Ilkin Yusif

Ilkin Yusif

Looking For A Hero

Set out find a hero for his next picture, the director asks every stranger he encounters if they are the hero he looks for or do they know more suitable candidate for this role. The movie depicts the portrait of current Azerbaijani people.

In October of 2019, I have kicked the road as a guerilla filmmaker – with no shooting schedule, just a camera and a mic. In order to uncover the national characteristics, the wishes and desires, as well as the problems of people, I started to look for a people, who would agree to feature in the film. I just filmed the people I have encountered along the way. It is the first portrait film of Azerbaijan and a perfect sample of “Cinema Verite”. One can get closely acquainted with the country, just by watching the film.

Delving into the lives of random people in Azerbaijan, the author experiences first-hand experience of the people’s lives. The actors are absolutely random – ranging from truck drivers to the famous national poet – and all of them reflect separate aspects of country life. Philosophy, survival, daily struggles are all entwined in haphazard encounters along the journey. After two years later the author revisits all the previous “actors” and get them acquainted with the first part of the film.


People get anxious in front of cameras, lights and microphones, and this greatly hinders the natural shooting process. The people I have encountered during my journey were unaware of the shooting equipment, and therefore were ultimately sincere in their conversations. Two years later, I have found the people featured in the film and together we watched it.

“Looking for a Hero” won multiple awards. It received the “Humay” Award for Best Documentary at the Baku International Cultural Society and the “New EYE” Award for Best Documentary Feature at the DokuBaku IDFF. The film has also been recognized by the Azerbaijan Union of Filmmakers (AUF) for its exceptional directorial work.