Sunday, July 17, 2011
French actress Fanny Ardant (center) with Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian (right) and Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosian at the opening ceremony of the Golden Apricot international film festival on July 10.July 15, 2011
By Gayane Danielian, Hasmik Smbatian, Suren Musayelyan
YEREVAN -- Armenian's eighth annual Golden Apricot international film festival opened this week and is proving a bigger draw than ever.
Named in honor of Armenia's unofficial national fruit, the festival is the brainchild of noted filmmaker Harutiun Khachatryan, who has nurtured it from its first edition in 2004 to the present day. Now it is a highlight of the country's cultural calendar and one of the few events capable of drawing international artistic attention to Yerevan.
Dutch film critic Peter van Bueren is attending the festival, which he said featured a surprisingly large amount of high-quality work for such a relatively low-budget event.
"The quality of the international competition is very high," Van Bueren said. "If you compare the quality of this competition's films with, let's say, the quality of films at competitions in Eastern Europe or international film festivals elsewhere, you can say with confidence that this film festival is much, much better. There are no bad films here."
He added that some of the nearly 150 films from 45 countries being presented this year had already won prizes at other festivals.
'Crossroads Of Cultures And Civilizations'
Golden Apricot's geography ranges from Russia and Kazakhstan to the United States and Canada, from France and Portugal to China, Thailand, and Australia. Armenia's neighbors Turkey, Iran, and Georgia are also featured.
The festival kicked off on July 10 with "Certified Copy," a joint French-Italian production by famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. It closes with the awarding of jury prizes on July 17.
This year's official theme is "Crossroads of Cultures and Civilizations," and organizers say it embodies the idea of "a global human landscape in the process of transformation and the challenges such transformations pose to human beings."
The guest of honor this year is revered French actress Fanny Ardant, who is screening two works that she directed. Many Armenians believe Ardant has Armenian roots, but she deflected questions about this at a gala July 10 press conference opening the event, saying, "The extent to which I am Armenian is a secret of my family."
The purpose of the festival is to foster Armenia's long-standing cinematographic traditions, which fell into decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its goal is to put the land of Sergei Parajanov and other Armenian film pioneers back onto the global cinema map and to restore its regional prominence.
But organizers are also reaching out for a broad local audience as well. Tickets for all screenings are priced affordably and the festival has been energetically promoted for weeks.
One Yerevan woman spoke to RFE/RL's Armenian Service as she was leaving a festival screening and praised the event for raising the public's aesthetic awareness.
"You can see genuine cinema and understand what cinematography is," she said. "There has been no cinema in Armenia since the collapse of the Soviet Union."
The Golden Apricot festival aims to change that.
Saturday, July 9, 2011
LOS ANGELES—Legendary Armenian singer Paul Baghdadlian passed away early Tuesday morning at Glendale Adventist Hospital after a long illness.
Born in Aleppo, Syria in 1953, Paul Baghdadlian is considered one of the most popular Armenian singers throughout the world.
Baghdadlian began his career in 1974 in Beirut, and in 1977 moved to Los Angeles. He has written and produced hundreds of hit songs, mainly love ballads that have captivated Armenians across the globe.
Baghdadlian’s Facebook page was inundated with condolences. “You will always be around in our homes and our hearts… you’re irreplaceable!” wrote one fan. “Paul, I grew up listening to your beautiful ballads, new and exciting pop songs and always looked forward to seeing you live…You were a beautiful person and will be missed,” wrote another.
In an interview in Beirut last year, Baghdadlian said that one of his happiest moments was hearing that two Armenians had gotten married after meeting at one of his concerts.
“It is with a clear conscience that I tell you now that I love and worship Armenia, my fatherland, even more than someone who was born and lived there,” he said on another occasion.
Asbarez will have more coverage of the late singer’s career and accomplishments in later editio
Monday, July 4, 2011
KIEV. - The exhibition of famous Armenian artist Vardges Surenyants opened at National Museum of Literature of Ukraine.
Armenia’s Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosyan and her Ukrainian counterpart Mikhail Kulinyak opened the exhibition.
President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, who is on an official visit to Ukraine, also attended the opening ceremony.
“The opening of the exhibition symbolizes the unity of Armenian and Ukrainian people. Today all those present will have an opportunity to see the pearls of Armenian art and feel the spirit of Armenia,” Kulinyak stressed, UKRINFORM reports.
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