The 10th Anniversary of the Arpa International Film Festival which took place from Nov.2 to Nov.4 at the Egyptian theater in Hollywood , screened 115 films from 23 different countries. This year, films made by Armenian filmmakers and Armenian-themed films constituted 30% of the films screened, from short films to documentary to feature films.
New talents as well as veteran filmmakers showcased their films to capacity audiances. Films such as the "Blue Hour" by director Eric Nazarian, "The War Prayer" by director Michael Goorjian, "Harutiun Dallalian" by director Arthur Bakhtamian, "The Curse of Wally’s Tears" by producer Aram Tertzakian, "About God" by director Varoujan Havakimyan, "The Peopl’s Advocate" by director Hrag Yedalian, "A Glimpse of Paradise" (featuring tile artist from Jerusalem, Marie Balian)by director Yael Datzir, "Stone Touch Time" by director Garine Torossian, "Big Story in a Small City" by director Gor Kirakosian, "Screamers" by director Carla Garapedian, "Mardik: From Baghdad to Hollywood" by Ramy Katrib, "Parallel Cut" by director Edgar Metro, "Karastan, Land of tones" by director Celine Gulekjian, "Voices" by director Apo Torosyan, "Poisoning for Profit" by director Hayk Kbeyan, "The Recipe" by director Levon Mardikyan, "Revamped" by producers Vatche and Vahe Garabedian, "A Cry from Iran" by directors Joseph and Andre Hovsepian, "Strunga" by producer Mihai Cazazian, "Prelude of Silence" by director Gaya Gasparian, "Tabriz" by producers Zaven Khatchaturian and Edwin Avaness, and last but not least 12 Music Videos from Serj Tankian’s new album "Elect the Dead" by such directors as Roger Kupelian, Diran Noubar, Tony Petrossian, Sevag Vrej, Ara Soudjian and Garine Torossian.
The festivities ended on Sunday night with a Gala Awards Banquet, a star studded sold out black tie optional event which honored legendary screenwriter Mardik Martin, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, whose films which include "Raging Bull", "Mean Streets", "Valentino", "New York,New York", have left a huge mark on American Cinema.
The spectacular event, hosted by Broadway’s leading man Brent Barrett, also awarded the Academy Award Nominated actress Shoreh Aghdashloo from "The House of Sand and Fog" with a Career Achievement Award, Carla Garapedian with the Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award for her film "Screamers", and Ken Davitian with Comedic Performance Award for "Borat".
Some of the celebrities attending the Gala were actresses Kat Kramer, Francis Fisher, Emily Rios, Angelica Castro, Katherine Bailess, also actors Christian de la Fuente, Emmy Award winner Michael Goorjian, screenwriter Mark Fergus and his wife Julie, Rocco G and Kris Tharit. The Holly Scoop Girls amused the crowd with their gig, and singer Nathalie Der Mesropian entertained the audience with her great performance of "Cabaret’s" classic song "Mein Herr."
The Founding member of Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art (AFFMA), Sylvia Minassian who gave Arpa its name after the Arpa river of Armenia, expressed her gratitude to the director of Arpa International Film Festival Alex Kalognomos, co-director Tina Yesayan, Film Curator Zaven Khatchaturian, Avo Yermagyan of Gaudy PR and to all the committee members for their creative wealth, dedication and teamwork.