Velvet Revolution Documentary Screened at Toronto Film Festival

Anna Hakobyan, the spouse of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, was among those who attended the world premiere of "I am Not Alone"
Anna Hakobyan, the spouse of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, was among those who attended the world premiere of "I am Not Alone"

Anna Hakobyan, the spouse of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, was among those who attended the world premiere of “I am Not Alone”

TORONTO, Canada—The Armenian revolution documentary “I Am Not Alone,” directed by Garin Hovannisian and executive produced by Serj Tankian, premiered to a sold-out crowd Saturday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival. The wife of Armenia’s Prime Minister, Anna Hakobyan, also attended the world premiere. The head of TIFF Docs, Thom Powers, introduced the film as a “must-see for anyone who wants to make sense of recent history.”

The highly anticipated premiere took place at the Scotiabank Theater and drew a capacity crowd of film-lovers, entertainment executives, human rights leaders, and government officials, including Armenia’s Ambassador to Canada Anahit Harutyunyan and United States Ambassador to Canada Richard Mills.

“You might view this film as a political thriller,” said Hovannisian, the director of the documentary. “Or a drama with high educational value. For me, this film is most like a fairytale.”

The film’s first audience reacted with a thunderous standing ovation, as the filmmakers took the stage after the premiere for a Q&A. Hovannisian, Tankian, and Hakobyan were joined there by editor Barry Poltermann (“Jim & Andy”), executive producers Raffi Hovannisian and Dan Braun (“Wild Wild Country”), and producers Alec Mouhibian (“1915”) and Eric Esrailian (“The Promise,” “Intent to Destroy”).

“It was a thrilling experience to watch the film. What our people accomplished deserves to be presented to the world. I am sure that this film will do it wonderfully,” remarked Anna Hakobyan, mentioning that the fairytale of the velvet revolution was possible also due to the crucial and determined role of Armenian women.

“This film is unique as it holds the secret key to accomplishing progressive change anywhere in the world, utilizing decentralized civil disobedience,” added Serj Tankian, who also composed the original score for the film.

“I Am Not Alone” has generated significant buzz among potential distributors at the festival, as its second festival screening on Monday, September 9, has also sold out. The third and final screening will take place on September 15 at the Scotiabank Theater. Audience members can vote for I Am Not Alone to win the festival’s People’s Choice Award online.

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