NEW YORK–Armenia has selected “Amerikatsi,” a comedy-drama starring, written, and directed by Michael A. Goorjian, as its submission to the 96th Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film. The film was shot in Armenia by People of Ar Productions. “Amerikatsi” opened exclusively in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on September 8, and opened to an estimated $59.2k on three screens – a $19.7k PTA — including sold-out Q&As on both coasts with writer, director and star Michael A. Goorjian.
“Amerikatsi” centers on Charlie (Goorjian), who returns to Armenia in 1948, decades after fleeing to the U.S. as a child due to persecution by the Ottoman Empire. What he finds instead is a country crushed under Soviet rule. After being unjustly imprisoned, Charlie falls into despair, until he discovers that he can see into a nearby apartment from his cell window – the home of a prison guard. As his life unexpectedly becomes entwined with the man’s, he begins to see that the true spirit of his homeland is alive in its passionate people. Filled with warmth and humor, “Amerikatsi” celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the bonds that unite us all.
Armenia has never had their submission nominated for the Best International Feature Film prize. Recent Armenian submissions include “Aurora’s Sunrise” (2022), “Should the Wind Drop” (2021), and “Songs o Solomon” (2020).
Goorjian, whose own grandparents fled the Ottoman Empire, is an Emmy Award-winning actor best known for “Party of Five,” “SLC Punk,” and starred alongside Kirk Douglas in the first film he wrote and directed, “Illusion,” in 2004.
“Nothing could make me more proud than to represent Armenian Cinema this year and to help shine a light on the massive talent within our small nation,” said Goorjian.
“Amerikatsi” also stars Hovik Keuchkerian (“Money Heist”), Nelli Uvarova, Mikhail Trukhin, Narine Girgoryan, and Jean-Pierre Nshanian, and is produced by Goorjian, R. Patrick Malkassian, Arman Nshanian and Sol Tryon, with executive producers Vartan Barsoumian and Serj Tankian. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2022 Woodstock Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2022 Hamburg Film Festival ahead of its U.S. premiere. Variance Films (“RRR,” “Drive My Car”) is handling distribution within the US and Amadeus Entertainment is on international sales.
“Amerikatsi” is now showing in Los Angeles and New York City and expands to major cities across the U.S. through September including Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver, San Francisco, Boston and more. To watch the official trailer for “Amerikatsi” and to see a full listing of cities the film will be playing visit the film’s website.