Private Project

Dialogues with Zuleyha

The film is about Zuleyha Abdullayeva, a professional pianist and healer from Azerbaijan. Her patient, filmmaker Rashid Aghamaliyev, sets on an intimate journey into the art of music therapy.

  • Rashid Aghamaliyev
    Director / Producer
  • Zuleyha Abdullayeva
    Key Cast
  • Rashid Aghamaliyev
    Key Cast
  • Vidhi Mehrotra
    Key Cast
  • Zuleyha Abdullayeva
    Music
  • Jorge Sánchez Calderón
    Editor
  • Nina Ščamborová
    Cinematographer
  • Nazrin Alizadeh
    Graphic designer / Production asisstant
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 15, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    Azerbaijan
  • Country of Filming:
    Czech Republic, Turkey
  • Language:
    Azerbaijani, English, Turkish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • CinéDOC Tbilisi Documentary Film Festival
    Tbilisi
    Georgia
    September 23, 2020
    European
    Special Screenigs
  • Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
    Jihlava
    Czech Republic
    October 31, 2020
    East Silver Market
  • Baku International Short Film Festival
    Baku
    Azerbaijan
    December 6, 2020
    Diploma of the Jury in Local Competition - Short Documentary
  • DokuBaku International Documentary Film Festival
    Baku
    Azerbaijan
    October 27, 2020
    Local Competition - Short Documentary
  • YARAT Contemporary Art Space
    Baku
    Azerbaijan
    January 15, 2020
    Azerbaijani premiere
  • The Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers
    Baku
    Azerbaijan
    January 17, 2020
  • Salaam Cinema
    Baku
    Azerbaijan
    January 18, 2020
Director Biography

After graduation from Palacky University Olomouc with a degree in Film studies and English Philology, he studied Philosophy in Utrecht University (the Netherlands) and Film Production in FAMU International (Czech Republic). He is a founder and director Azerbaijan’s first International Animation Festival ANIMAFILM.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

The film is very personal, because it is based on something that happened to me in 2016. Zuleyha played for me when I was in bad shape following a difficult surgery in a hospital in Prague (Czech Republic). Our music therapy sessions took place online, because Zuleyha is based in Selçuk (Turkey).

After I recovered from the disease, we finally managed to meet in Baku (Azerbaijan) where I took a long interview with her trying to understand her method. After the interview, I realized that I wanted to make a film about this lady and reflect on my experience.

With the help of this film, I wanted to learn more about music therapy and convey my experience to the audience. My approach however is more poetic than scientific. That means that I am not trying to persuade the audience with scientific facts about music therapy. Instead, I concentrate on Zuleyha’s charisma and the atmosphere of the music she creates and how I and other people perceive it.

My main inspiration comes from the films of French filmmakers Vincent Moon and Stephan Talneau. Vincent Moon's style is defined by a non-narrative approach and by playing with the atmosphere that is created by the music itself. To play with the atmosphere means to unite the style of the film with the music being played. It is when a filmmaker (a film) and the music that is heard from the screen become one entity. Stephan Talneau's (SAZ Film) style also influenced me in the sense that I tried to give meaning to the music, define its role in our lives and tell a story—the story of me and Zuleyha.