The 2007 Arpa International Film Festival will present 115 films over three days during their 10th annual film festival at the Egyptian Theater.
Festival happenings are to include an Opening Night Screening Party featuring recording artist Serj Tankian’s (voice of System of a Down) twelve new music videos from his highly anticipated solo album release "Elect The Dead"; Other highlight films include the following features, documentaries, and short films:
The Blue Hour, directed by Eric Nazarian – Saturday, Nov. 3, 8:30 p.m.
Set in a working-class neighborhood by the Los Angeles River, The Blue Hour is composed of four stories examining the everyday lives of a Mexican graffiti muralist, an Armenian camera repairman, a Blues guitarist and an elderly pensioner. Each story is peripherally tied to the Los Angeles River, exploring the delicate ties between strangers who rarely communicate yet share brief momen’s of connection. Featuring an appearance by Eric Burdon.
Big Story in a Small City, directed by Gor Kirakosian – Saturday, Nov. 3, 10:30 p.m.
In Armenia, the dead are traditionally taken to the morgue for cosmetic preparation before they are returned home for viewing. A deceased professor gets mixed up at the morgue with a look-alike, and not even his closest relatives notice the blunder. Worse, the wrong guy is a fierce mobster, whose family also mourns unsuspectingly for their %u218father’ at their home. Based on a true story, this hilarious comedy won the Best Foreign Film Award at the Beverly Hills Film Festival this year.
A Cry From Iran Saturday, Nov. 3, 10 a.m.
Directors Joseph and Andre Hovsepian tell the story about their father, “superintendent Haik Hovsepian” and several other of Iran’s Christian converts from Islam, who fought for freedom of religion and become the victims of their belief, and paid the ultimate price;their lives.
A Glimpse of Paradise, directed by Yael Katzir – Saturday, Nov. 3, 12 p.m.
Marie Balian, an Armenian ceramic artist (born in Lyon, France) belongs to the old Armenian community in Jerusalem. For 40 years, she has painted traditional designs on tiles and pottery for Christians, Muslims and Jews. The film documen’s her monumental work focusing on the process of ceating “The Glimpse of Paradise”, a 1,000-tile mural she donated to Jerusalem as a homage for hope and peace
Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood, directed by Evan York – Saturday, Nov. 3, 6:45 p.m.
Mardik Martin may be one of cinema’s most important screenwriters, yet least well-known. Mardik: Baghdad to Hollywood, a feature length documentary – nine years in the making – traces one of the most unlikely journeys in American film history. His tumultuous life embodies the strife of attaining the American Dream; from Iraq to NYU Film School, from busboy to writing Raging Bull, from being the hottest writer in New York to losing it all in Los Angeles, from forsaking his craft to becoming a favorite screenwriting teacher at the University of Southern California.Narration: Madik Martin.
Parallel Cut, directed by Edgar Metro – Friday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m.
A sexy, seductive hitman is hired to murder John Favera, the neighbor of a well known mob boss (John Gotti), who has tragically and accidentally run over and killed the boss’ 10 year old son. Meanwhile his relationship with his wife and his
life come flashing before his eyes..Based On A True Story.
The People’s Advocate: The Life & Times of Charles R. Garry, directed by Hrag Yedalian – Friday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
Charles R. Garry was one of the most influential criminal defense attorneys of the 20th century who became a household name during the 1960s with his defense of revolutionary political icons like Huey Newton and Bobby Seale of the Black Pan-ther Party. His career, howeer, came to crashing halt in 1978, when his client, the Reverend Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple, led over 900 of his followers in mass suicide at Jonestown.
This documentary recounts Garry’s life through the voices of those who knew him best – family, fellow attorneys, and former clients. Interviewees include: Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale, Kathleen Cleaver, Ericka Huggins and David Hilliard; Jim Jones’s son Stephan Jones; and famed historian and civil rights activist Howard Zinn. Executive produced by Student Oscar winner Carrie Lozano.Original music: The Apex Theory
The Place of Beginnings, directed by Michelle Ekizian – Friday, Nov. 2, 5:45 p.m.
Since the 1930s, the dream of making a film version of Franz Werfel’s 1934 novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh has been the most on-again, off-again project in Hollywood history. In this presentation, the enduring beauty of ancient Armenia ‘s as captured through the lens of Hawk Khatcherian ‘s sets the stage for telling the true-life saga of Gabriel, Werfel’s Everyman hero, and the 5,000 Armenian villagers who resisted certain death during the Armenian Genocide by taking refuge atop Musa Dagh — the legendary “mountain of Moses.”
Rouben Mamoulian:The Golden Age of Broadway and Hollywood, directed by Patrick Cazalas – Saturday, Nov. 3, 3:15 p.m.
Avoiding strickly biographical commentary, this documentary explores the density and complexity of one of the greatest masters and pioneers of Hollywood and Broadway. It reveals Mamoulian’s unique position in ‘studio system’ and his clashes with the studios during the shooting of Cleopatra. In a never before seen footage Rouben Mamoulian is interviewed by Arby Ovanessian. Mamoulian’s elegant and fluid style, his introduction of technical innovations and his profound interest for the %u218talking cinema’ are reviewed
Tabriz: Images from the Forgotten World, directed by Mohammad Ehsani
Saturday, Nov. 3, 12 p.m.
Vartan is the third generation photographer, still working at his grandfather’s atelier. His grandfather introduced photography to Tabriz, an ancient Moslem city in Iran, in 1900. He has no children to pass on the profession and the fate of the family’s photo archive of over a thousand photographs, many of historic value, troubles him. In his nostalgic state of mind he lives in the past, disappointed with the indifference of the new generation, both Moslem and Christian, toward the history of their own city. However, the city officials want his photographs for a museum, but will he part with them?
Voices, directed by Apo Torosyan – Saturday, Nov. 3, 1:45 p.m.
Apo Torosyan interviewed three survivors of the Armenian Genocide and one survivor of the Greek Genocide. These mass murders of innocent civilians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenian and 1 million Greek and Assyrian citizens, The Turkish government still has not officially recognized these crimes against humanity.
The War Prayer, directed by Michael Goorjian – Friday, Nov. 2, 8 p.m.
Based on the Mark Twain short story, The War Prayer takes place during Sunday services in present day America. On the eve of war, a minister leads his congregation in a prayer for military victory. There eyes closed in prayer, no one notices a mysterious stranger who silently ascends to the pulpit. Standing before the stunned crowd, he proceeds to explain “unspoken part” of the congregation’s prayer. What follows is Mark Twain’s masterful, yet horrifying depiction of warfare, an unrivaled indictment of the carnage that man has committed against his fellow man’since time immemorial.
In addition, Arpa will honor screenwriter Mardik Martin (“Raging Bull”), Academy Award-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (“House of Sand and Fog”), filmmaker Carla Garapedian ("SCREAMERS") and actor Ken Davitian ("Borat") at its Arpa Awards Gala at the Sheraton Universal.
Screenings, industry panels, filmmaker discussions will be held at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The Closing Night Awards Gala will be held at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.
Since 1997, the Arpa International Film Festival has been presenting the works of Armenian and international filmmakers exploring the issues of diaspora, war, genocide, dual-identity, and exile. The festival also celebrates the ideals of independent thought, artistic vision, cultural diversity and social understanding.
Arpa Film Festival Highlights Female Filmmakers
The Arpa International Film Festival of Los Angeles (November 2-4) is proud to announce its "Arpa Women’s Short Films" and "Artistry & Mystique in Cinema" film programs showcasing Armenian and international women filmmakers. Arpa festival director, Alex Kalognomos, created the special program due to the overwhelming film submissions by female directors. “Last year, about 15 percent of our programming was made up by women directors. This year, 30 percent of our films are by female filmmakers. And when you consider the screenwriters and actresses involved in all of our films, more women are represented at this year’s Arpa Film Festival than ever before. This is such an exciting shift in the dynamic of our film festival, because I believe women hold the key to enlightening audiences about the issues Arpa addresses – diaspora, war, genocide, exile, dual-identity.
The Arpa International Film Festival was founded in 1997 by Sylvia Minassian, an active philanthropist in Los Angeles. The works of Arpa’s female directors will be integrated throughout the 3-day festival, with an emphasis on female filmmakers in "Women in Film" program (Saturday, Nov. 3, 5:30 p.m.) and "Artistry & Mystique in Cinema" program (Sunday, Nov. 4, 1:25 p.m.) to address the shared issues of identity, sexuality, loss, and remembrance explored in this year’s official selection of films.
Also for the first time this year, Arpa will be honoring two women in film with special achievement awards. Oscar-nominated actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog, “24”) will be celebrated with a career achievement award. And director and BBC journalist, Carla Garapedian will receive the prestigious Armin T. Wegner Award for her documentary, Screamers. Both women will be feted at the Arpa International Film Festival Gala Awards Banquet on Sunday, November 4 at the Sheraton Universal.
The Arpa International Film Festival women filmmakers include the works of Arsinee Khanjian, Garine Torrosian, Carla Garapedian, Michelle Gevoian, Irina Patkanian, Raiya Corsiglia, Carlena Sabah, Jessica Green, Anny Slater, Katie Stern, Rita Rani, Jen McGowan, Kim Jacobs, Rachel Earnest, Sinisa Kukic, Lynn Hamilton, Veronica Castro, Shannon Henegan, Eleanor Lanahan, Ellen Fish, Raquel Ajofrin, Heather Caprini, Denie Pentecost, Andrea Jublin, Susana Jacques, Rebekah Chaney and Michelle Ekizian.
The works of such actresses such as Mariel Hemingway (“Greetings from Earth”), Alyssa Milano, Karen Kondazian and Rachel Minor (“The Blue Hour”), Stephanie Zimbalist (“Lucy’s Piano”), RuPaul (“Zombie Prom”), Cassandra Peterson (“Tomoko’s Kitchen”), and Carolena Sabah (Don’t Gag Me) will also be presented.
For more information on the Arpa Film Festival or the Gala Awards Banquet on Sunday, Nov. 4th at 6 p.m. honoring Mardik Martin, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Carla Garapedian and Ken Davitian please visit www.AFFMA.org or call (323) 663-1882 for more information
Egyptian Theatre ‘s 6712 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028 USA
Arpa Film Festival 10th Anniversary Gala Awards Banquet ‘s Sheraton Universal Hotel, Universal City, California