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Adam Bakri joins Asif Kapadia's Ali and Nino

EXCLUSIVE: IM Global has been shopping the project to buyers in Cannes.

Adam Bakri will star in Asif Kapadia’s Ali and Nino adaptation, which IM Global has been shopping to buyers on the Croisette.

Bakri starred in Omar, Hany Abu-Assad’s Palestinian foreign language Oscar submission that won the Special Jury Prize when it screened at the Cannes Film Fesitval in Un Certain Regard last year.

Speaking to Screen at a buyers dinner on Saturday night, Kapadia said he spent a year adapting the screenplay with Oscar winner Christopher Hampton, who has worked on the project for several years.

Kapadia won numerous awards for his work on 2010 documentary Senna.

Ali & Nino is regarded as the jewel of Azerbaijani literature and charts the romance between a Muslim prince and a Georgian Christian princess. The book was published in 1937 by Kurban Said, whose real identity has been the subject of much speculation.

Production is set for winter-spring in Azerbaijan. Kris Thykier produces with Leyla Aliyeva.

Readers' comments (1)

  • To be precise "Ali and Nino" is not "a jewel of Azerbaijani literature". It may be the most popular book in Azerbaijan of all times, but it was written in the German language and first published in Vienna in 1937 by Tal Verlag. The first translation into Azeri was done in 1970, during Soviet times. This translation was broadcast by Radio Free Europe from Munich into Azerbaijan in more than 50 installments. The first time this novel appeared in print in Azerbaijan was 1990 in the "Azerbaijan Magazine" - dedicated ot literature. The first book edition was not released before the iron curtain fell, namely in 1993. This story plays in Azerbaijan (and a bit in Georgia and Iran), but behind the pseudonym Kurban Said is the author Essad Bey, a Russian Jew who converted to Islam in Berlin in 1923. Currently a book is written about the publication history of Ali and Nino.

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