YEREVAN—If you were in Armenia last summer, you probably heard about the movie Hrant Tokhatyan, Vahik Pirhamzei, and Vahe Berberian were filming. The post-production of the film is almost over now, and the three friends aim to open the film in August, first in Armenia, then in the United States, followed by all major cities with Armenian communities.
The Armenian-language film “3 Weeks in Yerevan” tells the story of two friends, a Lebanese Armenian and an Iranian Armenian, who go to Armenia to make a movie with their partner in Yerevan. The two men arrive with great expectations, but soon realize that in Yerevan nothing goes as planned, and it was naive of them to believe all the promises given to them.
The script, written by Vahe Berberian, based on a story by Narbeh Nazarian, recounts the two filmmakers’ experiences in Yerevan as they desperately try to overcome hurdle after hurdle to realize their dream.
The movie is rich with humor, witty scenes, and a slew of fascinating characters, performed by some of the best actors in Armenia, including Ashot Ghazaryan, Narek Duryan, Khoren Levonyan, and Levon Harutyunyan. The movie boasts many cameos by such luminaries as Tata Simonyan, Nune Yesayan, Inga and Anoush, Eric, Christine Pepelyan, Sushan Petrosyan, Aramo, and others.
The producer, Vahik Pirhamzei, who co-directed the movie with Berberian, explains that he had been planning to work on a project with his friends Tokhatyan and Berberian for a long time, and “3 Weeks in Yerevan” turned out to be the ideal project for collaboration.
“Even though the movie is in Armenian, it is subtitled, and we hope that as a foreign film, it will find its audience in all of the major metropolitan cities,” said Pirhamzei. “We have been getting wonderful response so far because of the universality of its theme and its refined, subtle humor.”
Tokhatyan, a well-known actor and one of the producers of the movie, says the film was the perfect vehicle to bring together three characters from different backgrounds and present a complete, honest, and pleasant picture of the Armenian cultural identity.
Interestingly, the actors who play the characters of the three friends in the movie are the same three friends who have made “3 Weeks in Yerevan.” Berberian, Pirhamzei, and Tokhatyan are names that command respect both in Armenia and the Diaspora. Tokhatyan has appeared in numerous movies and theatrical productions, is widely respected as a cultural icon, and has a huge fan base in Russia, where he starred in the TV series “The Last Mohican.”
Pirhamzei, who is also known for the many characters he has portrayed on stage and in films, previously produced and directed the movies “My Uncle Rafael” and “Guardian Angel.”
Berberian, mostly known for his one-man shows, is also a renowned playwright, novelist, director, and artist.
The three friends are very excited about their movie, and vow that it is a meticulously shot, witty, beautiful film that will be appreciated by its audience—especially these days, when it is crucial for Armenians to create a united front and face the world with a proud, confident smile.
Below is the theatrical trailer for ‘3 Weeks in Yerevan.’