YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan–IFFKV)–Harutiun Khachatrian’s documentary "Documentarian" recently won the jury’s special prize at the Karlovy Vary film festival in the Czech Republic. The festival–founded in 1946–is the most significant annual film event in Central and Eastern Europe.
"Documentarian" is a half feature and half documentary and competed in the documentary category along with fifteen other documentaries. The film is shot in black and white on old ‘Soviet-era’ film.
Khachatrian’s film portrays destitute conditions in Armenia in the mid nineties. The 62 minute film features life at a quarry–a maternity ward–children’s home and beggars and refugees. "The past tragedy is of a transitional period. And hope–emanating from ultimate despair," said Khachatrian of Armenia in the nineties and of the film.
Production of the movie began in 1995 and was completed in January of 2003. The film was made possible exclusively with the state’s financial support. "Documentarian" has been invited to participate in myriad of other festivals. Khachatrian will focus on festivals in Montreal–Cannes–Goetenborg and the US.
This year’s Karlovy Vary film festival was of great importance to Armenia: it was the first time that an Armenian film won the grand prize in an A-rate festival and it was the first time that an Armenian film critic–Susanna Harutiunian–headed the jury of the International Association of Film Critics and Journalists at such an important festival.
Khachatrian studied film at Armenia’s State Pedagogical Institute and has worked as a director of the Documentary Department of Hayfilm/Armenfilm.