FRESNO—The San Joaquin Valley PBS, ValleyPBS, will present two special nights of Armenian-focused programming featuring back-to-back documentaries by filmmaker Hagop Goudsouzian on Tuesday, August 9; on Friday, August 12 feature film Screamers by director Carla Garapedian will air featuring the band “System Of A Down,” all to highlight the rich culture, music and history of the local Armenian community during this special time of year—the holy celebration of the Assumption of St. Mary and the Blessing of the Grapes.
ValleyPBS is broadcast on 18.1 over the air, Cable channel 8, Comcast HD 708, and Dish, U-verse and Direct TV channel 18.
On August 9, local news anchor and television personality Stefani Booroojian, along with Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian, Director of the Armenian Studies Program at Fresno State, will host the evening. Armenian Exile begins at 7:00 p.m., followed by Armenian Minstrels at 8:30 p.m.
In Armenian Exile (2009), his second film, Goudsouzian paints a self-portrait in which he pursues a greater understanding of his Armenian roots. In 1988, Nagorno-Karabakh’s war for independence was in the headlines worldwide. Halfway across the world in Canada, Goudsouzian’s peaceful world was suddenly shaken: “I had forgotten I was Armenian, until I saw the courage of these people who had never forgotten who they were and knew what they had to do.” Seeking clarity of both history and self, Goudsouzian reflects on Armenian identity, which is at the heart of all his films.
Armenian Minstrels—the newest film in Goudsouzian’s trilogy of documentaries showcasing the vibrant culture and rich history of Armenia—traces the long tradition of folk music through performances and interviews with musicians and fans. Filmed in Armenia, Armenian Minstrels features Professor Tovmas Poghosyan, the “Sayat-Nova Minstrel Song Ensemble” and impromptu interviews with well known Armenian minstrels Andranik Ujanci, Astghanush, Kochar, and Makhmour, who sing and recount the critical role their songs and music play in keeping alive a once dying art form, and the role music and songs play as a tool for cultural survival.
Born in Egypt, Hagop Goudsouzian is of Armenian descent and currently lives in Toronto. In partnership with TVOntario TFO, he has produced and directed a number of television and documentary series.
The movie Screamers will air on August 12, at 8:30pm and features multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band “System Of A Down” as they lend their music to this critically acclaimed political movie—an impassioned synthesis of concert and hard-hitting expose about genocide in the last century—from Armenian Genocide through the many other genocides in the world up to and including Darfur. Filmmaker Carla Garapedian will be in studio with Leslie Davis and Prof. Sergio La Porta of the Armenian Studies Program as the hosts for the evening.