The 24th Arpa International Film Festival, one of Hollywood’s longest running film festivals, streamed 70 Films from 21 different countries, showcasing featured films, Documentaries, Shorts, Animated films and Music Videos from November 20 to December 5. This year’s festival once more highlighted a diverse range of films that explored themes such as genocide, war, environmentalism, music, art, and variety of issues.
The Festival’s opening took place on November 20, at the newly renovated AMC Theater located at the heart of Americana with the U.S. premiere screening of “The American Good Samaritans” by Man Pictures Production.
The evening started with the welcoming remarks of the Mistress of Ceremonies Jackie Boyajian Minassian, who invited the founder of the Festival, Sylvia Minassian to the podium. Mrs. Minassian expressed her sincere appreciation to the community for their continued support in helping cultivate the works of many talented independent filmmakers who made a huge dent in our world.
Festival’s Jury Liaison Sonia Keshishian, before her introduction of the documentary, “The American Good Samaritans,” gave a big shout-out congratulating Festival Director Maral Kazazian, the key player in bringing this extraordinary film to Los Angeles.
“The American Good Samaritans” by Man Pictures Production reveals the untold story of how thousands of fearless and compassionate, ordinary Americans helped refugees and survivors of the Armenian Genocide believe in a better future. The film is dedicated to the memory of American humanitarians who helped make the world a better place. Without their determination and dedication, entire populations could have perished. American writers, genocide scholars and survivors, and other independent researchers reveal the details related to the genocides of Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek populations, carried out by the Ottoman Empire (today’s Turkey).
Worthy of the utmost recognition is Ara Mnatsakanyan, whose focus on every detail was truly remarkable. The gifted director of the film holds the true meaning of his name, “Mnatsakanyan” which will remain in the cinematic arena for decades to come. Also commendable is the film’s Composer, Artashes Kartalyan’s music which was the heartbeat and the energy that touched the soul.
The evening continued with the screening of Sebastian Siegal’s film “Grace and Grit,” which was based on the true story of the iconic philosopher Ken Wilber and his wife Treya. In 2014, during the 17th Arpa International Film Festival, we were honored to have Jury Member and Director Sebastian Siegel on the Arpa team, who graced our festival with his films and documentaries.
Arpa International Film Festival, over the course of two decades, continues to bring the finest films from across the globe, remaining the longest-run festival in Los Angeles dear to so many artists and filmgoers.
The festival committee salutes and celebrates the entire Man Pictures production team and Producer, Manvel Saribekyan, filmmaker and director, Sebastian Siegel for creating a remarkable evening with their powerful messages. We also thank Mr. Zaven Khnajian, CEO and Director of AAMA, and ZQ Entertainment for sponsoring the evening.
We look forward to welcoming our film-loving audience and filmmakers to our 25th Arpa International Film Festival, a milestone that will be celebrated in person.
The 2021 Arpa International Film Festival’s award winners are:
- Best Feature Narrative Film: The Grand Bolero Directed By Gabriele Fabbro (Italy)
- Best Feature-Length Documentary Film: The Desire To Live Directed By Mariam Avetisian (Armenia)
- Best Short Documentary Film Award: Storgetnya Directed By Hovig Hagopian (France)
- Best Short Film: Nunik Directed By Yelena Arshakyan (Armenia)
- Best Music Video: How Many Times? Directed By Roger Kupelian (United States)
- Best Animated Film: The Cat Directed By Mary Apick (United States)