Tofig Ismayilov, a prominent Azerbaijani film director, artist, professor, and academic, passed away on March 25 from a protracted illness at the age of 77.
Ismayilov was born in Baku on April 6, 1939. He graduated from the Acting Department of the Azerbaijani State Institute of Arts, where he took film directing classes from Adil Iskanderov, a famous Azerbaijani film director and People’s Artist of the USSR. Ismayilov took directing classes in Moscow from Andrey Tarkovskiy (1968-1970). He worked on AzTV, and the film studio “Azerbaijanfilm” (1969-1988). From 1971, Ismayilov taught film-making, and headed the Acting Department at the State Institute of Arts. From 1994 till 2006, he worked in Turkey for the State University of Arts Memar-Sinan and served as an advisor to the Municipality of Culture of Istanbul.
In Turkey, Ismayilov composed his famous encyclopedia “History of Cinema of Turkic People,” which covered the cinematographic histories of Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Turkey. Ismayilov’s scientific articles were published in more than 50 Turkish articles and journals.
He directed more than 30 films and documentaries. He created Azerbaijan’s first three-part movie based on Mekhti Hussein’s novel “Absheron.” His rich and varied cinematographic legacy includes films such as “Stones of our town,” “Music teacher,” “Special position,” and “I’m creating a song.” Ismayilov’s film “Hard Times” was included in the list of the best 17 Soviet movies screened in the US. He also shot films exploring youth themes, such as “Guys of our neighborhood,” “Lakhydzh,” and “Chovgan game.”
Ismayilov was an actor and a screenwriter. He wrote the screenplay for a famous film, “Memories of Muslim Magomayev,” which consists of three parts: «Sən mənim nəğməmsən» (“You are my song”), «Sadiq dostlar» (“Loyal friends”) и «Mavi dəniz» (“Blue sea”).