Arpa International Film Festival

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The Arpa International Film Festival is an annual event in Los Angeles, organized by the Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art.

2015

Arpa Announces Winners of International Film Festival

HOLLYWOOD - The 18th Annual Arpa International Film Festival (November 13- 15, 2015) screened 46 films from 22 countries.

The sold-out event, opening night's World Premiere Film "LOST BIRDS" stole everyone's heart. This heartwarming film from Turkey, in Armenian and Turkish languages was filmed in Capadoccia, Turkey. The story takes place in 1915 from the point of view of two children. It is about Bedo, played by (Heros Agopyan) and Maryam, played by (Dila Uluca), whose beautiful, warm, and happy lives in Anatolia comes to an end when their grandfather played by (Sarkis Acemoglu) is taken away by soldiers. Out of extreme fear, their mother, played by (Takuhi Bahar), forbid the children to go outside, but being children, they sneak out to their favorite spot to play, only to come back to an empty home and an empty village. Their fear takes over, and with their bird that they had saved, they embark on a journey toward Aleppo to find their mother, and their fellow villagers.

During the three days of the festival, the filmgoers enjoyed such films as Sabre Dance (USA), I Want to be a King' (Iran), Our Village (Armenia), Straw Dolls (USA), The Loyalist (South Korea), Armenopolis, Armenian Soul (Romania), Daylight after the Century (UK), Shattered, (Canada), Armenia Sings in our Hearts (Brazil), Family Dance (USA), While they were Flying to the Moon (Serbia), Three Windows and a Hanging (Kosovo), Paul The Birdman (USA), Get Up (Australia) and many more.

The evening's Master of Ceremonies was award-winning producer, director, chair of AFFMA Advisory Board Charles Davis. Seven presenters, Michael Arabian, Anne Bedian, Bertila Damas, Rick Rosenthal, Janet Roth, Hrach Titizian, and Karina Weeks graced the stage and introduced the award winners. Half-way through the ceremony, soulful singer, Shaherah White warmed the room singing `My Funny Valentine'.

The closing night festivities started with a short film by Levon Minasian of Paris, France titled `The Sandwich Island Man' which entertained the audience.

`I love Arpa International Film Festival with all my heart. I love the organizer, Sylvia Minassian who has managed this challenging work with inexhaustible energy for over 17 years. I am grateful that all of my films have been a part of the festival over the years. I have never been able to attend in person, but I hope to personally show my film to the faithful festival public,' commented filmmaker Levon Minasian in an interview with Sharon Swainson, a freelance writer.

The Awards ceremony started with the announcements of the winning films followed by honoring actor David Dastmalchian with the Rising Star Award, who touched the audience with a moving acceptance speech that focused on giving back and supporting creative expression. He thanked the Festival for `helping young actors and struggling filmmakers all over the world to continue to express themselves and tell their story;' and he assured everyone that `no matter how little our stories are, they are worth telling.'

The final award of the night, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Esai Morales, an outstanding actor and activist, or `Actorvist', who captivated the audience, by ending his powerful speech with the following statement:

`Take on your fears. Don't let your fears shut your greatness down. You have a reason for being on this planet. Find it. And fight your challenges and let them (your challenges) make you a better person.' Morales received a well-deserved standing ovation.

The committee has already begun working on the 2016 Arpa International Film festival. Individuals interested in joining the festival committee should contact AFFMA at AFFMA95@aol.com

Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art is a charitable, non-profit, tax-deductible organization registered as a 501 (c) 3 Corporation.