12TH POMEGRANATE FILM FESTIVAL, NOVEMBER 15—19, 2017

2017 Films

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ROOTS – Armenia/Artsakh – Vahe Yan – 89 min. – North American Premiere

An engaging, lighthearted romantic drama about Aram, who is a North American-based blogger who pays a visit to Armenia where he finds love when he least expects it. He takes part in the commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide by covering the events in his blog. While in Armenia, he meets Anet, a fellow Diasporan Armenian from France ...
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HOT COUNTRY, COLD WINTER – David Safarian – Armenia/The Netherlands/Germany – 104 min. – North American Premiere

Yerevan born director David Safarian delivers a vibrant cinematic experience against the backdrop of Armenia’s energy crisis of the 1990’s. He questions life’s struggles through a couple’s experiences during the most trying times in Armenia. Do such adversities bring a family, and a nation together, or pull it apart? A dialogue between the past and the present, darkness and light, ...
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ARARAT – Atom Egoyan – Canada – 115 min. – AA 14

The first major motion picture about the Armenian Genocide is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary this year. The ground breaking film by Atom Egoyan that confronts the issue of denial on the big screen, uses shifting points of view and a story-within-a-story to explore how collective, personal, and fragmented memories shape understanding of the Genocide, while also examining the complex nature ...
architects of denial

ARCHITECTS OF DENIAL – David Lee George -Armenia/ Arstakh/ Germany/ UK/ USA – 102 min. – Canadian Premiere – AA 14

Executive producers Montell Williams and Dean Cain have prepared a hard hitting documentary not for the faint of heart.  ARCHITECTS OF DENIAL draws a direct and cogent lineage between the atrocities of the 20th Century’s first Genocide by Turks and the ongoing campaign of Azeri aggression taking place in the historic Armenian enclave of Artsakh today. The film exposes never seen ...
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CHILDREN OF VANK – Nezahat Gundogan – Turkey – 72 min. – North American Premiere

An eye-opening documentary about what happened to the survivors of the Armenian Genocide and the lesser known massacres of 1937-38 in Dersim, Turkey. It explores the impact of the forced process of Islamization and Turkification upon the survivors of the region. The name of the documentary is based on the Armenian monastery of Dersim, the only Armenian place of worship ...
LA VILLA

LA VILLA – France – Robert Guediguian – 107 min.

One of the world’s greatest story tellers, famed director Robert Guediguian demonstrates once again why he is “la creme de la creme” of French cinema with this beautifully woven masterpiece, filmed at a picturesque French fishing village near Marseille. Guediguian employs subtle humour while displaying the frailties of life amidst the backdrop of the most pressing issue in contemporary European ...
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INTENT TO DESTROY – USA – Joe Berlinger – 115 min.

Oscar-winning director Joe Berlinger uncovers the behind-the-scenes experiences of the cast of THE PROMISE directed by Terry George, the biggest budget film ever made about the Armenian Genocide. Berlinger combines rare archival evidence to show the atrocities of the Genocide and grapples with the astonishing, denialist campaign by the Turkish government to suppress genocide awareness. This is an eye-opening documentary that ...
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YEVA – Armenia/Artsakh/Iran – Anahid Abad – 99 min. – North American Premiere

How far will one woman go to flee her past? Co-produced between Iran’s Farabi Cinema Foundation and the National Cinema Center of Armenia, an engaging drama about a young widow who flees to Arstakh with her daughter to escape her in-laws. She must live in disguise, but the villagers begin to wonder who she is and what secrets she is ...
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APRICOT GROVES – Armenia/Iran – Pouria Heidary Oureh – 80 min. 

Aram, an Iranian-Armenian youth who immigrated to the United States when he was a child, returns to Armenia for the first time to propose to the Armenian woman he met and lived with in the US. A drama romance that offers a meaningful consideration of the importance of holding on to tradition while embarking on the freedom to pursue love. The ...
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THE CHILDREN OF A GENOCIDE – Australia – Shahane Bekarian – 60 min. – North American Premiere

Sydney-based filmmaker Shahane Bekarian asks some tough questions in this fascinating documentary about the Armenian-Australian community. Are descendants of the Armenian Genocide slowly losing grip of their rich culture as they integrate into multicultural Australia? Canadian audience will undoubtedly think about their own experience as they hear archival interviews of genocide survivors and see how their grandchildren hold on to ...
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UPROOTED – Armenia/Canada – Hagop Goudsouzian – 57 min.

UPROOTED tries to answer the question: what is today’s Armenian identity and its evolution over time? A personal and passionate film searching for answers in today’s world. With interviews from unique and eclectic sources, Canadian documentary filmmaker Goudsouzian explores the lives of everyday people and their customs as as he tries to define the critical elements of identity and transmitted ...
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WHAT IS CLASSIC ROCK? – Canada – Daniel Sarkissian – 101 min.

What exactly is classic rock? Toronto-native Daniel Sarkissian embarks on a quest to answer this enigmatic question. For many, it is linked to the big bands of the 1970s, including legendary acts like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and Deep Purple. Yet Sarkissian discovers that the definition is becoming increasingly broader as some pundits include grunge bands like Nirvana. The film presents ...
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GUARDIANS – Armenia/Russia – Sarik Andreasyan – 87 min. – North American Premiere

A thrilling adventure awaits in this action-packed feature by big budget Moscow-based film director Sarik Andreasyan. Set during the Cold War, an organization called "Patriot" created a super-hero squad, which includes members of multiple former soviet republics. For years, the heroes had to hide their identities, but in difficult times they must show themselves again. Audience members will be delighted ...
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WAY BACK HOME – World Premiere – Seda Grigoryan – Armenia

Way Back Home is a road-documentary filmed between March 25 - April 5 in Armenia. In 2016, Canadian-Armenian actress Arsinée Khanjian found herself in the middle of public unrest in the centre of Yerevan, where she eventually got detained together with dozens of other people. This event sounded a wake up call for the Armenian Diaspora revealing the challenges their ...
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Listen to Me – Gagik Ghazareh – Armenia – North American Premiere – 75 min.

An eye-opening documentary about the LGBTQ community in Armenia. ‎Following  the explosion of the DIY Pub in Yerevan and the attacks on the Diversity Parade, awareness about the LGBT Community has risen and the momentum is building. The critical and aggressive allegations directed towards the LGBT Community “puddled” the individuality of the LGBT members, hindering the possibility of getting to ...

Sonnet – Oksana Mirzoyan – USA – World Premiere – 4 min.

A short film based on the play “Sonnets for an Old Century” by Jose Rivera. When the time comes and we witness injustice, will we take a stand against it? Even with the best of intentions, when confronted with difficult circumstances we often run. We run because it is our instinct. We run because of our apathy. We run because ...
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Mediterranea – Nicholas Sarkissian – France – North American Premiere – 15 min.

A young dancer attempts to rescue a castaway in sunny Marseille. While she calls for help, the stranger disappears mysteriously. Has she dreamt it? The enigmatic presence of this shipwrecked man haunts her day and night, evoking echoes of a Mediterranean tragedy. This artistically directed short film captures the plight of refugees throughout the Mediterranean Sea.  This will be French director ...
Echoes

Echoes Of Survival – Avo John Kambourian – USA – Canadian Premiere – 17 min.

This experimental documentary is part of a series of films by director Avo John Kambourian about the ambiguity of what it means to be an Armenian artist living in America today. With this short documentary the Director attempts to better understand how the Armenian culture has survived throughout the years‎. Famed oud player from New Jersey Ara Dinkjian is featured, ...
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Head Above Water – Eric Shahinian – USA – Canadian Premiere – 10 min.

A devoted husband is forced to confront his doubts about being the caretaker of his wife suffering from Alzheimer's disease. This thought-provoking film won the 2017 Best Short Film Award at the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival and the Gold Remi award at the Worldfest-Houston Film Festival.
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What Ana Knew – Zoë Smurr – USA – Canadian Premiere – 17 min.

Lies. Family. Secrets. Three words capture this short drama about three generations of an Armenian American family. Ana is faced with pressure from her mother to keep a secret from her ailing grandmother. Making a pact with her grandmother, the young woman gives the whole family a bit of their own medicine. Zoë Smurr is an Armenian-American filmmaker and memoirist from Fresno ...
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The Passenger – Hayk Matevosyan – USA – Canadian Premiere -12 min.

In this poignant yet artistically captured film, a driver is shaken when a mysterious passenger is in need of an unusual favor. Talented young director Hayk Matevosyan presents a new film for the second consecutive year following the screening of SYRIA, MY LOVE at the Pomegranate Film Festival 2016 where he was awarded Best Short Film. Living legend and famed ...

Arrested (Again) – Karen Topakian – USA – Canadian Premiere – 5 min.

American-Armenian activist Karen Topakian has been arrested numerous times for using nonviolent civil disobedience to protest nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, environmental issues, and war. What drives her to repeatedly put her body on the line? In this moving short documentary,  Karen's story speaks to the need for Americans, now more than ever, to exercise their First Amendment right. We are ...
Buried Love by Assem Kroma

Buried Love – Assem Kroma – Canada – World Premiere – 4 min.

A short surrealist film depicting life in a set montage of footages that flash back into the mind of the protagonist like a mosaic of memories that wouldn't come back in a logical order. Creatively and artistically every flashback matches a musical beat, every beat digs deeper into our memory.  Canadian actress of Armenian heritage Nyiri Karakas stars in the film.
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The Pomegranate Tree – Anna Maria Mouradian – Canada – World Premiere – 4 min.

A rising Montreal based filmmaker astonishes us once again with her creative short animation film. Anna Maria Mouradian, originally from Syria, offers her audience the world of a small culture that spreads its wings all around the world, a culture that keeps growing, as pomegranate seeds do. This year will mark Mouradian’s third consecutive year with an entry at POM. ...
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The Moment the Lights Dim – Armen Poladian – Canada – World Premiere – 20 min

Have you tried looking for true love?  THE MOMENT THE LIGHTS DIM explores the extent and ways a young man would go to find true love in our modern day society. This is the third consecutive year where, Cambridge, Ontario native Armen Poladian presents a film at POM following the screening of his shorts, THE DON in 2015 and DADDY in ...