Boston Hamazkayin Kicks off 3-part Movie Series on Artsakh

WATERTOWN, Mass.—On January 9, 2020, the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society of Boston hosted a movie screening at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center. Over 35 community members gathered and watched the movie Tevanik directed by Jivan Avetisyan. Hamazkayin Boston Executive member Vazrik Chiloyan welcomed the guests and explained that the movie features three parallel segments portraying episodes taking place during one day in a village in Artsakh in 1991 from the perspective of three Armenians — Aram, Astghik and Tevanik. 

“Tevanik” premiered at the Moscow Cinema in Yerevan in May of 2014 and in Artsakh the following month, and since then has been shown in various cities around the world. It has won a considerable number of awards, including: Best Screenplay at the Los Angeles Arpa International Film Festival in November 2014; Best Feature Prize in the Armenian Panorama Competition at the Golden Apricot Film Festival in July 2014; Audience Favorite Award at the Silk Road International Film Festival in Xi’an, China in 2014; and Most Original Work in the International Feature Films Competition of the Overlook 2014 Film Festival in Rome. It was also shown at the 67th Cannes Film Festival.

Proceeds from the first film, helped Avetisyan create his next film called “The Last Inhabitant.” The movie tells a story about two inhabitants who are faced with opposite sides of an inter-ethnic conflict. “The Last Inhabitant” won Best Feature at the Scandinavian International Film Festival in late October, where actor Aleksandr Khachatryan also won the Best Actor award. The film also received an honorable mention at the Pomegranate Film Festival in Toronto and was considered for “Best Foreign Language Film” by the 74th Golden Globe Awards. In December of 2018, HBO announced that it will make the film available to its subscribers in Eastern Europe, thus showcasing Artsakh’s Khachmach village of Askeran, where the film’s action takes place, to a wide audience.

“The Last Inhabitant” is set to be screened at the ACEC on February 6th, 2020 at 7:30PM. Tickets to the event are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online

In April of 2020, as the community will gather to commemorate the Fourth Anniversary of the Four Day War in Artsakh, the chapter will screen “Gates to Heaven” on April 16, 2020 at Belmont Cinema (376 Trapelo Road, Belmont, Mass.) at 8:00 p.m. This film centers around Robert Stenvall, a European journalist, who returns to Artsakh in 2016 to cover the war, which resumed after a shaky 22-year-ceasefire. During his time in Artsakh, Stenvall meets Sophia Martirosyan a young Opera singer and daughter of the missing photojournalist Edgar Martirosyan whom Robert left behind in captivity in the village during the fall of Talish in 1992. The movie was filmed in Artsakh, Armenia and Lithuania. Co-producing countries include Armenia, Lithuania, Germany, France, U.S., Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Italy. 

The Hamazkayin Boston Chapter has invited director Jivan Avetisyan to be present at the final movie screening to give the audience an opportunity to engage in a Q&A regarding all three films and upcoming plans on other movies. Details of the event will be released soon. The chapter has decided that proceeds from the three events will be donated the director’s upcoming film. 

Verginie Touloumian

Verginie Touloumian

Verginie Touloumian is the Community Outreach Director of the ANCA-Western Region. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS). Touloumian holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Woodbury University and Master's Degree in Management and Leadership from Pepperdine University. During her time at Pepperdine, she participated in a study abroad program at the University of Oxford and was assigned a Management Consultant at LA Mission's Anne Douglas Center. Verginie is an alumnus of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), where she has served on leadership positions on the local and central level.

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