LOS ANGELES—The 17th Annual Arpa International Film Festival concluded on Sunday with the annual Awards Ceremony and Closing Night Gala Reception at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.
Following the screening of Jack Topalian’s comedy sitcom “Newlyweds,” Arpa International Film Festival director Michael Ashjian introduced the Festival producer Alex Kalognomos to host the closing night awards ceremony. Asking all the filmmakers to rise and take a bow, Kalognomos added “This year we were proud to host over 50 films from 16 countries. We were so very pleased to have such amazing quality films to screen this year.”
Opening night film, “Tevanik” directed by Jivan Avetisyan, was received with great enthusiasm. The following two days, the festival featured spectacular documentaries such as “Music to Madness — The Story of Komitas,” (Canada), “You Have His Eyes” (USA), “Armenian Queens: From Goddess to Slave” (Armenia), “Sumbat : The Life and Art,” (Iran), “War’s Voices” (Russia), and many more.
The Saturday and Sunday Shorts program had variety of fabulous films such as “Najez” (Iran), “Eclipse” (Armenia/Poland), “Born in Adana” (Canada), “As It Used To Be” (France), “No Love Lost” (UK), “Zugzwang” (Spain) and many others.
After the award presentation to filmmakers, AFFMA’s founder Sylvia Minassian thanked everyone who made the festival successful this year before honoring the legendary actor Mike Connors with Arpa’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for a career spanning over five decades, and the beautiful, versatile, talented actress of TV and the Big Screen Angela Sarafyan with a Rising Star Award.
Sunday’s Awards program included prestigious list of presenters; Marc Bienstock, producer; Elham Jazab, comedian; Vahik Pirhamzei, actor/director; Duke Mason, writer/political activist; Anahid Avanessian, actress; Eliz Semerjian, Telemundo; Sebastian Siegel, writer/actor; K-Von, comedian; Garo Mardirossian, esquire; Karina Weeks, actress; Anne Bedian, actress.
Awards mistress was Maria Srdic.
2014 Jury Members
This year’s distinguished panel of judges included producer/director, Marc Bienstock; VP of Production at Lotus Entertainment, Angus Sutherland; President of Feature Division at Aspire Entertainment, Campbell McInnes; Original Entertainment’s Daljit DJ Parmar; Emmy Award-winning producer, Stan Brooks; and award-winning filmmaker/actor, Sebastian Siegel.
Best Feature Film Award: “37: A Final Promise” by Randall Batinkoff (USA).
Best Director Award: “37: A Final Promise” by Randall Batinkoff (USA).
Best Documentary Film Award: “When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen RA and The Theremin” by Robert Nazar Arjoyan (USA).
Best Short Film Award: “Arena” by Martin Rath (Armenia/Poland).
Best Screenplay Award: “Tevanik” by Jivan Avetisyan (Armenia).
Best Music Video Award: “Rich Husband” (Shohare Pooldar) by Shervin Youssefian (USA).
Best Feature Audience Choice Award: “Toastmaster” by Eric Boadella and Martin Yernazian (Spain/USA).
Best Documentary Audience Choice Award: “Hannah: Buddhism’s Untold Journey” Marta Gyorgy Kessler and Adam Penn (UK).
Best Short Film Audience Choice Award: “Return of the Tyke” by Garo Berberian (UK).
Founded in 1995, AFFMA (Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art) is a non-profit organization, formed for the purpose of promoting the arts and enhancing the cultural environment of our community by supporting artists who bridge the cultural divide, unifying diverse people and cultures through the arts.
Since its inception, AFFMA has supported a spectrum of artists including writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers, designers, actors and musicians, by staging networking events, concerts, art exhibits, book signings, fashion shows, talent shows, musical performances, lectures, forums, comedy nights, special screenings, private premiers, and most significantly staging its signature event, the Arpa International Film Festival since 1997.
For over 17 years, Arpa international film festival continues to promote independent filmmakers, cultivating cultural understanding and global empathy in the heart of Hollywood. Through the generous support of our donors and sponsors, our yearly film festival event inspires people of all backgrounds and creates opportunities for creative expression. Arpa’s dedicated production team is committed to make a difference in fueling the global arena of independent cinema.
The committee has already begun working on the 2015 Arpa International Film festival. Individuals interested in joining the festival committee should contact AFFMA.
There were some interesting films at this years Arpa film festival. If however,Arpa has been trying to promote dialogue and understanding between different cultures,then in my humble opinion,”MAROOSYA”documentary should at least deserve a mention(disapppintingly ,the only mention it got is “and others”.This documentary was directed by a young Iranian,Navid Mikhak who was only 21 at the time when he directed this film. It depicts the life of an Armenian artist,musician,linguist and an important person in the scene of the Armenian tbeater life in Iran,spanning ovet 75 years. She overcame major hurdles in terms of gender discrimnation in the field of painting,theater and art in general. In the documentary,at the age of 93,she was still hoping to stage yet another play on stage. We are not talking about Paris,we are talking about Tabriz,Iran. To achieve what she had (without any wealthy patrons or make protegees- she lost her husband in 1963 and never married again),I think at least merits a mention. Thank you.