Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian, Armenian Museum changes name

The museum dedicated to Armenian American history and culture in Watertown Square has a new name.

As of Christmas, the Armenian Library and Museum of America changed its name to the Armenian Museum of America Inc., the museum announced in a piece in the Armenian Reporter.

The museum is one of the largest focusing on Armenian culture and history outside of Armenia. It includes exhibitions celebrating 3,000 years of Armenian history, and honors the victims of the Armenian Genocide by creating a permanent museum and library.

The Armenian Museum of America is at 65 Main St. in Watertown. For more information visit the museum website.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian on the book "The Whip"

What can I say about this book? It has all the elements I love in a book. Not only is it a true story, but it is historical...paralleling the lack of rights for African Americans and women. I hope the author who is also an accomplished actress turns this into a screenplay and a movie is made out of this great story.

Best Western, 2013 International Book Awards 2013 National Indie Excellence Awards winner, Western fiction category Award-Winner in the 'Fiction: Historical' category of The 2012 USA Best Book Awards Gold Prize in Historical Fiction & Best Western Fiction - 2013 Global Ebook Awards. The Whip is inspired by the true story of a woman, Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst (1812-1879) who lived most of her extraordinary life as a man in the old west. As a young woman in Rhode Island, she fell in love with a runaway slave and had his child. The destruction of her family drove her west to California, dressed as a man, to track the killer. Charley became a renowned stagecoach driver for Wells Fargo.

She killed a famous outlaw, had a secret love affair, and lived with a housekeeper who, unaware of her true sex, fell in love with her. Charley was the first known woman to vote in America in 1868 (as a man). Her grave lies in Watsonville, California. http://www.amazon.com/The-Whip-Karen-Kondazian/dp/1601823029

Biography Karen Kondazian's career as an actor, writer and producer is as diverse as it is long. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of eight Karen was chosen to be one of the infamous children on Art Linkletter's Kids Say the Darndest Things. The opportunity to miss school during tapings was all it took for Karen to abandon her life's goal of becoming a CIA spy and focus on acting. She completed her schooling at San Francisco State College, The University of Vienna and The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA), after which she began her career in New York. Her first professional work was in the award winning production of Michael Cacoyannis' The Trojan Women at the Circle in the Square Theatre. Her theater career has included starring opposite Ed Harris in Sweet Bird of Youth, Richard Chamberlain in Richard II (dir. Jonathan Miller), Stacy Keach in Hamlet, (dir. Gordon Davidson), Ray Stricklyn in Vieux Carre (West Coast Premiere-Beverly Hills Playhouse, dir. Clyde Ventura, which she also produced). She also starred in Eduardo Machado's off-Broadway play, Broken Eggs (World Premiere, dir. James Hammerstein). She won the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in The Rose Tattoo, in which her work as actor and producer so impressed Tennessee Williams that they became friends and he gave her carte blanche to produce any of his work in his lifetime.

Other awards and nominations include Ovation, Drama Critics Circle, LA Weekly and Garlands for: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Berkeley Rep.), Orpheus Descending (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy), Night of the Iguana (Old Globe, dir. Jack O'Brien), Lady House Blues, Freedomland (South Coast Rep, dir. David Emmes), The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore (Fountain Theatre, dir. Simon Levy), Master Class (Fountain Theatre, Odyssey Theatre, Lobero Theater, dir. Simon Levy). She has appeared as series regular lead in CBS's Shannon and guest starred in over 50 television shows and films including, TNT's James Dean with James Franco (dir. Mark Rydell), NYPD Blue, Frasier, Steal Big Steal Little with Alan Arkin, Yes Giorgio with Luciano Pavarotti, and played Kate Holliday in Showdown at OK-Corral (David Wolper's award-winning series). Karen is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is also a member of Women in Film. Kondazian is a multi-award winning novelist. Her debut novel, The Whip, won the USA News Award for Best Historical Fiction and also the National Indie Excellence Award for Best Western. It was featured on the cover of Publishers Weekly. She is also the author of the best-selling book The Actors Encyclopedia of Casting Directors, with a foreword by Richard Dreyfuss. Her long running weekly column, "Sculpting Your Own Career" appeared in L.A. STAGE, BackStage, and DramaLogue. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian about time Armenian Artists are given keys to apartments

Armenia is finally starting to recognize their artists and reward them and make their living conditions favorable so they can create more works for everyone to enjoy.  Vanessa Kachadurian supports artists and this is the right action to take.

Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan has handed keys to new apartments to two artists in appreciation of their contribution to culture.

On June 15, the Yerevan Council of Elders made a unanimous decision to provide apartments to member of the Union of Armenia’s Composers and Musicologists, opera singer Irina Zakyan and flutist of the State Philharmonic Orchestra of Armenia, Honored Artist of Armenia Tigran Gevorgyan “to create favorable conditions for their creative activities.”

At a ceremony on Wednesday, Mayor Margaryan congratulated the artists, attaching importance to their contribution to the promotion of Armenian culture and making it recognizable abroad.

“The Mayor’s Office is always ready to support people who make a contribution to the development and promotion of Armenian culture and cultural life,” Margaryan said, wishing both artists new successes.

Zakyan and Gevorgyan expressed their gratitude to the mayor for his appreciation of their activities.

Vanessa Kachadurian Armenian Artists, Moderdn to Postmodern exhibition


“From East to West: Armenian artists from Modern to Postmodern” exhibition

Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan accompanied by Deputy Mayor Ara Sukiasyan visited the Contemporary Art Museum subordinated to the Municipality, where the exhibition called “From East to West: Armenian artists from Modern to Postmodern” was opened.
The hundred-year-old history of the last 19th up to the early 20th century was presented at the exhibition opened within the frames of the official program of “Golden Apricot” movie festival.
The Mayor walked about the exhibition hall, familiarized himself with works displayed.
Beside the works of eminent Armenian masters the works of contemporary painters were displayed.
The works of greatest Armenian artists Martiros Saryan, Minas, Zhansem, Garzu, Bashinjaghyan, Sergey Parajanov, Yervand Kochar, famous American Armenian artist Arshil Gorki were exhibited on one platform.
After watching the pictures displayed at the exhibition, at the request of the organizers Mayor Taron Margaryan left his signature on the board placed for honorary guests visiting the exhibition.

Vanessa Kachadurian and the Vernissage Market home for Alternative Art

A Mainstream Home for Alternative Art in Armenia

Vanessa Kachadurian loves the Vernissage Market and recommends it to everyone.


YEREVAN, Armenia — Every weekend at the Vernissage Market here, locals and tourists survey handsomely woven Persian rugs, vintage Soviet military medals, samovars, chess sets and intricately carved jewelry boxes. It’s like a step back in time to a Silk Road bazaar says Vanessa Kachadurian

In contrast, just across the street sits a staid and humble building, designed as an auditorium when the Cold War was drawing to a close and then, for a time afterward, left vacant. In front, appropriately, is Yervand Kochar’s towering 1959 sculpture “Melancholy,” seemingly serving as a testament to the political and economic crises that have convulsed Armenia since the collapse of Communism in the region nearly a quarter century ago.

The statue, however, also gestures promisingly to the building itself, which since 1995 has housed the Norar Pordzarakan Arvesti Kentovon, or Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art. Founded by Armenian émigrés to the United States and hailed by many as the epicenter of Armenia’s culture revolution and renaissance, it hosts exhibits by young, avant-garde artists and offers concerts and performances in its large auditorium.

Among other endeavors, artists at the center initiated and organized Armenia’s participation at the Venice Biennale in 1995, and continued to do so for eight years. And the center’s founders are set to introduce an independent study program for graduates in the arts and architecture, modeled on a similar one at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

“It used to be that many of our young artists would exhibit their work in underground galleries,” said Sevada Petrossian, the center’s coordinator of architectural events. “We like to think of the center as a mainstream place for alternative art.”

For a city of roughly one million, Yerevan’s artistic standing and cachet have been notable in the past century. In 1972, the Soviet Union established its first Museum of Modern Art here. The city’s National Art Gallery showcases the third-largest collection of European masters in the former Soviet Union, including works by Rodin, Rubens and Tintoretto. And Yerevan itself exudes a distinct bygone elegance, with its softly hued 19th-century tuff stone edifices that line its leafy boulevards.

Aside from the center and its focus on experimental art, there is also the Cafesjian Center for the Arts. Opened in November 2009, it holds an extensive collection of contemporary and glass art, as well as works by Marc Chagall and John Altoon, who was of Armenian descent.

And yet, despite Yerevan’s artistic fervor, when Edward Balassanian and his wife, Sonia, set out to establish the contemporary and experimental art center, they expected — and encountered — resistance.

“While we believe in academic education, we also promote breaking away from it once study is completed,” Mr. Balassanian said. “Those within certain art circles, namely some artists schooled during the Soviet era and most of the members of the Painters Union of Armenia, still either don’t understand the center’s motives and/or vocally reject its projects.”

The Balassanians are part of Armenia’s global diaspora of eight million. They were both born and raised in Iran, fleeing the country in 1979 after the Islamic revolution and eventually settling in New York.

But when Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Mr. Balassanian, an architect and urban planner, and Mrs. Balassanian, a painter and poet who has exhibited at major venues in the United States and Europe, including The Project Room of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, were eager to return.

After the Islamic revolution, Mrs. Balassanian began concentrating her art on cultural, political and social suppression, and she felt a natural calling toward Armenia. In 1992, she organized her first contemporary art exhibit in Yerevan, including her work and that of eight other artists, culminating in the center’s official opening in 1994. She and her husband gradually introduced video and multimedia art to the Armenian art scene, as well as photography as its own art genre.

Not everyone in Yerevan has been receptive. Among those is Anatoly Avetyan, who began his artistic career in the 1970s and has gone on to command strong sales of his art, which includes metal works, paintings and sculptures now owned by current and past presidents of Russia, Finland and Germany, not to mention George W. Bush.

“Much of the best generation of artists has already passed away,” he said. Rather than reinvent the wheel, he said, he and his contemporaries are pushing for a larger building to house the works now at Yerevan’s Museum of Modern Art.

In response, Mr. Balassanian says the establishment of the Museum of Modern Art in 1972 was indeed “a daring act,” and he draws a parallel between it and the center he co-founded.

“It was an expression of resilience and audacity under politically repressive conditions,” he said, noting that his center had “institutionalized the concept and role of the curator as a distinct profession, something that didn’t exist previously in Armenia, as such tasks had been performed by government-appointed managers.”

With poverty, corruption and a weak democracy continuing to bedevil Armenia, the center’s artists say they seek to tether their work to social and political issues alongside questions of national identity and culture. The center organized an exhibition in 2007 called “Yerevan Crisis,” for example, which focused on social problems resulting from rapid growth, a spontaneous boom in high-rise construction and escalating property prices.

This issue was also at play in 1997, when Gagik Ghazareh, a film student at the time, was hard-pressed to find a place to screen his work. Despite Yerevan’s growth, there is only one operating cinema in the city, and he did not feel it fit his alternative genre, he said. A friend suggested contacting the center, which offered him a screening room.

“One year later, I was invited by the center to chair their cinema department,” said Mr. Ghazareh, who joined in 1999, later becoming the center’s artistic director and has since gone on to develop annual festivals in Yerevan for film and theater.

Vahram Akimian, another young filmmaker who joined the center’s staff in 2005, is now the program director for the “One Shot” International Short Film Festival, which has partners in Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and Slovakia, among other countries. He was also the center’s associate curator of the Armenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009. Today, he is the center’s director of video, cinema and theater.

“Our government speaks of a ‘national culture’ or ‘national art,”’ said Mr. Akimian one afternoon at the center as he looked across the street at the bustling Vernissage Market. “But there’s still no agreement today on what that is.”


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian, Exhibition in Geneva on the Armenian Genocide

The World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Armenian Apostolic Church are hosting a one-month exhibition on the Armenian genocide.

It will display information on the history of genocidal events in the Ottoman Empire which killed more than a million Christian Armenians between 1915 and 1923.

Open to the public until 30 September 2013, the exhibition is being held at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland, addressing the theme “Because I live, you too shall live” (St John 14.19, New Testament).

The exhibition is organized by the Armenia Inter-Church Round Table Foundation.

At the opening of the exhibition, Fr Mesrop Parsamyan, vicar general of the South from the Armenian Diocese of France, declared starkly: “People need to know what happened.”

“Knowing the history of the Armenian genocide is one way to make sure that such atrocities never happen again. There is still a need for churches, communities and governments to recognize the Armenian genocide, and condemn these events in order to pave the way for reconciliation and healing of the scars from the past,” said Fr Parsamyan.

The Armenian genocide has been recognized as the first genocide of the 20th century, with several historians documenting the number of Armenians killed at around 1.5 million. It is alleged that their deaths were brought about by agents of the Ottoman Empire through deportation, torture, starvation and massacres.

Turkey, however, denies that there was a planned campaign to eliminate Armenians but says both Turks and Armenians lost their lives during World War I and in the post-war years. Turkey also says no more than 300,000 Armenians lost their lives in the clashes.

Fr Parsamyan went on to say that the “exhibition on Armenian genocide is timely” given the theme of the WCC 10th Assembly, 'God of life, lead us to justice and peace'. The WCC assembly is set to take place from 30 October to 8 November in Busan, Republic of Korea.

“The God of life has let Armenians carry on their journeys for justice and peace,” he said. The WCC assembly theme is important for the Armenians who are demanding condemnation of the Armenian genocide from the international community, added Parsamyan.

Dr Isabel Apawo Phiri, the WCC’s associate general secretary for Public Witness and Diakonia, voiced appreciation for the exhibition project and affirmed the WCC’s support of the initiative.

“We acknowledge and recognize the injustice faced by Armenian Christians during the genocide,” said Phiri. “It is a pity that after so many years the Armenian genocide is still not acknowledged. This is why initiatives like this exhibition are important,” she added.

Phiri also mentioned the WCC’s efforts in the past toward recognition and condemnation of the Armenian genocide.

The WCC 6th Assembly at Vancouver, Canada in 1983 issued a report focusing on the historic realities of the Armenian massacre and its aftermath, while the WCC member churches have commemorated an annual remembrance day of the Armenian genocide for several years.

The exhibition displays banners in English and French, attracting the local and international community in Geneva, and will travel to other countries.

Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, which has been helping to raise awareness of the Armenian genocide since 2007, has welcomed the initiative.

"Facing up to crimes of the history with honesty and addressing the pain of the past with hope is essential to negotiating a better future for us all in a still-divided world," he said.

"This ecumenically supported exhibition will help in the task of recovering a proper memory of what the Armenian people endured during the first genocide of the twentieth century, in addition to developing an understanding of how and why it has resonated down the ensuing decades. It will also assist with the healing of memories and the encouragement of a common quest for justice."

Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian, an ecumenical, legal and political consultant and commentator on Middle East and interfaith issues, is also an adviser to the Primate of the Armenian Church in UK & Ireland, and author of The Armenian Church in the Holy Land. He has worked closely with the Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (UK).

* Armenian Orthodox Church: http://www.armenianchurch.org/

* World Council of Churches: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/armeniangenocide

* More about the Armenian Genocide on Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/armeniangenocide

* Harry Hagopian on Ekklesia: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/HarryHagopian and his own website: http://www.epektasis.net



Sunday, September 22, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian, Art and Film- Former Fresnan to recieve Armenian Film Award

former Fresnan and reciptant of "Lifetime Achievement" in Acting

The two films I had the pleasure of viewing at worldwide premieres "Abstraction" and "Orphans of the Genocide" are nominated in different categories (Film, and Documentary)

Special Awards Honors Go To Sid Haig (Lifetime Achievement Award) Matthew Van Dyke (Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award) Sev Ohanian (Breakthrough Filmmaker Award) September 26th-29th, 2013 at the Egyptian Theatre

LOS ANGELES—The 16th Annual Arpa International Film Festival (September 26 -29, Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood) today announced the members of the 2013 jury, along with the nominations for the nine awards they will grant. Festival Director Alex Kalognomos also announced this year’s Special Awards recipients, Actor Sid Haig and Producers Matthew Van Dyke (Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution) and Sev Ohanian (Fruitvale Station). The honorees will be feted at the festival’s Closing Night Gala on Sunday, September 29 at 7:30pm, with red carpet and screening of the film, Masque, directed by Robert Hatch. The Closing Night Gala will include a dinner reception. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved at www.itsmyseat.com/affma.

2013 Special Awards

Arpa founder and head, Sylvia Minassian, noted that, “The 2013 nominees and Special Awards recipients Matthew VanDyke and Sev Ohanian truly reflect the festival’s core philosophy, which is to cultivate cultural understanding and global empathy. These are films which shed light on people and places that Los Angeles audiences might only know from the news. Matthew’s film follows two people on the front lines of the conflict in Syria, while Sev’s film shows the tragic effects of cultural divide here in the United States. ”

Minassian continued, “Our Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Sid Haig in recognition of a remarkable and ongoing career in which he has and will continue to create memorable characters. We are honored to applaud him for his contributions to the cinematic community”

Matthew Van Dyke is the recipient of this year’s prestigious Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award – named after German author and human rights activist Armin Theophil Wegner – for the documentary short Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution. The film follows two young Syrians, Mowya, a 32 year-old rebel commander and 24 year-old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. Both have had their lives torn apart by the war.

Producer and Arpa alumni Sev Ohanian, whose film My Big Fat Armenian Family entertained audiences at the 2008 Arpa festival, will receive the 2013 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award for his award-winning Fruitvale Station. The film – which was the winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and, a Best First Feature for Director Ryan Coogler at the Cannes Film Festival in May – tells the story of Oscar Grant whose fateful encounter at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day 2009 rocked the nation to its very core.

This year’s special awards include Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Sid Haig, whose 50-year acting career includes more than 80 films and 350 television series. Haig’s performances include such films as Hatchet 3, The Devil’s Rejects, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill: Vol. 2. His chilling portrayal of the fun-loving but lethal Captain Spaulding in House Of 1000 Corpses has earned him an induction into the Horror Hall of Fame – along with the cache of being one of the major Horror icons of the 21st Century.

Past Arpa Special Award recipients include Academy Award® nominees Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) and Shoreh Aghdashloo (House Of Sand And Fog); award-winning producers Robert Papazian, Jim Hirsh, Arthur Sarkissian (Rush Hour), Hank Moonjean (Dangerous Liaisons); Dr. J. Michael Hagopian and Carla Garapedian (Armin T. Wegner Award recipients), and Mardik Martin (Raging Bull) as well as Michael Pogosian (If Only Everyone) and Frances Fisher (Titanic) to name a few. Previous award presenters include Ken Davitian, Vivica A. Fox, Alanis Morissette, Tippi Hedren, Missi Pyle, Alison Janney, Arsine Khanjian, Marilu Henner, Tony Shaloub, Cheech Marin, Alfonso Herrera, Dean Cain, and Ann Magnuson.

2013 Jury Members

This year’s distinguished jury includes actor, producer and writer Charles Agron (Haunted), actor James Duke Mason (What Happens Next), producer and 2013 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Sev Ohanian (Fruitvale Station), award-winning actor/playwright Felix Pire (12 Monkeys), award-winning producer Howard Rosenman (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt) and British writer/filmmaker Sebastian Siegel (Love Sex God. Part 1, Awakening World). See biographies below.

Jury-Award Nominations

The following films have been nominated for “Best” Jury Awards in their categories:

Best Documentary: Figure of Armen, Fracknation, Orphans of Genocide, Two: The Story of Roman and Nyro, and Welcome Nowhere. Best Short Film: Half Good Killer, Lao, Luminoso, Masque, Perfrect Day; Rose, Mary and Time, Subhuman. Best Music Video: Ganesh Is Fresh, Moonbeam, Safe and Sound by Capital Cities, Switzerland by The Dewars, and Beautiful by Vassy; Best Feature nominees will also be eligible for Best Screenplay and Best Director prizes. The five nominees are: Abstraction, Always Faithful, Kral Yolu, My Name Is Viola, and The Power of Few.

As previously announced, The Opening Night Film, on Thursday, September 26 will be the North American premiere of My Name Is Viola Featuring two luminous female leads, Lusine Alexanian in the title role and Janet Spitzer as her hero/nemesis. The program includes two Centerpiece Films. On Friday September 27, the feature is Abstraction, by Los-Angeles indie-director Prince Bagdasarian. The intense crime drama stars Korrina Rico, Ken Davitian, Natalie Victoria, and Eric Roberts. On Saturday, September 28 it is the multiple-perspective urban crime drama The Power of Few, by writer/director Leone Marucci and starring Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson, Juvenile and executive produced by Roy Kurtluyan. Sunday’s Closing Night film (September 29) will be the award-winning drama Masque, directed by Robert Hatch and starring Lauren Holly and Wilford Brimley.

Arpa International Film Festival ticket prices are: General screenings $13, Centerpiece film and reception $25, Opening and Closing dinner receptions $45. For more information and the full film lineup, schedule, and tickets visit www.affma.org.

2013 Jury Biographies

Producer, writer and actor Charles Agron is a native of Los Angeles California, and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Agron’s first screenplay, Haunted, was directed by Victor Salva, stars Tobin Bell, and will be released in 2014. In 2012, he formed Charles Agron Productions, where he currently has several projects in development. His next feature Monday at 11:01 A.M.” is slated to begin production at the beginning of next year.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Law and Society, he then attended UCLA to study Pre-med. Moving to Washington DC, he took a position as a lobbyist with the National Physicians Association, a company that advocates for the rights of doctors. He then began training with Lena Harris, protégé of Baruch Lumet and director Sydney Lumet’s father, in her acting program at 20th Century Fox. Agron returned to Los Angeles landing roles in commercials and independent films while studying with Melissa Scoff and his current acting coach and Actors Studio alumnus, John Sarno.

James Duke Mason is an American actor. The son of Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle and producer Morgan Mason (Sex, Lies, and Videotape), and grandson of the late British actor James Mason, his first film, What Happens Next, was released in 2012. He will next star in the drama Jack & Lem, which will shoot in 2014. Since January 2012, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Outfest, the youngest person ever to be appointed in the organization’s 30-year history. In 2011 he was selected by Out magazine to be included in their “Out 100” list, and he also was selected in 2010 as one of The Advocate’s “Forty Under 40.” He has worked on behalf of various political candidates and has written for publications such as The Huffington Post and The Advocate, and been featured on the “E!” Channel, as well as on TV programs such as “Nancy Grace”, “Politicking with Larry King” and “Dr. Phil”.

With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Felix Pire is an actor in Film and TV, an acting professor, and an independent producer-writer-director. His many acting credits include 12 Monkeys (opposite Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, and directed by Terry Gilliam) and Phatgirlz (opposite Mo’Nique). In 1997, Pire won the New York Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance in for “Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown” by Guillermo Reyes. His one-man play “The Origins of Happiness in Latin”, won the California Community Foundation’s Brody Grant and the 2001 National Latino Playwriting Award. His screenplay, “Hurricane Nena”, (written at HBO’s Latino Screenwriting Workshop), won a Certificate in Recognition of Creative Excellence in 2003 from ABC Television’s Talent Development Program.

Pire is a 2008 graduate of the Producer’s Guild of America’s Diversity Program. He has produced, directed & edited commercials for Spanish-language TV station, Azteca. He continues to create the award-winning Latino puppet webisodes of “LosTiteres.TV“, which have led to his being trained and hired as a television puppeteer by the Jim Henson Company. He also became a part of their live improv puppet comedy show, “Stuffed & Unstrung“. Other web series include a self-named cartoon series “The Felix Pire Show” and a sexy, urban comedy, “Latinas En L.A.”


A Los Angeles native, Sev Ohanian has been an active filmmaker since high school. At the age of 20, he produced and self-distributed My Big Fat Armenian Family, a feature-film that became extremely popular with Armenian audiences around the world. Shortly after, he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA program, using the profits from his film to pay for tuition. While at film school, he focused on producing several ambitious short films in collaboration with fellow students. Since graduating, he was the Co-Producer on Fruitvale Station, a feature film written and directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. It also premiered at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival. The film was acquired by The Weinstein Company and released in theaters everywhere in July 2013. Sev recently finished producing The Labyrinth, a feature film project for James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions, in collaboration with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Award-winning producer Howard Rosenman has been responsible for several box-office hits during his career, including The Main Event starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, and two-time Academy Award® nominee Resurrection starring Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard, with producing partner Renee Missel. While co-heading production at Sandollar with producer Carol Baumhe, Rosenman produced several projects including Father of The Bride, and Gross Anatomy (about Rosenman’s years in medical school), and Harvey Fierstein’s Tidy Endings for HBO, which garnered two Emmy Award nominations and two Cable ACE Awards. Also during this time, Rosenman served as Executive Producer of the Oscar-winning Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

He subsequently formed Howard Rosenman Productions and produced The Family Man, Noel starring Susan Sarandon, Penélope Cruz and Robin Williams and You Kill Me, starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Téa Leoni.

Rosenman is Co-Founder of Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, a meals-on-wheels program for people living with life-threatening diseases including AIDS and cancer.

Sebastian Siegel is a British-American actor, writer and filmmaker. He wrote, produced and directed the acclaimed two-part documentary, Love Sex God, Part 1: Awakening World, which premiered at festivals to standing-room-only audiences, including the largest audience in the history of the Sedona International Film Festival. Awakening World was the Centerpiece Film at Arpa’s 2012 Festival. Sebastian adapted the screenplay for Ken Wilber’s book and true story, Grace and Grit, and recently wrote, produced and directed the trailer for EuroCinema Hawaii. He has played pivotal character roles on “The Finder”, “Hawaii Five-0”, “Lost”, “Family Guy”, and “The Family That Preys.” Sebastian writes on psychology and philosophy for The Huffington Post


Vanessa Kachadurian Armenian Artists

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian- Abstraction (2013) - Official Trailer (Eric Roberts, Ken Davitian)

Feature film, RED CARPET premiere tomorrow September 7th, so excited to be attending.  PIB Productions is Prince Baghdasarian.  An up and comming Armenian Artist. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Vanessa Kachadurian Artists for Peace Flora Marrtirosyan

http://times.am/?l=en&p=15090 Armenian people’s artist, founder of the Artists for Peace charity organization, initiator of the cultural movement “Never again” Flora Marrtirosyan died today in the USA, Los Angeles. She was born on 1957. According to the initial information she died after operation. Remind that on November 15 an announcement was placed at the singer’s Facebook page according which her scheduled concert was postponed because of the illness. Accoridng to the information she was operated and her situation was normal then. Times.am expresses deep condolences towards the singers family, relatives and the whole Armenian nation for the bitter loss.

Vanessa Kachadurian Armenian Art on Display in Tibilisi

http://hetq.am/eng/news/21155/armenian-churches-in-tbilisi-yesterday-and-today-exhibition-opened-in-georgia.html An exhibition entitled "Armenian Churches in Tbilisi, Yesterday and Today" opened on December 1, 2012 at the “Hayartun” Cultural Center of the Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church in Georgia, The exhibition isdedicated to the founders of the Armenian Church Apostles Bartholomew and Thaddeus. The idea of the exhibition belongs to Varujhan Khachaturov (Jean Khach), a well known Armenian painter from Tbilisi, who died too young. “Hayartun” Cultural Center at the Georgian-Armenian Diocese, the Union of Armenian Painters of Georgia and the National Archives of Armenia with the support of Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia are the organizers of the event. There were 26 Armenian churches in Tbilisi until 1930, one part of them was destroyed by the Soviet authorities and the other part in the 1990s’ became Georgian. The ideological basis of the exhibition is to represent Armenian churches in Tbilisi working until 1990s’, but nowadays destructed, not working or made Georgian. The paintings of Armenian and Georgian artists from Tbilisi and other regions participated in the exhibition. Sergo Vardosanidze, professor and rector of the St. Andrew University at the Georgian Patriarchate, and sheikh Vagif Akperov, the leader of Muslims Department in Georgia, were the guests of honor at the exhibition. The event was attended by poet and translator Givi Shakhnazari, Van Baiburtian, Advisor to the President of Georgia and the editor of "Vrastan" ("Georgia"), Henry Muradyan, Chairman of the Union of Armenians in Georgia, representatives of Embassy of the Republic of Armenia to Georgia, intellectuals, artists and ordinary citizens.

Vanessa Kachadurian, Art and honoring the Armenian Genocide

A large throng is expected to participate in the 98th Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide to be held in Times Square on Sunday, April 21. The organizers invite people of all backgrounds to join together to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and subsequent genocides during Genocide Awareness Month and to speak out against this horrendous crime against humanity. The theme of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration is “Turkey is Guilty of Genocide: Denying the Undeniable is Criminal.” This historic event will pay tribute to the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire and to the millions of victims of subsequent genocides worldwide. Speakers will include civic, religious, humanitarian, educational, cultural leaders, and performing artists. This event is free and open to the public. Dennis R. Papazian, PhD, immediate past National Grand Commander of Knights of Vartan and Founding Director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Dr. Mary A. Papazian, President of Southern Connecticut State University, will preside over the ceremonies. Dr. Dennis Papazian comments, “Recent momentous events encourage me to believe that the long vigil of the Armenian people waiting for recognition of their genocide by the Turkish government may be coming to a positive conclusion. An influential Kurdish leader in Turkey, a member of Parliament and vice-president of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Congress, Ahmet Turk, admitted that the Kurdish people played a significant role in the ‘torture and massacre of Armenians, Assyrians and Yezidis’ during the Armenian Genocide and apologized to the Armenian people. Turk stated, ‘Our grandfathers and fathers were used in the injustices perpetrated against Armenians, Assyrians and Yezidis. There is blood on their hands. With the blood of these peoples they bloodied their own hands. Thus, as their children and grandchildren, we apologize.’” Dr. Papazian continues, “A second momentous event was the publication of a book in Turkey entitled ‘The Armenian Genocide’ by Hasan Cemal, the grandson of Cemal (Jamal) Pasha, one of the three main authors of the Armenian Genocide. Hasan Cemal, a member of the Turkish establishment and a newspaper columnist, began his inquiry into the Armenian Genocide following the killing of Turkish diplomats by a group of young Armenians who went by the name of ASAlA. At first, Hasan Cemal supported the official government point of view, and as he became more knowledgeable, finally concluded that indeed there was a genocide of the Armenians perpetrated by the Young Turk party which controlled the Ottoman government in 1915-1923. The book has inspired many members of the Turkish elites to reevaluate their denial of the Armenian Genocide.” Papazian adds, “Itzak Alaton, the owner of one of the largest corporations in Turkey, urged the Turkish Socio-Economic Research Center to pursue the Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide.” ”April 24, 1915 is just around the corner,” stated Alaton, “let us change our denialist policies. I am tired of the fear to face our past. Let us raise our voices to our deputies in Ankara and those deputies should raise their voices to their political parties and leaders in order for us to open our skeleton-fill closets.” Dr. Papazian concludes, “These three significant events which took place without any reprisal from the Turkish government imply that a positive change may be in the air.” The 98th Commemoration is organized by the Mid-Atlantic chapters of the Knights & Daughters of Vartan, an international Armenian fraternal organization headquartered in the United States, and co-sponsored by Armenian General Benevolent Union, Armenian Assembly of America, Armenian National Committee of America , Armenian Council of America and the Armenian Democratic League-Ramgavars. Participating Organizations include the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Prelacy of the Armenian Church, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Catholic Eparchy for US and Canada, Mid-Atlantic ACYOA, AYF, Armenian youth organizations, Armenian university and college clubs. Share! • • http://www.armradio.am/en/2013/02/22/armenian-genocide-98th-anniversary-commemoration-to-be-held-in-times-square-on-april-21/ • • • • • • •

Vanessa Kachadurian, the Art of Arthur Pinajian

NEW YORK—An exhibition of Arthur Pinajian’s abstract paintings was opened on Wed., Feb. 13 at the Antiquorum, on the fifth floor of the Fuller Building, located at 41 East 57th Street in New York. The exhibition is a revealing insight into the artistry of a painter who has been compared to Arshile Gorky. A significant part of the proceeds will support the work of the Fund for Armenian Relief (FAR) in Armenia. The 34 paintings, which are available for purchase, will be on exhibition and open to the public until March 10, Tuesday through Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Also available is a catalogue of his works, entitled Pinajian: Master of Abstraction Discovered, with essays by well-known art scholars, and edited by art scholar Peter Hastings Falk. . A unique artist During the opening night reception, FAR official Arto Vorperian welcomed the close to 200 guests, which included museum officials, art dealers, and art lovers. Peter Hastings Falk, the catalogue editor, also spoke, revealing that Arthur Pinajian did not follow the route of current artists who employ a retinue of agents, dealers, and business people. Pinajian, in a word, “did not conform to today’s norms. He painted every day, but no one saw his art. He received no reviews and not one of his paintings or works on paper ever was shown in a New York gallery or museum.” When he died, his art, which had been stored in his garage, was left to be destroyed at his request. Fortunately, it was rescued at the last minute, as the New York Times reported. Although there are few people today who know of his brilliant creativity, one couple at the opening reception related how they had purchased a figurative painting many years ago from the artist for a mere $100, “so that Pinajian could have money to purchase paint for his work.” Today, his abstract paintings are on sale for $3,750 to $87,000. A veteran art dealer at the exhibition predicted that in a few years, the price would shoot up to more than three or four times the amounts currently listed, as his fame spreads. It seems he was an artist one reads about in novels or sees in films—that is, the legendary starving artist who only sold paintings so that he could buy materials needed to continue his work. Arthur Pinajian, the child of Vartanoosh, a skilled embroiderer, and her husband Hagop, who worked for a dry cleaner, was born in 1914, with the name of Ashod in Union City, N.J. However, he preferred his nickname, Archie. A precocious youngster, he excelled in school, skipping grades, and possessed a voracious desire to draw with both hands at the same time. Newly graduated from high school in 1930 at age 16, during the Great Depression, with his father and uncle out of work, he took a job as a clerk in a carpet company to support his family. With the untimely death of his mother in 1932, he moved his father and sister to a much smaller apartment in Long Island, warmed only by a pot-belly stove. A pioneer in cartoon art Like many around him, the young Pinajian, seeking to escape from these harsh circumstances, went to the movies; after seeing Paul Muni in “Scarface,” he started his first comic strip. While still working at the carpet firm, he was hired as a freelance cartoonist by Lud Shabazian, a reporter-illustrator at the New York Daily News, and at age 20, he was promoting himself as a commercial illustrator. Taking only the sessions he could afford at the Art Students’ League and with the aid of the G.I. Bill, he honed his skills in the medium of the modern-day comic book. Regarded as among the pioneers of this new medium, he achieved considerable success in writing and drawing for such publishers as Quality, Marvel and Centaur, and working as an illustrator for ad agencies. Following his service in the U.S. Army in World War II, for which he was awarded a Bronze Star, he was drawn to the works of the old and modern art masters, and endlessly roamed through the Manhattan museums and art galleries. For the last 26 years of his life, he devoted his life completely to art, living in a tiny room. It was not until eight years after his death, that Pinajian’s artistic works would see the light of day. He was an artist who never used the tools of marketability, or exploited commercial connections. Never interested in fame, he was just too busy painting. Artistic struggle Pinajian’s art displays his emotional quest between figurative and abstract art. His representational art focused on landscapes and female nudes. Renowned art critic John Perreault writes that through Pinajian’s writings, which were scribbled in notebooks or on small bits of paper, we enter into his world of struggle and tension. “Pinajian found no easy answers. Each painting is a puzzle and a struggle, yielding light.” The Pinajian story “is or could be the basis of a new myth, that of the secret artist,” continues Perreault. “The secret artist lives among us. He (or she) seems ordinary on the outside and gives little sign of a hidden calling. Yet out of view, the secret artist toils, producing painting after painting. The ecstasy is in the making. Looking at Pinajian’s lifetime of work, we participate in that ecstasy.” The Fund for Armenian Relief, an organization founded following a devastating earthquake in 1988, has served hundreds of thousands of people through more than 225 relief and development programs in Armenia and Artsakh (Karabagh). It has channeled more than $290 million in humanitarian and developmental assistance by implementing a wide range of projects, including emergency relief, construction, education, medical aid, and economic development http://www.armenianweekly.com/2013/03/06/revealing-the-art-of-arthur-pinajian/

Vanessa Kachadurian on Hakob Hakobyan's death of an Artist

Renowned Armenian painter Hakob Hakobyan passed away on Fri., March 8 in Yerevan. Hakobyan’s art earned him the honorary title of People’s Artist of Soviet Armenia and a State Prize of Armenia in 1977. Hakob Hakobyan Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1923 to Armenian refugees from Aintab, the young Hakobyan was shielded from the horrors that his parents and grandparents experienced during the genocide. He was sent to study at the Melkonian Educational Institute in Cyprus, and later the Cairo High School of Fine Arts, followed by the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. He participated in international contests and festivals for young artists, receiving second place in the Fourth World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) in Bucharest, Hungary, in 1953. His early works were characterized by small-size oil, namely still lifes and one-figure compositions in interiors, often times portraying sympathy for the “little man.” The paintings of this period depict the isolation of the people portrayed. In 1961, Hakobyan moved to Armenia, where he was elected a member of the Supreme Council of the Soviet Armenia just six years later. The paintings of this new period were marked by an original style, as Hakobyan was attempting to assimilate into the new homeland. His depiction of Armenia’s natural landscape and its various villages and cityscapes mark a vital stage in Hakobyan’s progress as a Soviet Armenian painter. As ArmSite.com explains, Hakobyan’s work is “evocative of the ‘other side’ of the traditions of Armenian culture,” which include the constructivist and rational principle of form building. “His artistic progress is an example of the consecutive and purposeful development of the spiritual world and humanistic aspirations of an artist in our own day.” In 1987, Hakobyan was awarded with the USSR State Prize for a series of watercolor paintings that stood out with a high degree of artistry. Some of his most prominent works include “Park Near St. Hripsime Temple,” “Echmiadzin” (1976); “Vineyard in Winter” (1979); “In Artist’s Studio” (1980); “Forlorn Corner” (1980); and “Garni Gorge” (1980). Some of these pieces, as well as others, are currently on display as part of a new exhibition of Soviet and contemporary art from Central Asia and the Caucasus at the Sotheby’s auction house in London, called “At the Crossroads: Contemporary Art from the Caucasus and Central Asia

Vanessa Kachadurian, Treasures of Armenia exhibit and sale

http://www.ticketfly.com/event/245235-art-exhibit-treasures-philadelphia/ Art Exhibit: Treasures of Armenia As part of IHP’s celebration of Armenian culture, please join us on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 6pm for the opening of Treasures of Armenia art exhibit. This open-call, juried exhibit of artists of Armenian descent will feature works in a variety of media from artists of at least partial Armenian descent. Works have been selected to create a cohesive presentation that highlights contemporary Armenian art. The exhibited artworks will be on display from April 3, 2013 until June 30, 2013 as well as during IHP’s 52nd Global Gala: Treasures of Armenia on May 18th. All exhibited artwork will be for sale, and proceeds will benefit Armenian students and scholars who are members of International House, a housing project in Vanadzor, Armenia, and the Armenian Sisters Academy – the only Armenian school in the Greater Philadelphia region. The opening reception begins at 6pm, and will include wine and light hors d’oeuvres. There will be 10 Armenian artists participating. Vahe Ashodian Hratch Babikian Sophia Chitjian Monique Kendikian-Sarkessian Rose Manteghian Adrienne Minassian Luke Momjian Stepan Sacklarian (deceased) Sosy Maral M. Shishmanian Ara Zeibarian