Germany, Azerbaijan, 2015 | 77 Minutes | A film by Imam Hasanov

One man’s dream of bringing a European cow in his picturesque village in Azerbaijan unsettles the conservative community that wants to keep their secular traditions intact.


    Tapdig has a dream of bringing a European cow into his picturesque village in Azerbaijan to improve the condition of his poor family. He decides to call it Madona. His passion unsettles the traditional community, the old men see a threat in having a foreign cow among them as they say its milk is full of chemicals.

    Even his wife Vafa does not want to take care of such a strange breed. But Tapdig is ready to risk it all and challenges the conservative mentality to open up and rethink the attitude. How do human beings handle change while remaining true to their own traditions?

    HOLY COW questions the prejudices against the unknown and how ready are we to accept a newcomer.


    Imam Hasanov is an emerging filmmaker from Quba, Azerbaijan. He studied film directing at the Baku State University of Arts and Culture. After his graduation he successfully participated in Studio Ateliers Varan in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2006 – directed by Jean Rush. Thereafter he directed several theater productions at the Baku Camera Theater, including the play ALI AND NINO. Since 2008, he has regularly directed films for Azerbaijani state television. In 2014 Imam was selected for BERLINALE TALENTS.


    Imam Hasanov

    Sarvar Javadov

    Philipp Gromov

    Jalil Mamadov

    Andra Popescu
    Veronika Janatková
    Stefan Kloos

    Le Trio Joubran
    Fikret Nasirov

    Color Grading
    Jan Ali Moravec

    Production Crew Azerbaijzan
    Alakbar Aliyev
    Matanat Babayeva

    Production Crew Germany
    Loraine Blumenthal
    Ali Aliyev, Raji Baxishov
    Anja Dziersk
    Corine Gasser
    Michaela Pňačeková

    Re-recording Mixing
    Martin Blauber

    Sound Design
    Thomas Wallmann
    Niklas Kammertöns

    Supervising Editors
    Francois Scullier
    Per K. Kirkegaard

    Free Art
    Kloos & Co. Medien

    ZDF in collaboration with ARTE

    Commissioning Editor ZDF /ARTE
    Ann-Christin Hornberger


    Doha Film Institute
    Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg
    Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program


    World Premiere
    IDFA – International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam 2015, The Netherlands

    Further Festivals (Selection)
    Hot Docs International Documentary Festival 2016, Canada
    South East European Film Festival 2016, Los Angeles, USA
    DocPoint Helsinki Documentary Film Festival 2016, Finland
    One World – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2016, Prague, Czech Republic
    Crossing Europe Film Festival 2016, Linz, Austria
    Transilvana International Film Festival 2016, Cluj, Romania
    This Human World – Vienna International Human Rights Film Festival 2016, Vienna, Austria
    Millenium Docs Against Gravity 2016, Poland
    CinéDoc-Tbilisi – International Documentary Film Festival 2016, Georgia
    Anûû-rû Aboro International Documentary Film Festival, New Caledonia, France
    Image Festival Baku, Azerbaijan