TORONTO, Canada—The 7th Annual Pomegranate Film Festival (POM), held in Toronto, Canada, officially ended its seventh season on Sun., Oct. 21, with a sold-out world premiere. From Oct. 18-21, POM VII celebrated an extremely successful four-day weekend that featured a variety of 34 films from 12 different countries, including 10 world premieres, setting a new record for festival attendance.
“Once again POM completely raised the bar this year,” said Jacob Porpossian, the director of communications and marketing for POM. “Our fantastic selection of films was very well received and helped us set a new attendance record for the festival since its inception seven years ago.”
The festival concluded with the sold-out world premiere screening of the comedy “Lost and found in Armenia,” directed by Gor Kirakosian, with stars Jamie Kennedy and Angela Sarafyan in attendance. The 2012 POM Awards Ceremony shortly followed with jury members Silva Basmadjian, the executive producer of the National Film Board of Canada; Roger Kupelian, a filmmaker and author of the graphic novel “War Gods”; Hrant Alianak, a playwright and actor; and acclaimed cinematographer Norayr Kaspar presenting the 2012 awards.
The film “Azad,” directed by Nicolas Tackian, was awarded Best Feature Film, with Honorable Mention awarded to “Where Do We Go Now?” by producer Lara Chekerdjian. Best Short Film was awarded to director Erik Dinkian for his film “Yukiko,” while Honorable Mentions were awarded to Oksana Mirzoyan for her film “140 Drams,” as well as Luska Khalapyan for her film “The Seventh.” The Dr. Michael J. Hagopian Award for Best Documentary was awarded to Gary and Cesar Gananian for their film “Armenian Rhapsody,” with Honorable Mention awarded to Dr. Kay Mouradian for her film “My Mother’s Voice.” Along with winning the Best Feature Film category, the coveted Audience Choice Awards went to “Where Do We Go Now?” and Gor Kirakosian’s “Lost and Found in Armenia.” Other featured films, such as Katherine Sarafian’s “Brave,” Norayr Kaspar’s “Zenne Dancer,” Oscan Alper’s “Future Lasts Forever,” screenwriter Stephane Kazandjian’s “Monster In Paris,” Vahakn Grigoryan’s “It’s Me,” and Robert Davidian’s “Armenian Activists Now,” generated much discussion among film attendees.
“Selecting the right mix of films for a four day festival is never easy.” said Porpossian. “Our board members spend a lot of time making sure we have a diverse array of films that ensures the growth of the festival, while appealing to viewers that are new to film festival culture, as well as loyal yearly attendees.”
The seventh season allowed POM to push the boundaries by introducing subject matter that wasn’t previously screened at the Toronto festival. “Symphony of Sin,” a collection of eight short rated-R films, including “Yukiko,” allowed POM attendees to explore the dark side of the creative mind and experience a variety of thrillers and horror films, while the screening of “Zenne Dancer” highlighted and introduced LGBTQ and related honor killing issues in Turkey to the Toronto-Armenian community.
“We love seeing how attendees react to different films when they exit the theatre,” said Porpossian. “You know you’ve succeeded when your audience is engaged in discussions about the films after the screening has concluded.”
Due to the success and popularity of the Festival’s finale film Lost and Found in Armenia, a second Toronto screening has already been scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Hamazkayin Theatre.
About Pomegranate Film Festival
Established in 2006, the Pomegranate Film Festival stems from the Toronto “Klatsor” Chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society. A group of young Armenian professionals, bound by a passion for film and culture, voluntarily come together every year to put together a wonderful cultural event that they believe is fundamental to Armenians living in the Canadian diaspora. Like its fruity namesake, the pomegranate, this film festival is fresh, dynamic, and prolific. Rich in variety, it depicts topics relevant to Armenian culture through the medium of films submitted from around the world. In doing so, it creates a platform for burgeoning Armenian talent to showcase their work and grow as artists, while providing the Armenian community and its supporters a unique film experience.