Arpa International Film Festival to Kick Off at Historic Egyptian Theatre

HOLLYWOOD The 2006 Arpa International Film Festival will present three programs of Armenian films on Thursday, October 26 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. At 6 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 11:45 p.m., Arpa will screen 12 films by Armenian filmmakers, starring Armenian actors, and addressing the unique circumstances of the Armenian people. Highlights include Shant Hamassian’s "The Slowww Zombie"; "The Long Journey Home" about international opera singer Isabel Bayrakdarian; Dorothe Forma’s "The Story of My Name"; Producer Gev Kazanchyan’s "The Foundation Project" about the phenomena of Qi; Peter Musurlian’s "The Long Journey from the NFL to Armenia" about lineman Rien Long’s visit to Armenia; Apo Torosyan’s "Witnesses" and "The Gates"; James Martin’s "Vort"; and Paul Abajian’s "You Can Handle Bullies," an AMA Alliance PSA on school bullying with US Olympian Lindsay Benko. "Arpa’s goal is to connect Hollywood with the works of these local and international Armenian filmmakers," says festival director Alex Kalognomos. "It’s ambitious. We have 600 seats to fill every 2 hours with the most outstanding films for every type of moviegoer including a midnight film program for the under-30 set. Armenian organizations and community coalitions, as well as all the young Armenian filmmakers and their fans are coming out to support Arpa on Thursday night!" Arpa will screen 30 feature, documentary, short and animated films from Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Greece, Lebanon, Netherlands, South Africa, the U.K. and the US. Also included will be a retrospective of Dr. J. Michael Hagopian’s "Germany and the Secret Genocide." This year, Arpa will honor the 92 year-old Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker with a star-studded gala awards banquet at the Brandview Collection on Friday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m.. Dr. Hagopian is receiving the Armin T. Wegner Award for his Trilogy of films about the Armenian Genocide. Carla Garapedian, director of 2006’s "Screamers" about System of a Down, will present Dr. Hagopian with a lifetime achievement award for his 6 decade-long career in cinema. Arpa welcomes back local television personality Jill Simonian (KTLA, W.E.Connections) as emcee. Celebrities scheduled to present awards include actors Virginia Madsen, Jessica Biel, and Greg Zarian; film producer Michael London ("Sideways"); and talent manager Phil Brock. The Arpa gala awards banquet, to be held at the Brandview Collection (109 East Harvard St., Glendale), promises to be a night of glamour and entertainment in the name of Armenian and International cinema. Tickets to the film festival are $11. Tickets to the Arpa awards gala: tax deductible donation of $100. And tickets to the Arpa Fest Launch Party at Cinespace are $20. For a schedule of films or to reserve tickets for the Arpa Awards Banquet honoring Dr. J. Michael Hagopian visit www.AFFMA.org or call (323) 663-1882.

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