One year afterCharles Aznavour’s passing, the Armenian Film Festival Australia celebrates the voice and legacy of the chanson legend, featuring the documentary Aznavour: Autobiographie. The title is not an exaggeration. An avid amateur cinematographer, Aznavour got his first camera in 1948 – gifted to him by another French chanson legend, Edith Piaf. For the next seven decades, he would go nowhere without it, filming every aspect of his life – his concerts, his voyages, his time with friends and lovers, his moments of joy and moments of sadness. Filmmaker Marc Di Domenico – who would also follow Aznavour since 2014, took on the impossibly daunting task of editing thousands of hours of previously unreleased footage to craft the narrative of a true legend’s life, in what is a rare documentary truly offering a close look into an artist’s life and times.
[From the Media Release]
ARMENIAN FILM FESTIVAL AUSTRALIA ANNOUNCES HUGE 2019 PROGRAM
The Armenian Film Festival Australia is proud to announce the launch of the festivals 4th edition.
Showcasing 19 films and hosting 8 international guests plus local VIPs, this is the team’s biggest and most impressive festival to date.
Offering 12 feature films and 7 shorts across two cities, the 2019 festival dates are;
- 6th – 15th September in Sydney, Top Ryde Event cinema
- 18th – 20th October Melbourne, Village Rivoli cinema.
The 2019 program is an outstanding line up of films with broad appeal ranging from fantasy, outrageous comedy, heart wrenching drama and nostalgic documentaries from France, Egypt, USA, Turkey, Russia, Italy, Artsakh and Armenia, including exclusive Australian first screenings.
Rebranded ‘Australia’ from ‘Sydney’, this is big news for Melbourne as the city has been added to the schedule for the first time this year due to overwhelming demand.
Each state will formally open with an Armenian themed Opening Night Gala and feature film.
Sydney opens with Lorik, the latest feature from Armenian cinema royalty Michael Poghosyan. A magical drama featuring Poghosyan as the lead and a cast including singer Forsh and Armenian beauty Narine Grigoryan.
Premier of NSW, Gladys Berejiklian will be in attendance at the Sydney Opening Night Gala, as will the Producer of Lorik, Martin Minasyan, multi-award winning Hollywood producer Sev Ohanian and Natalie Qasabian and feature a live performance by Masha Mnjoyan, winner of The Voice Armenia.
Launching for the first time in Melbourne and at the historic Rivoli theatre, Melbourne’s opening night film will be the most celebrated film from the 2018 Sydney line up, Lost Birds. The captivating family drama set in 1915 told through the innocent eyes of two young children.
Armenian Film Festival Australia Co-Directors; Margaret Tcherkezian Chater and Hourie Demirjian said “We are honoured to bring the film-loving community together to share the stories of the Armenian people. This year’s program pays tribute to legends past, celebrates today’s heroes and looks forward to a bright future for the new Armenia. We hope our audience enjoys it.”
A record 8 international guests will be in attendance this year, providing the Australian community with a rare opportunity to meet the filmmakers in person. Notably, 50% of the filmmakers are women including Mariam Ohanyan, women’s rights advocate and founding director of Kin (Women’s) International Film Festival in Yerevan.
- Additional highlights from the 2019 program include;
Armenia Uncovered by celebrity performer Kev Orkian. Kev, along with the film’s Australian-Armenian Director Andy Simon and London based Producer Raffi Tanielian will be in Sydney for the premiere, marked with a closing night celebration.
- Aznavour Autobiographie honouring the legendary Charles Aznavour on the one-year anniversary of his passing, will also feature a live musical performance in Sydney.
- We are Egyptian Armenians, an award winning documentary followed by live Q&A from the producers Waheed Sobhi and Hannan Ezzat after the screening.
- Coming Home from the Republic of Artsakh, highlights the impact of war on the family dynamic in a heart-wrenching and joyous film, this will be accompanied by two short documentaries from Artsakh as part of our Spotlight on Artsakh.
For the full festival program visit the website.
See the official festival trailer, produced by local talents Paul and Shahane Bekarian.