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Elmar Bayramov: From Capoeira Master to Visionary Filmmaker



The world of cinema thrives on the tireless efforts of passionate storytellers, those who weave captivating narratives that transport audiences to different worlds and leave an indelible mark on their hearts. Elmar Bayramov, a filmmaker of exceptional talent and unwavering dedication, embodies this spirit. His journey, however, began not on a set but on the dynamic mats of the Capoeira arena, a testament to the multifaceted nature of his artistic spirit.

Bayramov’s cinematic odyssey commenced in 2012, fueled by a desire to raise awareness about pressing social issues. His initial projects, like Traffic, Save Ecology, and Spiritual Journey, showcased his commitment to purpose-driven storytelling. These works served as a springboard for his directorial prowess, honed through helming commercials and short films. The turning point arrived in 2017 with the release of his feature film debut, Don Marleone, which captivated audiences across Azerbaijan. This project not only solidified Bayramov’s directorial caliber but also garnered critical acclaim and his first award, a prestigious recognition in New York the following year.

While Don Marleone marked a significant milestone, it was Bayramov’s forays into the realm of short films that truly catapulted him into the spotlight. His short film, Oops, received critical recognition at the Urban Action Showcase International Film Festival, bagging the coveted “Best Fight Scene” award. This initial triumph paved the way for a phenomenal year in 2019. His poignant short film Let Me Run swept the awards circuit, securing victories in a staggering 15 categories, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Short Film. This remarkable feat cemented Bayramov’s reputation as a filmmaker of exceptional merit.

Bayramov’s artistry extends beyond mere entertainment. His 2023 masterpiece, Breath, delves into the profound psychological impact of war. The film narrates the harrowing tale of Bakhtiyar, a former prisoner grappling with post-traumatic stress after being held captive from 1994 to 1996. Returning to his village after 28 years of enemy occupation, Bakhtiyar finds solace in nature, confiding his story to the elements – rain, snow, trees, and stones. The film poignantly portrays the enduring effects of trauma on Bakhtiyar’s ability to reintegrate into society and forge human connections. Bayramov’s masterful direction in Breath compels viewers to confront the devastating consequences of war and underscores the importance of compassion and support for survivors.

Beyond directing, Bayramov demonstrates remarkable versatility, actively contributing as an executive producer, producer, co-producer, and writer on various projects. This multi-faceted approach underscores his unwavering commitment to every aspect of filmmaking, ensuring his unique vision permeates each project he undertakes.

Bayramov’s influence extends far beyond the director’s chair. He established Old Stone Films in 2018, a full-service American film production company. Under his leadership, Old Stone Films has grown into a global leader in innovation and quality, producing an expansive repertoire encompassing feature films, commercials, documentaries, animation, and digital content. Their captivating narratives continue to enthrall audiences worldwide.

As Bayramov’s diverse background in Capoeira continues to infuse his storytelling with a unique perspective, his upcoming projects, such as Mo Better, Rhythm of the God, and American Quarantine, hold promise to further captivate audiences. With his ability to transcend traditional boundaries and his unwavering commitment to pushing creative limits, Elmar Bayramov is poised to leave an indelible mark on the world of cinema for years to come.

Intriguingly, Bayramov’s life journey transcends the silver screen. Prior to embarking on his cinematic adventure, he was a prominent figure in the world of Capoeira, serving as president of the Azerbaijan Capoeira Federation for nearly a decade. This diverse background imbues his storytelling with a distinct perspective, evident in the depth and complexity of his characters and narratives.

Bayramov’s dedication to his craft has been richly rewarded. His impressive collection of accolades includes prestigious honors bestowed by the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival, Baku International Short Film Festival, and Action on Film Mega Fest, International Film Festival The Hague, among others. These awards stand as a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence and artistic expression.

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