important step forward in terms of attracting new audiences and the attention of the international press and film festivals all over the world”. (Cedomir Kolar)
The story is set in Baku. A famous Azeri photographer has to choose between accepting a valuable job offer in Africa or marrying his fiancée – a young, talented sculptor inspired by images of ritual dances.
The photographer decides to accept the job offer and – once again – postpones his wedding.
During the ensuing quarrel, the photographer and his fiancée have a car accident along the road which leads to the ancient cave city of Gobustan. They later find themselves in a police precinct, where the photographer has to come to terms with his dread of women or he will not leave the precinct alive.
“The Precinct” is a co-production between Azerbaijan ("Narimanfilm") and Georgia ("Georgianfilm" & "Bagira Films") which was developed within the framework of the Independent Film-makers' Association – South Caucasus (IFA-SC) training program. The project benefited from the active consultation of the British script-writer Clare Downs and French producer Cedomir Kolar.
The 115 minute-long film was shot in Azerbaijan on 35mm film between September 16 and November 25 2008, and is in Azeri and Russian (English subtitles will be available). Although “The Precinct” could be considered as an “art-house” film due to the fact that it was shot in Azerbaijan, the film is a mystery/drama whose universal themes indicate its commercial potential.
We consider the main target audience for the film to be the 25-54 age group, both male and female. On the international market, the target audience is mainly European “art-house”. However, depending on the film’s performance in film festivals, and thanks to its universal themes, we believe that “The Precinct” has the potential to attract a wider audience.