BOSTON–The Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance is proud to present the Second Annual Armenian Film Festival at The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston from May 1 to 3. The festival celebrates Armenian culture, heritage, language and filmmakers with films ranging from the documentary to the dramatic. The festival kicks off on Friday evening, May 1st, at 7:00 pm, with The Blue Hour by Eric Nazarian, a film following several strangers in Los Angeles whose stories of loss and hope cross in small but sometimes profound ways. This will be followed by a Q&A with the director Eric Nazarian, after which a welcome reception will take place for the film makers and attendees.
On Saturday, May 2, at 5 p.m., the focus will be French Armenian filmmakers, with films from Serge Avedikian, Levon Minasian and Varant Soudjian. Saturday evening programming will conclude with The Mermaid directed by Ana Melikyan and produced by Robert Dishdishyan. This charming contemporary fairy tale follows a young girl who discovers she has the power to make people’s wishes come true. This film was Russia’s entry for the 2009 Academy Awards.
Sunday afternoon, May 3 will begin at 3 p.m. with programming for a younger audience, beginning with 12 short music videos, produced by Armenian film makers, for the politically aware band System of a Down. The main feature presentation will be FLOAT, a film by Hrach Titizian shot in Glendale, CA with Armenian actors. The director will be available for a Q&A and a cocktail hour from 5 to 6 p.m., which will be open to the audience.
Sunday night will conclude with the new film Autumn by Ozcan Alper shown in the Hamshen dialect with subtitles. Autumn tells the tale of a political prisoner after his release. This debut feature from Alper has been winning numerous awards.
This year’s festival is sponsored by Alfred Demirjian and Techfusion.com and programmed by Bianca Bagatourian and Jane Minasian.
TICKETS: MFA members, seniors, and students $10; general admission $12. Opening night tickets $25 MFA members, seniors and students $20. To purchase please call the box office at 617-369-3306 or purchase online at www.mfa.org/film.
The Blue Hour
preceded by Dinner Time
Fri, May 1, 7 pm
The Blue Hour by Eric Nazarian (2007, 93 min). In The Blue Hour several strangers in Los Angeles weave their stories of loss and hope, not knowing that their lives are connected in small but sometimes profound ways. A multi-ethnic ensemble drama, the film explores the connections between a Mexican graffiti muralist, an Armenian camera repairman, an African-American blues guitarist, and an English pensioner living near the Los Angeles River. The subtle film actively engages the audience to connect the dots and shows Krzysztof Kieslowski’s and Robert Bresson’s influence on Nazarian. Dinner Time by Gor Baghdasaryan (Armenia, 2006, 3 min.). Shot in the northern Armenian town of Vanadzor, this short film shows a very poor family having dinner in a small hut.
The Mermaid (Rusalka)
preceded by Ligne de Vie
Sat, May 2, 8 pm
The Mermaid (Rusalka) by Anna Melikyan (Russia, 2008, 100 min). In this charming film, a young girl, Alisa, takes a vow of silence to protest her mom’s refusal to enroll her in ballet class. When her silence is mistaken for an intellectual disability, Alisa is sent to a special-needs school in a rural town. With the help of another student, Alisa discovers she can make people’s wishes come true. When she turns eighteen and moves to Moscow, she wonders if her extraordinary gift might also be a curse. Similar in style and tone to Amelie, Mermaid features digital deception to enhance the fantastical elements. The original Russian title refers to the water sprit of Slavic myth, also referenced in Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid.” In Russian with English subtitles. Ligne de Vie by Serge Av?dikian (France, 2003, 12 min.). In this animated film, Av?dikian illustrates the lives and dreams of captured soldiers.
preceded by System of a Down Music Videos
Sun, May 3, 3 pm
Float by Johnny Asuncion and Hrach Titizian (2008, 95 min). An ice cream parlor is the centerpiece of this quirky dramatic comedy with a unique visual style. Ray, the owner, separates from his long-time wife and decides to move in with his bachelor employees, Gevorg and Ramon. Things get complicated when Ray’s daughter, Emily, arrives to help reconcile her parent’s relationship and forms a bond with Gevorg, Ramon considers marrying a beautiful Armenian girl, but falls for her best friend, Tami instead. Float tells the stories of very different people trying to connect with each other and themselves. System of a Down Music Videos by George Tonikian (12 min.). The four members of this Grammy Award winning American rock band are of Armenian origin and are know for their politically charged songs about Armenian genocide, Capitalism, discrimination, and pacifism.
Three Documentaries by Serge Av?dikian: We Drank the Same Water
(Nous avons bu le m?me eau) preceded by Lux Aeterna and Terra Emota
Sat, May 2, 5 pm
We Drank the Same Water (Nous avons bu le m?me eau) (France, 2007, 72 min.). When Serge Av?dikian was invited to a theater festival in Istanbul in 1987, he could not resist crossing the Sea of Marmara to go and seek the town his Armenian grandfather lived in. The day he spent in this town left him with haunting memories. Incomplete, half-stolen images remained, revealing the furtive traces of an Armenian community forced to leave in the 1920s. Most of the film centers on Av?dikian’s return to Soloz in 2006 and attempts to restore the dialogue between Armenians and Turks and enable people to turn their minds to the future without forgetting their past. In French with English subtitles. Lux Aeterna by Serge Av?dikian and Levon Minasian (1998, 11 min.). On December 7, 1988, a terrible earthquake ravaged an entire region of Armenia, including its second-largest city, Leninakan. Several hours after the seismic shock, the directors began to film the devastation. Terra Emota by Serge Av?dikian and Levon Minasian (1999, 10 min.). Ten years after the terrible earthquake that destroyed the city of Leninakan, the directors returned to the scene to record the city and its inhabitants.
preceded by The Second Wind
Sun, May 3, 6 pmAutumn (Sonbahar)(2008, 106 min.) by Ozan Alper, tells the story of a man struggling after his release after ten years as a political prisoner. He returns to his home near the Black Sea and falls in love with a Georgian prostitute. (Turkish, Georgian, Hamshen dialogue) A powerfully realized inner journey, this is a debut film by the first film maker from this region. The Second Wind by Varant Soudjian (France, 2008, 18 min.). The story of a young pickpocket living in a small village.