10th Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival

Armenia, July 7 - July 14 2013

The jury

György Kárpáti (Hungary), Marc Hairapetian (Germany), Anna Yerzinkyan (Armenia)

Awarded films

On its 10th anniversary, Golden Apricot – Yerevan International Film Festival is brighter than ever. Thanks to the organizers and its charismatic festival director, the Armenian international film festival is now integrated into the festival circle and is an important stop during the high season. Festival director Harutyun Khachatryan was like a tireless Duracell bunny during the whole event: in the morning he represented, later he gave awards and medals, in the evening receptions he gave some speeches and danced into the night. His dynamic personality is undoubtedly part of the festival’s success. As Mr. Khachatryan reminded everyone, the fear that Armenian cinema was coming to an end was the primary reason why they founded the festival. Though 10 years ago it looked like the political situation would kill local cinema, thanks to the efforts of the festival organizers the situation has become more stable recently. And also in this jubilee festival the hospitality was amazing, as was the festival atmosphere. Yerevan is now a real cosmopolitan city with a thousand year old cultural background. This year the festival welcomed Austrian director Ulrich Seidl, German director Margarethe von Trotta, Qatsi-trilogy director Godfrey Reggio, and two times Academy Award nominee – Canadian director and Armenian hero Atom Egoyan, among others. The lifetime achievement of the festival went to national hero, chanson singer, artist and actor Charles Aznavour who – despite his 89 years – personally accepted the award. Because of this award the opening film was unsurprisingly Francois Truffaut’s legendary Shoot the Piano Player (Tirez sur le pianist, 1960) with Mr. Aznavour in the leading role. Another lifetime achievement went to international jury chairman Istvan Szabo. The well respected director, whose Academy Award winner Mephisto (1981) was screened during the festival, was surprised to get an award because – as he said – he was in Yerevan this time in order to give awards. Our colleague and honorary FIPRESCI president Andrei Plakhov participated on this occasion in the international jury. In the international competition section the films of the region – especially the Caucasus and its neighbors – were prominent and the FIPRESCI jury especially commended the region’s moving pictures of which 11 were selected for the different sections by the festival. There were also some Armenian premieres and festival favorites in the program like the later Golden Apricot winner, the Serbian Circles (Krugovi) by Srdan Golubovic. Talking about the near future, the festival director has just announced that next year the jury will also award the best actor and best actress. (György Kárpáti)

Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival: www.gaiff.com