CANNES – U.K. director Asif Kapadia has signed on to direct Oscar-winning screenwriter Christopher Hampton’s adaptation of the classic novel Ali and Nino. Adam Bakri, who was nominated for the best Foreign Language Film award on the 86th Academy Awards, will be playing the main role in the film. The film will be produced by Kris Thykier, with Leyla Aliyeva serving as executive producer. The project is scheduled to go into production in the first quarter of 2014.
An epic love story set in Azerbajan, Ali and Nino was first published in German in 1937 by an author writing under the pseudonym Kurban Said. The identity of the author has long been a subject of controversy. The novel is set against the historical backdrop of the First World War on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution and the beginnings of the Soviet Union. It tells the love story of Ali Khan Shirvanshir, the male descendant of a royal Muslim family and Nino Kipiani, a beautiful, Christian, Georgian princess.