Back 29 October 2014 14:07

29.10.2014. Golden Apricot Fund for Cinema Development and Georgian Art Center “Prometheus” (Tbilisi International Film Festival) have initiated a new cross-border project “Cinema Express: Armenia – Georgia”. The project is realised in cooperation with the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.

The Project officially kicked-off with a trilateral press conference and TANGERINES film screening organised in the frameworks of the 11th Golden Apricot International Film Festival on July 17 in Yerevan. Cinema Express will wrap up with a closing press-conference and TEVANIK film screening during the Tbilisi International Film Festival on December 4, 2014.

Cinema Express: Armenia – Georgia is maintained within the socio-cultural exchange channel between Armenia and Georgia and their remote regions. The Project with its scope of action is an unprecedented event in the region. Realised within the format of the “festival on wheels” (guest festival), Cinema Express had ten destinations: Yerevan, Gyumri, Amasya, Vanadzor, Alaverdi in Armenia, and Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, Akhaltsikhe, Borjomi and Tbilisi in Georgia.

The Project launched on September 5 in HOKTEMBER cinema in Gyumri, Armenia. Then the festival on wheels proceeded to Amasya on September 6, Akhalkalaki, Ninotsminda, Akhaltsikhe, and Borjomi on September 8-11, and the final destinations to Alaverdi and Vanadzor on October 14-16. On the whole over one thousand people attended the film screenings.

The film programme was composed of the best recent productions from Armenia and Georgia, namely: Armenian films: TEVANIK by Jivan Avetisyan, THE ABODE by Lusine Sargsyan, Short films: THE WHITE LAMB’S DREAM by Hrant Vardanyan, DIALOGUES by Diana Kardumyan, 140 DRAMS by Oksana Mirzoyan, THE ROAD by Alexander Baghdasaryan; Georgian films: BRIDES by Tinatin Kajrishvili, TANGERINES by Zaza Urushadze, KEEP SMILING by Rusudan Chkonia.

“Pyunik” Human Resources Development Foundation has provided a technically equipped car for the realization of the open-air film screenings in Gyumri, and such regions where there are no screening venues in operation, for example in Amasya and other.

Project participants from Georgian side included: Keti Japaridze (film expert), Archil Shubashvili (film expert), Manana Suradze (a representative from Georgian National Film Center, film expert), Giorgi Nakashidze (an actor, staring in the TANGERINES), Nika Mar (scripwriter), Giorgi Maskharashvili (an actor, staring in the BRIDES), Gaga Chkheidze (General Director of Tbilisi International Film Festival and Director of Art Center “Prometheus”). Armenian participants included Jivan Avetisyan (film director), Diana Kardumyan (film director), Harutyun Khachatryan (General Director of Golden Apricot International Film Festival), Susanna Harutyunyan (Art Director of GAIFF), Aram Khachatryan (producer), Raffi Movsisyan (film expert), and others.

The following VIP and special guests attended the Project opening ceremony in Gyumri:

Malkhaz Saldadze, Program Coordinator at South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation

The Deputy Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia Mr. Artur Poghosyan
The Mayor of Gyumri Mr. Samvel Balasanyan
The Governor of Armenia's Shirak Region Mr. Feliks Tsolakyan

In Alaverdi among the VIP guests were: The Mayor of Alaverdi Mr. Artavazd Varosyan,

Deputy Governor, other authority representatives and honourable cultural workers.

Cinema Express programme included film screenings held both indoors and in the open-air followed by the discourse with filmmakers and the audience. Authority representatives and delegations from Armenia and Georgia attended the special project events and opening ceremonies. Questionnaires were circulated after film screenings to collect public feedback about the films and the Project itself.

The feedback showed that the public highly appreciates the idea of employing cinema as means for promoting intercultural dialogue and friendly ties between such neighboring countries as Armenia and Georgia. The public has expressed a desire to host Cinema Express: Armenia – Georgia again in their region next year.

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