Day of Azerbaijani Cinema Date in the current year: August 2, 2016

Day of Azerbaijani Cinema Day of Azerbaijani Cinema is celebrated in August 2. This holiday was established by President Heydar Aliyev in 2000. The date of August 2 was chosen to commemorate the first public film screening in Azerbaijan that took place in 1898.

Azerbaijan was one of the first countries involved in cinematography. The first ever motion picture footage was demonstrated in 1895 in Paris by the Lumière brothers. Three years later, Russian entrepreneur of French origin Alexandre Michon began to film documentaries in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.

At the time, Baku was the center of the world's oil industry, attracting lots of foreign entrepreneurs and investors. Initially Michon photographed the process oil extraction and everyday life in Baku, and in 1898 he began to shoot motion pictures, intending to demonstrate them in Paris.

On August 2, 1898, Michon exhibited his documentaries in Baku. They included “The Oil Gush in Balakhan” and “The Folk Dance of Caucasus”. This day is considered to be the birthday of Azerbaijani cinema.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijani cinematographers faced some issues, such as lack of sponsorship. Nevertheless, the cinema of Azerbaijan keeps on developing.

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