DETROIT, Mich. — The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) will be honoring international award-winning director Jivan Avetisyan with the ANCA-ER Freedom Award at its 16th annual gala on Saturday, October 29, 2022 at the historic Dearborn Inn.
The ANCA-ER Freedom Award is the highest honor the region bestows upon individuals who exhibit extraordinary courage and devotion to freedom and justice. It is presented annually at the regional gala to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions toward issues that concern Armenian-Americans.
Through his filmmaking talents, Avetisyan has spread awareness of the Armenian Cause worldwide. Most recently, he directed Gate to Heaven, which was set during the Four-Day War in Artsakh. He also spent some time in Stepanakert during the 2020 Artsakh War and documented war crimes committed towards the Armenian people.
Raised in Artsakh, Avetisyan has witnessed some of the most brutal events that took place in the region, which has had a resounding effect on him — even until today. This, however, did not devastate his dreams of becoming a filmmaker. Instead, he honed his life experiences and poured them out into his career.
Avetisyan graduated from Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography. He has created over 20 documentaries, short films and three feature films, including Tevanik (2014), The Last Inhabitant (2016) and Gate to Heaven (2019). Avetisyan is currently working on a fourth feature film, Revival, which will include his documentations from the 2020 Artsakh War. In combination, he is also working on Black List, a full-length feature film; The Stateless Diplomat, a TV mini-series; and The Mountain Builders in Baa’belon, an animated film.
Avetisyan is also the co-founder and executive director of Fish Eye Cultural Foundation. The foundation’s goal is to create films and other artistic pieces that intertwine real-world experiences with the Armenian story and can be enjoyed by an international audience. For example, Avetisyan’s film, The Last Inhabitant, was showcased at the 69th Cannes International Film Festival and was awarded “Best Feature Film” at the Scandinavian International Film Festival.
“On behalf of the ANCA Eastern Region, I would like to congratulate this year’s Freedom Award recipient Jivan Avetisyan. Growing up in Artsakh and witnessing the atrocities committed against his people, he decided to use his passion of filmmaking to advocate for Artsakh. Through his artistic genius, he showcases the beauty and the pain of Artsakh on the big screen. Despite constant threats from Azerbaijan, Jivan participated and won many awards at different film festivals around the world,” said Dzovinar Hamakorzian, ANCA Eastern Region Gala chair.