Autumn Elegy of a Withering Pomegranate

One of Leo Tolstoy’s most memorable aphorisms, “All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, probably could become an epigraph to this film from Azerbaijan. Pomegranate Orchard (Nar bagi), which screened in competition at the 13th Eurasia International Film Festival, is a work about happiness, uniqueness and fragility – which always come to an end. At the same time, the film impressed not so much with the painful feeling of withering beauty but as a farewell to wonderful times.

APSA to Honor Late Abbas Kiarostami, Newcomer Ilgar Najaf

Director and producer, Ilgar Najaf has been awarded the APSA Young Cinema Award in partnership with Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema (NETPAC) and the Griffith Film School for his second film “Pomegranate Orchard” (aka “Nar Bagi”).

​Buta is a lonely seven year old Azerbaijani boy who lives in a mountain village with his grandmother.

Buta is a lonely seven year old Azerbaijani boy who lives in a mountain village with his grandmother.


He is befriended by an old man, a liquid soap merchant who once loved (and lost) Buta’s grandmother. The old man’s friendship and wise advice helps Buta. Buta’s grandmother is weaving a special carpet in memory of Buta’s mother. The carpet features a ‘buta’ pattern, which represents love. Buta is inspired to create a ‘buta’ made of rocks and stones high on top of the mountain. People in planes – and birds – will admire it as they fly by. Azim, the town bully, jealous of Buta’s friendship with Gulyanag, Azim’s sister, wants to make Buta’s life a misery.

Azerbaijan’s submission to the Academy Awards is a contemporary tale of art and love.

Azerbaijan’s submission to the Academy Awards is a contemporary tale of art and love, told from a child’s point of view.


PALM SPRINGS — Though it has one of the world’s oldest national cinema traditions, Azerbaijan has been invited to submit films to the foreign-language Academy Award competition only since 2006.Buta, its fourth official submission, draws upon folk traditions in a simple contemporary tale, at its center a self-possessed 7-year-old who lives with his grandmother in a mountain village.

“Buta” is a symbol representing “love” in Azerbaijani culture

“Buta” is a symbol representing “love” in Azerbaijani culture and here it refers to both director Ilgar Najaf’s lonely seven-year-old protagonist and a traditional pattern being woven into a carpet – a life-long work – by Buta’s grandmother as a lasting tribute to Buta’s deceased mom. Living in a mountain village and harassed by the local bully, Buta finds solace in his relationship with an elderly soap salesman who long ago loved Buta’s grandmother. Inspired by his surrogate grandfather’s dream of restoring the old mill, Buta has a dream of his own – to create a “buta” pattern out of stones on the top of a mountain so that airline passengers can see it and be amazed…

ECFA-Projects – Film Making for Children 

Interview with Ilgar Najaf about BUTA

7-year old Buta lives with his grandmother in a mountain village in Azerbaijan. Life seems easy: Buta goes to school, plays with his girlfriend, fights a group of envious boys and meets a new friend and tutor, an old soap seller encouraging him by his worldly wisdom and telling him stories from a long gone past.Buta is not just a name, it’s also a pattern on the carpets that the women in the village are weaving. Looking like a drop of water (see picture), it has a rich symbolic meaning. Looking closely, you’ll find buta’s everywhere in this film.

BUTA - Reviewed by Vlad Strukov (University of Leeds)

Scripted and directed by Ilgar Najaf, Buta was chosen as the Azerbaijani entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 85th Academy Awards. Buta is a nickname of the film’s protagonist, a seven-year old boy, who lives in a remote village in Azerbaijani highlands. Disconnected from the modern world, he and other villagers display a strong connection to their land and to the traditions of their ancestors. 

BUTA - Reviewed by Boyd van Hoeij

A countryside schoolboy tries to stand up against an albino bully in the charming and gorgeously assembled “Buta,” this year’s foreign-language Oscar submission from Azerbaijan. The titular orphan is named after the paisley shape that finds its way into both the carpet he receives for his birthday and an enormous stone monument he’s constructing on a scenic mountaintop.