Cold as Marble
When Akbar is unexpectedly released from prison after serving ten years for killing his wife, his son Khalid wants to find out why he did it. Khalid’s married girlfriend Ayan - whom he secretly meets in the museum where she works at night - urges him to get closer to his father in order to unravel the mysteries of his past. While Khalid tries to coax Akbar into telling him about what exactly happened over a decade ago in the apartment he now shares with him, Khalid and Ayan become increasingly intrigued by the charismatic ex-criminal. Akbar reveals nothing about his secret as he starts to meddle with Khalid’s personal and professional life. When Khalid finally finds out about the details of his mother’s death, the sensitive painter and tombstone engraver is shocked to find out that he is more like his father than he ever realised.
Families have always fascinated me, as micro-models of society. In my first film, I portrayed a generational family conflict from the father's point of view. In this new film, I focus on the perspective of the son, Khalid, the anti-hero of a changing society. Khalid no longer sees himself as a Muslim or an Asian, but he doesn’t realise he is far from the cosmopolitan, artistic atheist he aspires to be. The return of his father Akbar shakes up Khalid’s life. Khalid is more like Akbar than he wants to admit. I plan to capture Khalid’s state of mind by using a static camera and framing that emphasise Khalid’s alienation from himself and the world around him. Dialogues will be subtextual and the sound will reflect the conflict between the constraints of the old world and the chaos of the new world, that is often as cold as marble.
Asif Rustamov was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, in 1975. He studied at the private Economy University (1992-1995) and graduated from the cinema faculty of the Azerbaijan State University of Culture and Art (2000-2004) with a degree in directing. His work includes documentaries (The Crossroad, 2004, Sun City, 2007) and shorts (The House, 2007, With the Back to Kiblah, 2009) that were shown and awarded at many international festivals. In 2014, he made his debut feature, Down the River, which premiered at Karlovy Vary IFF. It won the audience award at Xian Silk Road IFF and best debut at SEEFest. Asif is a co-founder of the Azerbaijan Association of Young Filmmakers and one of the editors of the Azeri film magazine Fokus.
Guillaume de Seille, born in 1968, studied civil engineering. After two awarded short-films as writer/director, he worked ten years for Canal+ in the cinema department (presales of French and European films), was commissioning editor for a couple of years within the short film department of Canal+ and artistic producer for French public broadcaster France 2. Independent producer since 2000, he produced or co-produced more than 50 non-French feature art-house feature films invited to every major festival.