by FilmInk Staff

8TH ANNUAL ARMENIAN FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS TO SYDNEY & MELBOURNE, CELEBRATING AUSTRALIAN-ARMENIAN CONNECTIONS AND CINEMATIC LEGENDS

  • SYDNEY: 16 – 25 August, Event Cinemas Top Ryde 
  • MELBOURNE: 6 – 8 September, Lido Cinemas Hawthorn

The Armenian Film Festival Australia (AFFA) proudly announces its 8th edition, set to captivate audiences in Sydney and Melbourne. This year’s festival showcases the best of Armenian cinema and celebrates the profound connections between Australia and Armenia.

The festival’s crown jewel is the World Premiere of The Golden Chain of Mercy, a groundbreaking film highlighting the Australian and New Zealand connection to the Armenian genocide. The film portrays – for the first time ever on screen – the heroic efforts of ANZAC soldiers who witnessed the atrocities and the subsequent humanitarian aid provided by Australia and New Zealand to the survivors. This marks Australia’s first-ever international humanitarian support program and holds great relevance in today’s world. The film will feature a Q&A with filmmakers, including Sydney-based author Viken Babkenian and Manvel Saribekyan from Armenia.

Margaret Chater and Hourie Demirjian, Co-founders and Co-directors of AFFA, expressed their enthusiasm: “We are incredibly proud to present the 8th edition of the Armenian Film Festival Australia, which not only celebrates the rich heritage of Armenian cinema but also highlights the profound connections between Australia, New Zealand, and Armenia. We invite everyone to join us in this celebration of storytelling, resilience, and the enduring human spirit.”

AFFA 2024 also pays homage to the legendary filmmaker Sergei Parajanov on his 100th birthday. Cinephiles will be treated to a unique program that includes screening his masterpiece, The Colour of Pomegranates, widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made. This will be in a double feature with a documentary, Sergei Parajanov:The Rebel, and Vigen Galstyan, a film historian from Armenia, will attend for a special Q&A session.

The festival continues to spotlight Armenian causes, including Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in the wake of the recent ethnic cleansing and the ongoing struggles of the Armenian people in the region. Films such as It’s Spring (an epic war-drama) and “Blockade” shed light on life under threat of war in the border villages and the resilience of the Armenian spirit.

The Armenian Film Festival 2024 offers a diverse array of films catering to all audiences, including the comedy Women in Black, the animation Anahit, and the first-ever Armenian superhero film, Vishap. In honour of the 100th birthday of French-Armenian Charles Aznavour, the festival will screen Aznavour by Charles, which contains footage filmed by the legend himself.

The festival’s Patron is Gladys Berejiklian, former Premier of NSW, who continues to support the festival’s mission to bring Armenian stories to Australian audiences.

For the full festival program and to purchase tickets, visit www.armenianfilmfestival.com.au. All films feature English subtitles.

FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

The Golden Chain of Mercy 

World Premiere | Opening Night Gala

For the first time ever on screen – the untold story of Australia’s ANZAC connection to the Armenian Genocide and Australia’s first-ever international humanitarian effort. A film highly relevant today, showing Australia’s compassion and generosity towards a survivor nation. 

Opening Night at the Armenian Film Festival brings Armenian hospitality, starting with an Armenian-themed cocktail party featuring traditional Armenian catering and live music. 

Trailer here:https://youtu.be/sjaq22kq9m0

Parajanov at 100

A special program celebrating 100 years of acclaimed filmmaker Sergei Parajanov, includes a double-feature screening of the documentary film Sergei Parajanov: The Rebel and the iconic ‘The Colour of Pomegranates’. Includes Q&A with film historian Vigen Galstyan from Armenia.  

Trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci1ddK_1h6E

Vishap

Armenia’s first superhero Vishap.  A university student Hayk discovers he has the supernatural powers of the Vishap, from an ancient Armenian dragon legend. An action-packed adventure follows as he helps the city (and his love) fight evil.

Trailer here: https://youtu.be/4-GR0bCKj_0

Women in Black

What happens when a wealthy man’s wake is disrupted when his mistresses unexpectedly appear one by one? A unique comedy, followed by a social mixer. 

Trailer here: https://youtu.be/dHgXTTKiH-8

Azbavour by Charles

In celebration of 100 years of the legend Charles Aznavour, screening of the documentary film Aznavour by Charles, reveals Charles behind the scenes, journaling his life like you’ve never seen him before. 

Trailer here: https://youtu.be/patDFQoIlyg

It’s Spring – Closing Night

An award-winning epic war drama based on true events. Levon, a talented violinist, faces a dilemma when war breaks out in Armenia. His father and grandfather have conflicting views with tragic consequences for all.

Trailer here: https://youtu.be/DIY22T_TKuQ

Yasha and Leonid Brezhnev

In this award-winning film, Yasha struggles to accept the new realities of post-Soviet Union life. With the help of historical leaders like Brezhnev and Ceausescu, he clings to the past with humorous and tragic consequences.

Trailer here: https://youtu.be/4T7PyDF1J60

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