The 24th Arpa International Film Festival (Arpa IFF), one of Hollywood’s longest running film festivals, streamed 70 films from 21 different countries including featured films, documentaries, shorts, animated films and music videos. This year’s festival, which took place from November 20 to December 5, once more highlighted a diverse range of films that explored themes such as genocide, war, environmentalism, music and art.
The festival’s opening took place at the newly renovated AMC Theater at the Americana with the US premiere screening of The American Good Samaritans by Man Pictures Production.
The evening started with the welcoming remarks of Jackie Boyajian Minassian, who introduced founder Sylvia Minassian. Minassian expressed her sincere appreciation to the community for their continued support in helping cultivate the works of many talented independent filmmakers who made a huge dent in our world.
Upon her introduction of The American Good Samaritans, the festival’s jury liaison Sonia Keshishian congratulated festival director Maral Kazazian, the key player in bringing this extraordinary film to Los Angeles.
The American Good Samaritans reveals the untold story of how thousands of fearless and compassionate, ordinary Americans helped refugees and survivors of the Armenian Genocide believe in a better future. The film is dedicated to the memory of American humanitarians who helped make the world a better place. Without their determination and dedication, entire populations could have perished. American writers, genocide scholars and survivors, and other independent researchers reveal the details related to the genocides of Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations, carried out by the Ottoman Empire (today’s Turkey).
Worthy of the utmost recognition is Ara Mnatsakanyan, whose focus on every detail was truly remarkable. The gifted director holds the true meaning of his surname, which will remain in the cinematic arena for decades to come. Also commendable is the film’s composer Artashes Kartalyan, whose music was the heartbeat and energy that touched the soul.
The evening continued with the screening of Sebastian Siegal’s film Grace and Grit, which was based on the true story of the iconic philosopher Ken Wilber and his wife Treya. Siegal served as a jury member during the 17th Arpa International Film Festival in 2014.
Arpa International Film Festival, over the course of two decades, continues to bring the finest films from across the globe, remaining the longest-run festival in Los Angeles dear to so many artists and filmgoers.
The festival committee salutes and celebrates the Man Pictures production team, producer Manvel Saribekyan, and Siegel for creating a remarkable evening with their powerful messages. AMAA director and CEO Zaven Khanjian and ZQ Entertainment sponsored the evening.
Best Feature Narrative Film
The Grand Bolero directed by Gabriele Fabbro (Italy)
Best Feature-Length Documentary Film
Best Short Documentary Film Award
Best Short Film
Best Music Video
Best Animated Film