09 July 2023

The 2023 edition of the "Golden Apricot" International Film Festival in Yerevan witnessed an unprecedented number of films made in Armenia.The festival's opening was marked by the screening of LUCA, a state-supported feature film directed by Jessica Woodworth and co-produced by Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Armenia. Notably, Angela Frangyan is the Armenian co-producer of the film. 

 

According to the festival's press service, three films out of the ten selected for the "Apricot Stone" short competition program at this year's "Golden Apricot," have received state support from the National Cinema Center of Armenia. These films include "It Take a Village..." by Ophelia Harutyunyan, "An Equation with Two Variables" by Lusine Papoyan, and "The Song of Flying Leaves" by Armine Anda. It is worth mentioning that the esteemed Oscar-winning producer, Jeremy Thomas, holds the position of jury president for the " Apricot Stone” short film competition.

 

Inna Mkhitaryan's TONRATUN has been included in the festival's Out-of-Competition program, and Jessica Woodworth's LUCA will compete in the International Competition program, which, as already mentioned, has held the honor of the opening film of this year.

 

All the films mentioned, have already established their remarkable reputation and garnered numerous accolades at renowned international film festivals.

 

Additionally, it is worth noting that LUCA had its world premiere during the 52nd Rotterdam International Film Festival on January 29 as part of the Big Screen Competition. Esteemed individuals such as lead actress Geraldine Chaplin, director Jessica Woodworth, and producer Peter Brosens attended the premiere. 

 

LUKA by Jessica Woodworth

Luka, a young soldier craving battle, heads north to the legendary Fort Kairos where soldiers heroically defend the remains of civilization. He finds instead a dysfunctional force that has never even seen an enemy and is lorded over by a high command bloated with delusions of grandeur. Luka finds comfort in friendships with Konstantin, an enigmatic radar engineer, and Geronimo, a light-hearted private. He proves his formidable sniper skills and gets promoted to Hawk. Stationed among the elite sentries who guard the outermost ramparts, his days melt into a haze of waiting until the day he spots a horse to the north. This triggers a string of tragic events that lead him ultimately to topple the illusion of Fort Kairos.

It Takes a Village… by Ophelia Harutyunyan

Mariam lives in a remote Armenian village where there are no men. On her birthday, her hopes of having a reunited family are shattered, but she must put aside her own crushed dreams and build up her friend Anush’s hopes of an idyllic life as she embarks into motherhood.


Equation with Two Variables by Lusine Papoyan

While selling goods in the train carriage, Mkhitar notices his peer, Karen, who has his feet resting on the front seat and his head slumped over the textbook. Silently obeying Mkhitar's sign, Karen lowers his legs and turns. Mkhitar tries various methods to contact him. Karen, with the bag hanging around his neck, starts shouting to attract the attention of the passengers in the train carriages, trying to sell Mkhitar's goods, while Mkhitar himself remains in deep contemplation - is he thinking about a chess puzzle or life in general?

 

The Song of Flying Leaves by Armine Anda

A journey to a dream through an encounter between Suna, a twelve-year-old girl who uses leaves as a blanket, and an old man who possesses secret knowledge. A reflection on friendship between a father and a daughter, a teacher and a student, an adult and a child, and the path that can turn the impossible into possible… The letters created in the film are inspired by old Armenian symbols.

 

Tonratun- the Armenian History Told by Women by Inna Mkhitaryan

In an Armenian village with a patriarchal tradition, five women - daughters, mothers and grandmothers-are debating together about life and war while preparing lavash, the Armenian traditional bread.

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