“After Freedom” at the Montreal World Film Festival

"After Freedom," a feature film by Vahe Babaian–will have its international premiere at the 2002 Montreal World Film Festival between August 22nd through September 2.

"After Freedom" had its Los Angeles premiere at the 2002 Method Fest Film Festival. The film was awarded the Audience Award–voted as the best picture of the festival.

The scheduled screenings were sold out and more screenings were added due to popular demand. Its director-writer Vahe Babaian depicts a great tale of a unique portrait of outsiders’ struggle to survive in America.

The Montreal World Film Festival is among the most prestigious film festivals worldwide. The notion of the cinematic "author" and that of the "independent" cinema are probably more in evidence at the Montreal festival than anywhere else in the world. The festival’s ability to display the potential of filmmakers and cinemas from around the world–without bias or prejudgement–is the Festival’s greatest achievement. It is the festival’s openness and generosity of spirit that has earned the respect of the public and the filmmakers–and their enduring loyalty. For more information about the festival visit www.ffm-montreal.org/en_index.html or call (514) 848-3883.

Award winning film–"After Freedom," is a raw and realistic presentation of a grown man caught between his desperate need for an identity versus his sense of debt to those who got him to America.

Wim Wenders (a winner at the Cannes Film Festival and highly acclaimed director of "Wings of Desire,"Paris–Texas" and"Buena Vista Social Club") said–"I was impressed with ‘After Freedom.’ It seems unlikely to find a film in the ‘mean streets’ genre that actually owes more to reality than to other movies. There was an existential urgency and truth to it that stuck with me."

Atom Egoyan (an Academy Award nominee and the director of "Exotica,"The Sweet Hereafter," and the recent "Ararat") said–"Heartfelt–sensitive and always entertaining–’After Freedom’ is a compassionate and moving portrait of a community; it hopes–dreams–disappointmen’s and small triumphs."

Kevin Thomas (LA Times–Chief Film Critic) said–"…taut–well-wrought drama…engrossing…"

Todd McCarthy (Chief Film Critic–"Variety") said–"…a heartfelt…honest…feature from LA-based Armenian filmmaker Vahe Babaian…expressing the cultural dislocations and conflicting emotional deman’s…distinctively flavored pic(ture)…will play well at indie (events)…the writer-director’s unmistakable and undiluted need to express the issues…sets of unusual cultural frissons–and the dramatic urgency is happily unencumbered by an artificial sense of desperation."

Director-Writer Vahe Babaian’s goal with "After Freedom" was to express something more than the regular clichd neighborhood film.

"What’s important to me is I’m trying to portray what happens when a person thinks he’s missed the boat. What happens after you get what you think you want? With ‘After Freedom,’ I have the chance to show–in an honest way–what I’ve seen in America–portraying people that are not often depicted on the screen–a neighborhood that hasn’t been seen–a way of life that hasn’t been shown."

The people he portrays are American-Armenia’s in the neighborhood of Glendale–California–as they assimilate to the ways of life in the United States.

"After Freedom" was filmed in and around Glendale–California. Vahe Babaian chose to make it independently in spite of offers from production companies to purchase the screenplay. He felt he had to tell this personal story of trials and tribulations surrounding a neighborhood he grew up in–capturing the sights–sounds and characters of Glendale–California–where the largest community of Armenia’s resides outside of Armenia.

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