16th Golden Apricot Film Festival Kicks Off

A scene from the festivals red carpet event on July 7

YEREVAN (GAIFF)—One of the most spectacular events of the capital, the 16th Golden Apricot International Film Festival kicked off on Sunday. The General Partner of the event, VivaCell-MTS, has been by the festival’s side for 14 years in a row. Armenian film lovers and cinema professionals will have the privilege to enjoy masterpieces of international cinematography for a week till July 14.

The 16th ”Golden Apricot” festival officially opened at Karen Demirchyan Sports and Concerts Complex. The renowned guests and the participants of competition and non-competition programs appeared on the red carpet before the start of the ceremony.

Founding director of the festival Harutyun Khachatryan and VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian greeted the public attending the opening ceremony.

”I once again welcome the founders of the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival, who have entrusted their work to the younger generation this year. I also welcome the people, who love movies, art and gathered in the big halls to discover new movies. Over the years, the “Golden Apricot,” which enriches the cultural life of Armenia, has set a high standard among cinema lovers not only in our country, but also in other countries. It has become a unique platform for artistic thinking and world perception. I wish everyone a pleasant time, a new professional adventure and bright impressions,” VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian noted.

“This year many things about the festival have changed, for example the staff, the design, the logo, and many ideas have been revised. The festival director has changed. However, our general partner, VivaCell-MTS and its General Manager Ralph Yirikian has not changed, and we are extremely glad for that. And we, as always, announce the opening of the festival with Yirikian, and we hope that together we will always announce the launch of the festival,” stated Harutyun Khachatryan, Founding director of the festival.

The festival opened with the screening of movie “Parasite” by Joon-ho Bong.

This year, the IFF has received over 740 films from different countries and has selected a number of films from prestigious international film festivals such as the festivals in Cannes, Berlin, Rotterdam, for the program. The festival will have feature films (including fiction and documentary films), as well as short regional film contests. The non-competition program will feature a regional panorama contest. The rest of the programs such as Yerevan Premieres, Retrospectives, Tribute and Twisted Apricot are non-competitive.

The screening of the films, by the special guests of the festival, will be held within the frameworks of the Retrospective program. Four films by Carlos Reygadas and two films by Arthur Aristakisyan will be presented.

”Yerevan Premieres” program includes such films as “Synonyms” by NadavLapid, “Present.Perfect.” by Zhu Shengze, “The Man Who Surprised Everyone” by Aleksey Chupov, Natalya Merkulova, “By The Grace of God” by Francois Ozon etc.

The jury president of the 16th GAIFF International Long-Term Competition Program is Aleksandr Mindadze. The jury consists of director Nicolas Wadimoff (Switzerland), director, Tehran International Film Festival President Reza Mirkarimi (Iran), producer, Executive Director of Tribeca Film Festival Amy Hobby (U.S.A.), producer Elizabeth Karlsen (U.K.), film critic Paolo Bertolin (Italy), actress, director Nino Kirtadze (France).

The jury president of the regional short film competition is director Pippo Mezzapesa (Italy). The jury also includes Operator Norayr Kasper (Canada) and Clermont-Ferrand Film Festival Program Director Georges Bollon.

The best film of the feature films competition will be presented during the closing ceremony of the IFF.

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