Director Asif Kapadia Starts Shooting Ali and Nino

41056SHJ3PLAli Khan and Nino Kipiani live in the cosmopolitan, oil-rich capital of Azerbaijan which, at the beginning of the twentieth century, is a melting-pot of different cultures. Ali is a Muslim, with his ancestors’ passion for the desert, and Nino is a Christian Georgian girl with sophisticated European ways. Despite their differences, the two have loved each other since childhood and Ali is determined that he will marry Nino as soon as she leaves school. But there is not only the obstacle of their different religions and parental consent to overcome. The First World War breaks out. As the Russians withdraw, the Turks advance, and Ali and Nino find themselves swept up in Azerbaijan’s fight for independence.

Director Asif Kapadia has started to shoot “Ali & Nino,” which is produced by Kris Thykier, and adapted from Kurban Said’s novel.

Adam Bakri (“Omar”) and Maria Valverde (Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings”) will star as the titular star-crossed lovers, and will be joined by a cast that includes Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland,” “Criminal Minds,” “The Princess Bride”) and Connie Nielsen (“Nymphomaniac,” “Gladiator”), playing Nino’s parents Gregor and Tamar Kipiani.

Other cast include Riccardo Scamarcio (“Loose Canons,” “My Brother Is an Only Child”), Homayoun Ershadi (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “The Kite Runner”), Fakhraddin Manafov (“Try Not to Breathe,” “Good Bye, Southern City”), Assaad Bouab (“Days of Glory,” “Whatever Lola Wants”), Numan Acar (“Homeland”) and Halit Ergenc (“1001 Nights”).

Said’s novel, which was first publication in 1937, has been translated into 33 languages worldwide.

BAFTA winner Asif is known for directing Senna, the biopic of formula one racing driver, Ayrton Senna.

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