This year marks the 15th anniversary of Arpa International Film Festival, the signature event of Arpa Foundation for Film, Music, and Art (AFFMA), which will be held November 29-December 2, 2012. 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.
The 15th Arpa International Film Festival begins Thursday, November 29 at the historic Egyptian Theatre and culminates with the Arpa Awards Gala at the Sheraton Universal on Sunday, December 2, 2012. The Festival will present over 40 films, star-studded receptions, red carpet opening and closing night premieres. Feature narratives, short films, documentaries, music videos and animated films will be showcased from over 25 nations.
The Festival kicks off with the North American premiere of LOST AND FOUND IN ARMENIA, starring Jamie Kennedy (Bending the Rules) and Angela Sarafyan (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part II). Directed by Gor Kirakosian (2007 Arpa Best Screenplay Award recipient) the film is the first American comedy filmed on location in Armenia.
Closing night will feature the North American premiere of Natalya Belyauskene’s IF ONLY EVERYONE starring acclaimed actor and filmmaker, Michael Poghosian (Symphony of Silence). IF ONLY EVERYONE is Armenia’s Official Submission for Foreign Language Film at the 85th Academy Awards®.
The Festival will also present a special panel event to promote social understanding among media and entertainment professionals. GEMAI (Global Event and Media Accessibility Initiative) partners with Arpa this year to stage a panel discussion focusing on GEMAI’s mission to develop initiatives that will enhance the experience of the 30 million deaf or hard of hearing and the 3.4 million blind movie-going audience in America. Together, the GEMAI partnership with Arpa aims to provide a forum which addresses the last social component to media landscape – using artistic and technological advancements of the film industry to build a seamless and organic road map of inclusion.
The Festival concludes this year with the Arpa Awards Gala. The evening will include a dinner reception and awards program at the Sheraton Universal. Past celebrity attendees and award recipients include Shohreh Aghdashloo, David Alpay, Ken Davitian, Atom Egoyan, Frances Fisher, Vivica A. Fox, Alanis Morissette, Tippi Hedren, Missi Pyle, Alison Janney, Arsine Khanjian, Marilu Henner, Tony Shaloub, Cheech Marin, Robert Papazian, Alfonso Herrera, James Hirsch, Mary Apick, Anne Bedian, Hrach Titizian, Anoush NeVart, Patricia Kara, Hank Moonjean, Arthur Sarkissian, Dean Cain, and Ann Magnuson. The Festival will also present its prestigious Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, named after German author and human rights activist Armin Theophil Wegner (October 16, 1886 – May 17, 1978), which it has been awarding since 2002. Arpa Career and Lifetime Achievement Award recipients will also be recognized.
IF ONLY EVERYONE (2012)
Addressing the questions of war, why people die, and heroic deeds, IF ONLY EVERYONE traces the efforts of two people on a mission to plant a tree as a symbol of life, not just a token of memory for the departed. Director: Natalia Belyauskene Writers: Theresa Varzhapetyan and Michael Poghosian Producers: Michael Poghosian and Theresa Varzhapetyan
LOST AND FOUND IN ARMENIA (2012)
A US Senator’s son (Jaime Kennedy) who attempts to forget the break up of his fiancée, is forced to vacation in Turkey by his best friends. A para-sailing trip mishap lands him in a small village in Armenia, where he is accused of being a spy. It is there he meets a young woman (Angela Sarafyan) who helps him to escape from misfortune. Director: Gor Kirakosian Writers: Krist Manaryan, Narek Ghaplanyan, and Gor Kirakosian Producers: Valerie McCaffrey, Maral Djerejian Trailer: