The 15th Annual ARPA International Film Festival


The 15th Annual Arpa International Film Festival, the signature event of Arpa Foundation for Film, Music, and Art (AFFMA), returns to the historic Egyptian Theater with its diverse selection of  over 60 feature films, documentaries and short films from 17 countries. A record number of filmmakers and talent are expected to be in attendance. The festival concludes with the Arpa Awards Gala at the Sheraton Universal on Sunday, December 2, 2012. The Festival will also present its prestigious Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, named after German author and human rights activist Armin Theophil Wegner. Arpa Career and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will also be recognized.

“Arpa Film Fest is very much an audience driven film event, says Festival Director, Alex Kalognomos. “Our patrons are dedicated to supporting artists. In turn, we create the most dynamic film festival experience for our audience.”

The Foundation and the Festival derive their name from Arpa, a river that flows through Armenia . As water provides a source of life and energy, so does art to the human soul.  This year’s tentpole films epitomize Arpa’s mission statement with the inclusion of the rich comedy  LOST AND FOUND IN ARMENIA and Armenia’s Official Submission for Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards®, IF ONLY EVERYONE. 

“Our team of dedicated programmers worked tirelessly to program a slate of films we are proud to feature for this milestone year,” states Armen Toumajan, Arpa’s director of programming. “We received a wide variety of films, both stylistically and thematically, from burgeoning and established filmmakers alike. Though it was our most difficult selection process ever, we managed to cull the best of the best. This year’s lineup is truly our most international in scope and offers something for everyone. Festival patrons will not be disappointed.”
This year’s N. American bows include Tobias Tobbell’s (The Drummond Will) British thriller CONFINE starring Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) and supermodel Daisy Lowe in her feature debut . Also showing for the first time in N.America is Aram Sukiasyan’s rock opera WANDERING. ‘Wandering’ is the first such film made in Armenia.
West Coast feature premieres include Nicolas Tackian’s French drama AZAD and Ajay Singh’s endearing family film UPSIDE DOWN (Khalti Doka Varti Paay). The latter film from India was an official selection of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival’s World Cinema section.

These films join the North American premiers of the previously announced opening night film Gor Kirakosian’s comedy LOST & FOUND IN ARMENIA (USA),Centerpiece Program Sebastian Siegel’s documentary AWAKENING WORLD (USA), the taboo breaking ZENNE DANCER (TURKEY) and Closing Night Film Armenia’s Official Submission to the Foreign Language Category at the 85th Academy Awards® Natalya Belyauskene’s powerful drama IF ONLY EVERYONE (Armenia) . The Festival will also host acclaimed filmmaker Tsvetana Paskaleva’s revival screening of WOUNDS OF KARABAKH (1994) and Hrach Keshishyan’s special sneak peak of his forthcoming 2013 historical epic feature film, NJDEH. Both filmmakers will be in attendance at Arpa International Film Festival.

On Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 11:00 am, the Festival will present a one of a kind event, “Re-Imaging the Audience: Media and Event Accessibility for the Blind and Deaf” presented by GEMAI, the Global Event & Media Accessibility Initiative. (
Since the public narrative becomes more inclusive and accessible to the differently-abled, this multi-experienced and multi-cultured panel will include a “who’s who” of accessibility work and advocacy. The panel will be hosted by Hollywood luminary Katharine Kramer and include as panelists Nanci Linke-Ellis (Captionfish), Steve Ellis (InSight Cinema), Hilari Scarl (director, producer, writer, “See What I’m Saying:The Deaf Entertainers Documentary) CJ Jones (CEO, Sign World Media), David Zimmerman (Meet The Biz) and Marc Bovee (GEMAI).
In addition to the panel, the Festival and GEMAI will present an 11-minute short narrative film titled, “The Most Beautiful Thing” from filmmaker, Cameron Covell. The film has been engineered to be experienced by audiences of all sensory abilities. The free event will be held on Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 11:00 am at the Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028). Those interested in attending this free event online at:

ARMIN T. WEGNER HUMANITARIAN AWARD marks its 10th year as one of Arpa International Film Festival’s top honors awarded during the festival.  First presented by Arpa International Film Festival in 2002, this Award is named after German author and human rights activist Armin Theophil Wegner (October 16, 1886 – May 17, 1978).

Thursday Nov 29 Opening Night
7:30 Rigler Theater
Country: Armenia, USA  Language: English
Director: Gor Kirakosian
Writer: Narek Ghaplanyan, Gor Kirakosian, Krist Manaryan, Producer: Maral Jerejian, Valerie McCaffrey
Duration 1:40:00
Lost & Found in Armenia is the story of Bill (Jamie Kennedy), an American tourist who travels to Turkey to get his mind off a bad break up. In a comedic and dangerous turn of events, Bill unknowingly ends up in a small village in Armenia, where he is accused of being a Turkish spy. It is in that small village that he meets a beautiful Armenian girl (Angela Sarafyan), who helps him escape from misfortune.

10:00 Speilberg
Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Sophiah Koikas Writer: Sophiah Koikas Producer: Sophiah Koikas
Duration: 2:30:00
Darris Blue decides to move back home to love and live with her dad but ends up in Disappearing Bakersfield. Disappearing is a vortex and once inside, she’s unable to get out. The call of a ghost and a mystery hostage in the attic of the only hotel in town, The Lonesome Road Hotel, Darris just might be able to help the ghost find her peace which opens Darris’ own heart of her own genocide to her own trapped emotions of her past.

Friday Nov 30
5:30 Rigler Theater
Country: India  Language: Marathi with English subtitles
Director: Ajay Singh Writer: Ajay Singh, Producer: Junaid Memon
Upside Down is the film which will make you forget Majid Majidi’s award winning “Children Of Heaven.”

10:00 Rigler Theater
Country: USA   Language: English
Director: Sophiah Koikas Writer: Sophiah Koikas Producer: Sophiah Koikas
Duration: 2:30:00
Darris Blue decides to move back home to love and live with her dad but ends up in Disappearing Bakersfield. Disappearing is a vortex and once inside, she’s unable to get out. The call of a ghost and a mystery hostage in the attic of the only hotel in town, The Lonesome Road Hotel, Darris just might be able to help the ghost find her peace which opens Darris’ own heart of her own genocide to her own trapped emotions of her past.

7:30 Rigler  Theatre
Country: USA Language: English
Director: Sebastian Siegel Writer: Sebastian Siegel Producer: Sebastian Siegel
Duration 0:40:00
What fuels an AWAKENING WORLD? That’s what filmmaker Sebastian Siegel sets out to uncover through interviews with renowned authors, and globally recognized artists and leaders. This 1st installment of the 7 year documentary project, LOVE SEX GOD, explores fundamental questions at the core of human fulfillment, such as “what is love?” and “what is the purpose of life?”. Influences on the filmmaker from growing up in Hawaii to immersion in the arts and Indian mythology drive the exploration. Scored discussions are woven into a dialogue culminating in the advocation of a specific methodology as an essential means necessary to perpetuate widespread human joy… . and in the payoff the film drives compassion, and inspires.

7:30 Spielberg Theater
Country: France, Armenia  Language: French with English subtitles
Director: Nicolas Tackian, Writer: Nicolas Tackian, Producer: David Kodsi
Duration: 1:10:00
The word ‘Azad’ means freedom in both Armenian and Kurdish—the core theme in this dramatic feature. An Armenian artist, Mayak is determined to tell his grandfather’s story of survival from the Armenian Genocide through the medium of a graphic novel. Mayak is forced to confront his beliefs and deeply-rooted anger when he meets Mina, a young Kurdish woman who moves into the house he shares with friends. Through their turbulent relationship, both individuals discover profound revelations about their worldviews. A gripping film about one’s identity and self-perseverance.

9:00 Rigler Theater   Centerpece Program Los Angeles Premiere
Country: Turkey   Language: Turkish with English subtitles
Director: Caner Alper, Writer: Caner Alper, Mehmet Binay
Producer: Caner Alper, Mehmet Binay
Duration: 1:33:00
Zenne is the contemporary story of three unlikely friends: Ahmet, a masculine gay man, Can, a male belly dancer (Zenne), and Daniel, a German photo-journalist, who are confronted by a systemic, institutionalized and culturally embedded homophobia that leads to tragedy.

9:00 Spielberg Theater Armenia On Film

Country: Canada, Armenia      Language: Armenian with English Subtitles
Director: Hagop Goudsouzian Producer: Hagop Goudsouzian
Duration: 0:55:23
Today’s Armenian Minstrels perform traditional yet contemporary Armenian love songs. With a 700 year history Armenian Minstrels still echo the soul of Armenian Culture. Featuring Professor Tovmas Poghosyan, the Sayat-Nova Minstrel Song Ensemble and impromptu interviews and performances with well known Armenian Minstrels: Minstrel Andranik Ujanci, Minstrel Astghanush, Minstrel Kochar, and Minstrel Makhmour.

Country: Brazil  Language: English, Armenian, and Spanish with English subtitles
Director: Cassiana Der Haroutiounian, Cesar Gananian, Gary Gananian Writer: Cassiana Der Haroutiounian, Cesar Gananian, Gary Gananian Producer: Cassiana Der Haroutiounian, Cesar Gananian, Gary Gananian
Duration: 1:02:28
Armenian Rhapsody is a road movie, made of a polyphony of characters where the faces and the music are the real protagonists. As in a rhapsody, the film is made of a juxtaposition of musical and narrative fragments with variations in theme, intensity and tone.

11:15 Rigler Theater
Country: United Kingdom     Language: English, Spanish, and French with English subtitles
Director: Tobias Tobbell, Writer: Tobias Tobbell, Producer: Emily Corcoran
Duration: 1:30:45
She hid from the world for years. All she wants now is to escape.

Saturday December 1
11:00 Rigler Theater
Country: Canada, Armenia   Language: Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Hagop Goudsouzian Producer: Hagop Goudsouzian
Duration: 1:48:18
Armenian Echoes, timeless rhythms. So much of a peoples’ identity stems from the songs they sing, the music they play and the spirit of their dance. Music is the very essence of the cultural identity of a people. In this film Hagop Goudsouzian continues his 7-month journey through Armenia in pursuit of his dream, the soul of Armenian Music.
1:00 Rigler Theater   Genocide Documentaries
Country: Canada   Language: English
Director: Lorne Shirinian Writer: Lorne Shirinian Producer: Lorne Shirinian
Duration: 0:5:43
A narrative documentary of the journey from Turkey to Canada of a 5-year old orphan survivor of the Armenian Genocide.

Country: USA     Language: English
Director: Mark Friedman,  Writer: Kay Mouradian, Producer: Mark Friedman, Kay Mouradian
Duration: 0:25:04
My Mother’s Voice is the compelling story of fourteen-year-old Flora Munushian, her survival from the 1915 Armenian Genocide and how she finds her way to America to marry a man she knows only from a paragraph. Her voice is the voice of all the victims of the 1915 genocide, a story that must not be forgotten.

Country: Australia      Language: Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Shahane Bekarian , Producer: Shahane Bekarian
Duration: 0:13:58
Boghos Tavrayan was about 4 years old, he didn’t know who his parents were, he didn’t know the year of his birth, he didn’t know why they were abhorred, the only thing he knew was his first name. This Genocide Memoir is a short documentary about a survivor of the Armenian Genocide during WWI. Using an interview filmed in 1986 this film is a contemporary view
which attempts to convey the ongoing suffering and struggle for justice within Armenians today.

Country: USA, UK, Austria , Language: English
Director: Todd Murray, Will Wyatt Producer: Todd Murray, Will Wyatt
Duration: 0:58:00 
Toni and Rosi Grunschlag were Viennese piano prodigies destined for triumph on the concert stages of Europe until the Nazi occupation of Austria shattered their world and irrevocably changed their destiny. Left to fend for themselves in a hostile Austria, they were forced to flee their native land and begin new lives far away from all that they loved. ‘Toni and Rosi’ turned to what they could trust: their music and each other.

1:00 Speilberg
Country: Armenia    Language: Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Arshaluys Harutyunyan, Writer: Aram Sukiasyan, Producer: Aram Sukiasyan
Duration: 1:21:00
’Wandering’ depicts the curious tragedy of a historical injustice victim, a man living in Diaspora. Christianity, immortality of soul, human sins and trespasses, historical injustices, love and purification – these topics are the ideological basis of the film. ‘Wandering’ belongs to the farcical and tragicomic genre and is exceptional in its style. ‘Wandering’ has a structure typical of classical opera: an overture, duets, trios, arias and choral performances with clear development and ideology. ‘Wandering’ is the first such film made in the region’

3:00 Rigler Theater  Armenian Documentary Program

Armin T. Wegner  humanitarian Award Recipient
Country: Armenia, Turkey   Language: Armenian, Hamshen, and Turkish with English subtitles
Director: Lusine Sahakyan, Producer: Lusine Sahakyan
Duration: 1:00:00
Lusineh Sahakyan’s documentary Hamshen at Crossroads of Past and Present is dedicated to the current state of the descendants of the Armenians of Hamshen (Hamshentsis); a people who were forcibly Islamicized (”Turkified”) by the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century. Today, they live primarily in the provinces of Rizeh and Artvin, as well as in Istanbul and other cities of Turkey. The film presents unique episodes from the history and culture of the once powerful Armenian Principality of Hamshen, and the practice of Islamization, a form of ethnic cleansing. Based on material shot on location, the present-day culture of the Hamshentsis is chronicled: their songs and dances, customs, linguistic situation, as well as their everyday life and occupations, conceptions of their own identity, and the demographic picture.

Country: Armenia   Language: English
Director: Shirak Khojayan, Writer: Shirak Khojayan, Producer: Shirak Khojayan
Duration: 0:28:26
Aragil, The White Stork is a documentary about the life of the white stork and its relationship with the people of Armenia.

Country: Armenia   Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Anzhela Frangyan & Marianna Abrahamyan, Writer: Anzhela Frangyan & David Sargsyan 
Duration: 0:30:00
In Order Not To Be Not Late depicts the life and art of Markos Grogotyan

Spielberg 3:00 Contemporary Armenia
Country: Armenia   Language: Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Art Sevada, Writer: Art Sevada, Producer: Art Sevada
Duration: 0:51:45
Just behind the slick surface textures of the new Yerevan, beyond its refashioned vistas, mind boutiques, and cooler than thou cafes and restaurants, there is the beating heart of a dreamscape. This is the city’s mythic backdrop, an ongoing essay contest where memory and prospect meet or don’t. Art was at home here. The juxtaposition was inescapable. There was, in the foreground, the stage of the here and now: an Armenian social struggle for stability, an East-meets-West brand of politics and governance, the frazzle-dazzle of an entrepreneurial spirit that was busy expanding the gulf between the haves and have-nots, plus the potential of eye-popping creativity..

Country: Armenia  Language: Russian and Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Art Sevada, Writer: Harutyun Kbeyan, Producer: Armen Hambardzumyan
Duration: 0:14:03
A mentally ill young man sees everything that is happening in Yerevan with a bit of an exaggerated eye.
Armenian Activists Now! Birth Of A Movement (2012)

5:15 Spielberg Theater   World Documentary Program
Country: Kenya, Armenia  Language: English and Swahili with English subtitles
Director: Arman Yeritsyan, Vardan Hovhannisyan Producer: Vardan Hovhannisyan
Duration: 0:52:00
This is a Donkeymentary – a documentary about a small island, just off the coast of Kenya, with 24,000 people, 6,000 donkeys, just 2 cars and a 14-year-old donkey race champion, Shee Famao, whose fondest dream in life is nothing more than having a donkey of his own.
Memories Without Borders (2012)

5:15 Rigler Theater Actor’s Spotlight
Country: USA, Armenia   Language: English and Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Saro Varjabedian, Writer: Saro Varjabedian, Producer: Mira El Koussa
Duration: 0:17:45
Tamar, an 80-year-old widow, visits her Armenian homeland to fulfill her recently-deceased husband’s last wish: to take a family photo in front of Mount Ararat. However, her daughters, Armine and Lori, are less than interested in going to mount Ararat, and hope that the trip will allow Tamar to let go of her grief and find joy in her life. The three women are accompanied by Hripsime, a loud-mouthed, sprightly taxi driver as their guide. With the Armenian countryside as their backdrop, the women struggle to find new meaning in their lives and broaden their relationships. Once they arrive at Ararat, they are surprised to learn that the picture Tamar wants to take won’t come as easily to them as they had hoped…

Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Geoffrey Quan Writer: Stacey Parshall Jensen Producer: Frances Chang Duration: 0:05:56
Lois, a headstrong woman and soon-to-be champion grandmother, is anxious to share her good news with the volunteers of her monthly Support-Our-Troops bake sale. But when an Arab mother joins them, Lois’s pride and her definition of patriotism are challenged.

Country: USA, Armenia Language: English and Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Saro Varjabedian, Writer: Saro Varjabedian, Producer: Mira El Koussa
Duration: 0:17:45
Tamar, an 80-year-old widow, visits her Armenian homeland to fulfill her recently-deceased husband’s last wish: to take a family photo in front of Mount Ararat. However, her daughters, Armine and Lori, are less than interested in going to mount Ararat, and hope that the trip will allow Tamar to let go of her grief and find joy in her life. The three women are accompanied by Hripsime, a loud-mouthed, sprightly taxi driver as their guide. With the Armenian countryside as their backdrop, the women struggle to find new meaning in their lives and broaden their relationships. Once they arrive at Ararat, they are surprised to learn that the picture Tamar wants to take won’t come as easily to them as they had hoped…

MOVING STORIES (201  Language: English
Director: Nora Armani Writer: Nora Armani Producer: Nora Armani
Duration: 0:18:16
The story of two women linked by an apartment from which one is moving out the other in. For the first one this is a definitive move and the closing of a chapter, while for the second it is just a stage, and the start of a new life.

Country: Palestinian Territories    Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Director: Rami Alayan, Writer: Rami Alayan, Producer: Rami Alayan, Muayad Alayan
Duration: 0:25:00
Mariam is instructed by her doctor to sunbathe in order to reverse the vitamin D deficiency that is causing her a bone illness. But with nosy neighbors, an overbearing sister-in-law and Israeli surveillance planes, private moments under the sun are precious and rare.

Country: USA    Language: English and French with English subtitles
Director: Sona Tatoyan, Writer: Sona Tatoyan, Producer: Ted Feldman, Andrei Bowden-Schwartz, Sona Tatoyan
Duration: 0:8:28
A woman reignites an old unconsummated love affair with fatal consequences.

Country: USA   Language: English
Director: Lauren Lillie, Writer: Lauren Lillie, Producer: Narineh Hacopian
Duration: 0:21:43
While on a weekend getaway with her boyfriend, 18-year-old Deidre discovers a call girl passed out in their hotel hallway. She decides to help her. During their ensuing hours together, Deidre opens up to this woman in a way that she isn’t capable of confiding in anyone else. What is it that these two women learn they have in common?

Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Talin Malekian, Writer: Talin Malekian, Producer: Talin Malekian, Nansia Movidi, Jeffrey DeChausse
Duration: 0:15:22
In a world bound by deception, how will a young impressionable artist overcome society’s lure of grandeur in order to unite with her inner voice and become highly valued?

7:30 Rigler Theater
Country: Armenia   Language: Armenian, Russian with English subtitles
Director: Natalya Belyauskene, Writer: Theresa Varzhapetyan, Michael Poghosian, Producer: Theresa Varzhapetyan
Duration: 1:35:00
Armenia’s Official Submission to the Foreign Language Category at the 85th Academy Awards®
This story perhaps touches on the most sensitive string for our nation today, Artsakh. Why did people die, what was the war about, what motivated the heroic deeds? Some have found the answers, others are still searching. But these questions eclipse real lives of real people, whom we often think about the least, unfortunately. Whereas they are living right next to us and maybe are asking the same questions…Our protagonist Gurgen is a common guy, an electronics wiz in a body shop, ostensibly enjoying everybody’s respect and, perhaps, awe. His gloomy appearance may be the reason, or is it his combat merit in the battle for Artsakh? A young Russian girl calls on him, the daughter of his fallen brother in arms…

7:30 Spielberg Theater Saturday Night Documentary
Country: USA, Australia, Canada  Language: English
Director: Cindy Pruitt, Valerie McCaffrey,  Producer: Valerie McCaffrey, Cindy Pruitt
Duration: 1:07:00
This documentary reveals how alternative cures for cancer have been suppressed since the 1930’s and how the bureaucratic regulatory system has maintained chemotherapy and radiation as the only choice of treatment for over 100 years. Citing testimonials to the horrors of chemo and radiation adjacent to those who have secretly cured their cancer with alternative means, this film is a call to action for the freedom to publicize alternative cures, and a call to people to demand the freedom to make better choices

Country: USA, Syria, Arab Republic, Turkey  Language: English and Arabic with English subtitles
Director: Iara Lee, Producer: Iara Lee
Duration: 0:51:45
With thousands dead and counting, the ongoing conflict in Syria has become a microcosm for the complicated politics of the region, and an unsavory reflection of the world at large. Against the backdrop of the Arab Spring and the complicated politics of the region, this film explores the Syrian conflict through the humanity of the civilians who have been killed, abused, and displaced. In all such conflicts, it is civilians, women and children, families and whole communities, who suffer at the leisure of those in power. When elephants go to war, it is the grass that suffers.

10:00 Spielberg Theater
Country: USA, Armenia, Turkey   Language: English, Armenian, and Turkish with English subtitles
Director: Randy Bell, Producer: Randy Bell, Eric Hachikian
Duration: 1:24:15
Voyage To Amasia’ is a feature documentary inspired by Eric Hachikian’s piano trio of the same name. Amasya, Turkey is the city from which Eric’s grandmother fled during the Armenian Genocide. The filmmakers made a real voyage to Amasia, tracing a path through the past, telling Eric’s family’s story and the story of the current people of Turkey and Armenia.

10:00 Rigler Theater  Saturday Night Shorts Program

Country: Canada
Director: David Hovan,  Writer: David Hovan,  Producer: David Hovan
Duration 0:06:15
A day in the life of an elderly couple. The non verbal interactions between the two make for sometimes funny and at other times poignant moments throughout the film. This couple has lived so long together that they have nothing left to say to each other. Living in an isolated state in their old house, they go about their daily routines, until…

Country: USA    Language: English
Director: Eddie Melikyan, Writer: Eddie Melikyan,  Producer: Avi Quijada
Duration: 0:18:18
Just Like Her embarks us on the emotional journey of Ashley Marston as she prepares a Thanksgiving dinner for her family. Unable to suppress the urge to speak about the taboo, it quickly becomes violent when she blames her father for her mother’s suicide.

140 DRAMS (2012)
Country: Armenia  Language: Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Oksana Mirzoyan, Writer: Oksana Mirzoyan, Producer: Emily Mkrtichian, Anahid Yahjian
Duration: 0:18:00
140 Drams tells the story of a young boy who must go to the store by himself for the first time. Things get complicated when the 140 Drams his mother gave him for milk are not enough, and he has to make a difficult choice. The experience of this young boy becomes a kaleidoscope through which the landscape of a modern Armenia emerges. Through bits and pieces, fragments of conversation and glimpses of the insides of a single bedroom apartment, this film tries to put together a picture of this country, right now.

Country: USA  Language: English and Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Ella Hatamian
Writer: Ella Hatamian
Duration: 0:17:42
It’s January 5th, Armenian Christmas Eve, and the Hatamian family only has 15-minutes to complete their preparations for the annual holiday feast. Chaos ensues.

Country: USA   Language: English and Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Hayk Hambartsum, Writer: Hayk Hambartsum, Producer: Shahe Barsoumian
Duration: 0:35:00
Metzarents is the story of Vahag, a struggling actor in Los Angeles who reconnects with his long dormant Armenian roots when he is offered to play the role of the poet Misak Metzarents in a play.

Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Vahram Hakobyan, Writer: Vahram Hakobyan, Producer: Vahram Hakobyan, Autumn Fawn
Duration: 0:13:13
Princess of Light returns to her father’s kingdom to face Dark Devil and restore light in Valley of Hope

Country: USA   Language: English and Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Robert Nazar Arjoyan, Writer: Robert Nazar Arjoyan, David Lafian, Producer: Robert Nazar Arjoyan
Duration: 0:23:34
Rage-filled Gev, a first generation American, must learn to get along with his sister’s straight- laced boyfriend Alec, whom he accompanies to a ‘zhamo,’ a ritualistic and centuries-old Armenian tradition, where men meet to settle grievances of honor but rarely leave unscathed.

Sunday December 2
11:00  Rigler Theater   Global Event and Media 11:00

2:45 Rigler International Documentary Program
Country: Israel   Language: English and Hebrew with English subtitles
Director: Yael Katzir, Writer: Yael Katzir, Producer: Yael Katzir, Dan Katzir
Duration: 0:46:04
Israel 2006. An intimate chronicle of the violinmaker Amnon Weinstein whose son is at the front during the Second Lebanon War. Amnon takes part in master classes for young violinists taught by famed musicians Ida Haendel and Shlomo Mintz. A moving story about the power of music and the violins in wartime.

Country: USA, Congo   Language: English and Swahili with English subtitles
Director: Chris Carpenter, Producer: Chris Carpenter
Duration: 0:47:45
Dr. Chris Carpenter travels to Goma, a war-ravaged city in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to work at the HEAL Africa hospital. Each day, he cares for the sickest and most desperate children in the region. During his journey, he meets three special patients, each trying to survive in the midst of extreme poverty and violence. Born in Goma follows Isaac, Gisele and Dieume as they work against remarkable odds to regain their health and build brighter futures.

1:00  Spielberg  American Documentary Program

Country: USA   Language: English
Director: Donya Ravasani,  Producer: Donya Ravasani
Duration: 0:19:50
Imam Siraj Wahhaj is one of the most prominent and controversial Islamic clerics of the United States. He leads a Muslim community in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. His daughter Hujrah Wahhaj works along side him, reaching out to the Facebook generation in search of its soul. The Imam’s longtime companion Ali Abdul Karim has helped him lead the Islamic community where they settled in the 1980s when the neighborhood was Brooklyn’s roughest ghetto. This is a look behind the scenes of the African-American Muslim community in the United States today.

Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Christie Davis, Writer: Christie Davis, Producer: Christie Davis, Dennis Davis
Duration: 1:16:16
The feature documentary ‘Women At War: Forgotten Veterans of Desert Storm’ takes an intimate look at women soldiers’ wartime experiences on the toxic battlefields of 1991’s Operation Desert Storm and their heartbreaking battles with Gulf War Illnesses since they’re returned home. Carol Williams and three other female veterans fight the government for proper treatment and benefits in their search for answers to their mysterious Gulf War illnesses. They wonder why they’ve been abandoned by the government they risked their lives to serve. Twenty years later, their war isn’t over.

3:00 Speilberg
Country: USA Language: English
Director: Shervin Youssefian
Writer: Shervin Youssefian
Producer: Shervin Youssefian, Danny Simonzad, David Dginguerian, Amy Weber Duration: 1:35:
Fueled by revenge, Michael sets up a meeting with Clef Robie, the man who murdered his wife and child six years ago. His plans of killing him come to a standstill when unexpected events turn everything he has known upside down. Follow Michael as he slowly discovers that everything in life happens for a reason.

2:45 Rigler Global Voices
Country: USA    Language: English and Tagalog with English subtitles
Director: Allison Arachea, Writer: Allison Arachea, Producer: Angelica Robinson
Duration: 0:22:00
Filipino drag queen, Jolly B. Fierce, leaves the glitter, lights and wigs to travel to America; where he will be faced with the decision to reconcile with his estranged family, for the sake of his dying mother.

Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Armando Hermosilla, Writer: Armando Hermosilla, Producer: Sergio Arroyo, Akbar Farooq
Duration: 0:15:38
Vena Amoris is about celebrating life with hope in our hearts and an eye toward the future. This film depicts how easy it is to live a happy life when we’re surrounded by friends and family who love us and how easy it is to stray when left alone. James (Christopher Newell) is a successful and attractive businessman who will be married tomorrow, but before he is married he has to goose step his way past a beautiful temptress and endure painful torture at the hands of his fiancé’s father (Allan Charof). Will James’ love be strong enough to get him through the gauntlet to his wedding day, or will he be swayed by the promise of pleasure and impending pain that threaten to crush his dream of being a good and faithful husband?
Country: USA Language: English
Director: Joshua Jones, Writer: Daniel Klein, Producer: Joshua Jones, Daniel Klein
Duration: 0:06:40
Mother Nature’s peculiar sense of irony creates a convoluted path of survival for a newborn chick with unfortunate timing.

Country: USA
Director: Micah Gallagher Writer: Micah Gallagher Producer: Micah Gallagher
Duration: 0:12:00
Machinehead is a stop-motion short film that follows a puppet as he travels through four unique rooms representing different stages of intellectual and spiritual development. It’s an abstract representation of someone trying to find meaning and purpose. The short features puppet animation and pays homage to revolutionary stop-motion artists such as Jan Svankmajer and the Quay Brothers in style and content.

Country: USA, Canada   Language: English
Director: Brendan Nahmias,  Producer: Brendan Nahmias
 Duration: 0:12:28
With tattoos and a turban, Humble the Poet is a Sikh hip-hop artist from Toronto, Canada whose message is expressed with a twist. He harnesses the power of the spoken word with music, re-defining the immigrant experience in a bold fashion. Take a ride inside the mind of Humble as he navigates the line between two cultures, aiming to define himself as a hip-hop artist, while reconciling his identity as a modern Sikh.

Country: Italy  Language: Italian with English subtitles
Director: Michele Di Salle, Writer: Michele Di Salle, Producer: Massimo Sigillo Massara
Duration: 0:07:20
Under a cloudy sky a young lady walks around the streets of the town. Outside a shop she sees herself in a mirror. Her reflection is much colorful. Curiosity draws Elisa closer to the mirror and with one touch she is in a new world. The lady is now in a new world, a market full of strange characters…

Country: USA   Language: English
Director: Frederikos Writer: Nick Mann Producer: Nick Mann
Duration: 0:15:00
In a world, where ancient mythology collides with present day discord, a rogue warrior who would be king, finds himself in the throes of an existential crisis. But it is not until he summons the spirit of 299 Spartans to help charge a hapless band of Greeks into a battle of economic proportions to reclaim the country’s sovereignty, does our anti-hero realize he is but a mere pawn in a larger, divine plan. Cast includes Arkidies Vasileas, Phillip Berg, Vasilia Niles, and introducing Pheenix. Art by Jamese

4:45 Rigler   Sunday Afternoon Shorts Program
Country: USA  L anguage: English and German with English subtitles
Director: James Jay Ellis
Duration: 0:08:15
Based on the original music video HiiiPower by Kendrick Lamar, Nazo Bravo leads the audience through personal perspectives of his own cultural heritage – and that of millions of first and second generation Armenians now living in America – with his vibrantly personal debut music video HyePower.’Hye’ is Armenian for its own rich identity. And the word ‘Power’ is a hopeful reference to the dreams of many of Nazo’s own friends and others throughout the world for a better life ahead. Rooted in the tragedy of what is commonly called The Armenian Genocide and the recent murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul, Turkey, the video also traces resonant social luminaries such as John Lennon and Muhammad Ali.

Country: USA Language: English and Farsi with English subtitles
Director: Roozbeh Dadvand, Writer: Roozbeh Dadvand, Nathaniel C. Leonard
Producer: Amber Beard, Marina Davis, Grace K. Lee
Duration: 0:23:33
Iran. 1959. It is six years after the CIA orchestrated coup that overthrew democratic Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh from power. Now living under house arrest and suffering from a life-threatening condition, Mossadegh must decide whether or not to trust a brilliant American physician that is sent to treat him.

Country: USA   Language: English and Arabic with English subtitles
Director: Paul DeNigris, Writer: Paul DeNigris
Producer: Paul DeNigris, Steve Briscoe, Laura DeNigris
Duration: 0:22:00
Daniels, a U.S. Army infantryman with a hatred for all Arabs, is injured in a convoy ambush and rescued by Iraqi civilian Hassan and his son Jabir. As the three of them hide from the insurgents, Daniels learns that his prejudices and his hatred have been misplaced and comes to respect Hassan and Jabir as human beings. Making a sacrifice himself in order to save his new friends from the insurgents, Daniels emerges from the experience with a renewed perspective.
QUITTER (2012)
Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Garen Mirzaian Writer: Garen Mirzaian Producer: Tomohisa Imagawa
Duration: 0:16:26
A young man is inspired to make a healthy change in his life only to realize the source of his inspiration is slowly turning into his nemesis.

4 MINUTES (2011)
Country: USA  Language: English
Director: Stephen Sepher,  Writer: Stephen Sepher,  Producer: Stephen Sepher
Duration: 0:15:30
Four ex special ops are en route to transport a well-known heart surgeon when they find themselves targeted by an unknown enemy in the mountainous terrains of Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Country: USA   Language: English
Director: Ryan Green, Writer: Ryan Green, Nathaniel Eyde (story), Producer: Nathaniel Eyde
Duration: 0:11:55
A man dressed as THOR wanders Hollywood Blvd, looking for tips. He becomes the subject of scorn and ridicule when he claims to be the actual Norse God of Thunder. The problem is, it might just be true.

VAI, KIKOS, VAI… (2009)
Country: Armenia   Language: Armenian with English subtitles
Director: Aviva Barkhoudarian, Writer: Aviva Barkhoudarian, Producer: Aviva Barkhoudarian
Duration: 0:07:00
The story of Kikos’ death, inspired by the classic Hovhannes Tumanyan story


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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