Thursday, December 1, 2011

2011 Pomegranate Film Festival, Dec 1-4

The 6th annual Pomegranate Film Festival for Armenian cinema starts tonight in Toronto. The evening begins with Armenia Now, a collection of the short films Through My Lens, I Dream, Le Piano and Revival. This will be followed by a screening of the feature film The Jubilee Visitor.

On Friday, the festival presents a "red carpet soiree" at the Regent Theatre with French film Les neiges du Kilimandjaro (The Snows of Kilimanjaro) and Here with director Braden King in attendance. On Saturday, there will be a gala presentation of Sunrise Over Lake Van with pre- and post-screening cocktails. Co-director Vahan Stepanyan will be in attendance.

The festival will also show the biopic of Jack Kevorkian You Don't Know Jack starring Al Pacino, My Uncle Rafael (director Vahik Pirhamzei in attendance), and The Son of the Olive Merchant (director Mathieu Zeitindjioglou in attendance).

The 6th annual Pomegranate Film Festival continues until Sunday, December 4th at the Hamazkayin Theatre, 50 Hallcrown Place, and at the Regent Theatre, 551 Mt. Pleasant Rd. All films will be screened with English subtitles where necessary.


The 6th annual Pomegranate Film Festival presented by Hamazkayin will be held on the first weekend of December 1-4, showcasing a wide selection of films, including thought-provoking documentaries, shorts and feature-length films. POM VI is also proud to announce its 2011 jury: Silva Basmajian, Norayr Kaspar, and Arsinee Khanjian. Basmajian is currently the Executive Producer for the National Film Board of Canada, and has successfully overseen the production of numerous innovative films. Kaspar is an award-winning cinematographer, who has traveled across the globe capturing scenic locales. The captivating actress and producer, Arsinee Khanjian, comes to POM VI as a seasoned jury member, having previously served as part of Armenia’s Golden Apricot Festival among others.

Feature film highlights of POM VI include the much anticipated Snows of Kilimanjaro directed by French-Armenian director, Robert Guediguian, to be screened on Friday December 2 at 7 pm at the Regent Theatre. This newest Guediguian film was screened at Cannes and as part of the Master’s series at TIFF ’11, with three sold-out screenings, and promises to live up to his last movie, Army of Crime, presented at last year’s POM V Gala. Filmed in Marseilles, the story follows a middle-aged couple, Michel and Mari-Claire. Michel, a recently retired dockworker, plans on traveling with his wife to Africa, but the couple is robbed of their cash and plane tickets before their departure. Michel soon discovers that one of the robbers is a former colleague who was laid-off and has a young family to support. This unexpected discovery deeply challenges the couple’s value system, taking the audience along on a thought-provoking discussion of class and cross-generational struggles in modern-day society.

Saturday December 3rd will screen the feature, Sunrise over Lake Van as its Gala film at 8pm at the Hamazkayin Theatre at the Armenian Youth Centre. Directed by Artak Igityan and Vahan Stepanyan, it focuses on 3 generations of men grappling with their Armenian identity and family life in modern America. Garapet, the grandfather, burns the Turkish flag in front of the Turkish embassy every year on April 24th as a way to deal with his traumatic memory of the Genocide on his family. He finds himself at odds with his son and grandson, the latter who romantically pursues a young girl with a Turkish background. Sunrise over Lake Van was impressively filmed across the world in parts of the United States, France, Western Armenia (Turkey), and Armenia, and casts a group of international stars including: Jean Pierre Nshanyan (USA), Aren Vatyan (Russian Federation), Arevik Martirosayn (France), and Gunish Zan (Turkey). Director Vahan Stepanyan will be present at the North American premiere, taking part in a Q & A and the festive cocktail reception to follow the Gala screening.

2011 Festival Schedule

THU 1 - Hamazkayin Theatre
7 pm. Armenia Now: films commemorating 20 years of independence including LE PIANO D: Levon Minassian, REVIVAL D: Gagik Stepanyan and others.
9 pm. THE JUBILEE VISITOR D: Ara Yernjakyan, and short film BOLIS.

FRI 2 - Red Carpet soiree: Regent Theatre
7:10 pm. THE SNOWS OF KILIMANJARO D: Robert Guediguian. Q&A w/ director to follow.
9:20 pm. HERE D: Braden King. Q&A w/ director to follow.

SAT 3 - Hamazkayin Theatre
2:10 pm. Spotlight On Armenian Women: MY GRANDMAN'S TATTOO D: Suzanne Khardalian, and FINDING ZABEL YESAYAN D: Talin Suciyan and Lara Aharonian. Noon. Tales From The Diaspora: ROOTS D: Vahagn Karapetyan, and THE LAST ARMENIAN IN TURKEY D: Stefanie de Brouwer.
4 pm. YOU DON'T KNOW JACK D: Barry Levinson, and short film TRADE.
7 pm. Gala: SUNRISE OVER LAKE VAN D: Vahan Stepanyan.

SUN 4 - Hamazkayin Theatre
10 am. ANDUNI D: Samira Radsi, and short GALATA.
2 pm. Symphony Of Film: HAYRENNER D: David Sakayants, THE SPACESHIP D: Emil Mkrttchian, LEMONARY D: Arsen Arutyunyan, and shorts LE PETIT BIJOU and APPLES. Noon. VOYAGE TO AMASIA D: Eric Hachikian, and short film KOMITAS.
4 pm. MICHAEL G, KING OF THE WORLD D: Stephane Kazandjian, and short film EXPERIENCE.
6:10 pm. THE SON OF THE OLIVE MERCHANT D: Mathieu Zeitindijoglou, and short film NO DARKNESS SHALL MAKE US FORGET.
8:20 pm. MY UNCLE RAFAEL D: Marc Fusco.

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