February 23 - Baku 2020 has today launched a new video directed by award-winning Hollywood director Rupert Wainwright bringing its Applicant City to life.
The seven-minute video outlines the four clusters detailed in the recently submitted Applicant File, as well as some of the venues that will be used if the city is elected as Host City for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
Filmed and produced by Wainwright, who directed the film The Fog and has also worked on music videos with with Michael Jackson and MC Hammer, the video mixes images of the futuristic development already taking place in Azerbaijani capital with computer-generated images of how the city will look in time for 2020, including the 182 m (597 ft) $350 million (£222 million/€262 million) Flame Towers (pictured), due to completion later this year.
Under the plans contained in the Applicant City file, which was delivered to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Lausanne last week, there will be four clusters containing the venues to host the 28 sports that will make up the Games.
All of them are based within easy reach of the capital, officials claim.
These include the waterfront cluster, which will host sailing, which means the sport would be staged in the centre of the city for the first time since Sydney in 2000.
The Olympic Stadium cluster would be built on remediated land and includes the main $485.2 million (£308.1 million/€362.8 million) stadium (pictured), which is already under construction and is due to be opened in 2015 with a capacity of 65,000 raising to 80,000 for the Games, and the aquatics centre.
Azerbaijani officials are confident that the plans, which are completed with the White City and airport clusters, is much better than the one they submitted for their unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics when they failed to make the shortlist.
"We know our Applicant City file is very strong on the technical side," Konul Nurullayeva, the chief executive of Baku 2020, told insidethegames.
"Compared to 2016 it is very different.
"We believe that if Baku stages the Olympics it will be the catalyst for change, inspiring millions of young people, not only in Azerbaijan, but across the whole region."
One of the challenges that Baku faces is ensuring that the IOC Executive Board members who will make the decision in Quebec City on May 23 about whether they make the make the shortlist are fully aware of Azerbaijan's growing economic power.
Two thirds of Azerbaijan, the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, is rich in oil and natural gas.
Baku officials are hoping they can get their message across with the help of the British-born Wainwright (pictured), who has previously worked on videos for Sochi's successful bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics and Paralympics and Russia's winning campaign to stage the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It is part of $8 million (£5 million/€6 million) that Baku is spending on the first stage of its campaign.
"Baku is one of the world's best kept secrets," said Nurullayeva.
"Visitors are always taken by surprise by its beauty.
"Today, Baku is both a historic city – with an ancient and perfectly preserved Old City that is a world heritage site – as well as an outward-looking high-tech city, fast becoming a global meeting place.
"Azerbaijan is rapidly building a world-class knowledge-based economy focusing on education, sport, science and technology – and our Bid to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020 is part of that vision and perfectly integrated with the transformations taking place in the city today.
"I hope that this video gives people who have not yet had the chance to visit our country the opportunity to see some of the pleasures they are missing.
"The ancient tradition of hospitality is deeply ingrained in every Azerbaijani.
"We so much look forward to welcoming the world to our city."
To watch the video click here.
To see the full contents of the Baku 2020 Application File click here (13.5 MB).
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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