NEW YORK—Eight Armenian films will be screened as part of the third edition of the SR Socially Relevant Film Festival, a ground-breaking non-profit film festival that showcases socially relevant films with human interest stories. The festival opens on the 14th of March with a panel on Adapting the Novel to the Screen with such prolific panelists as Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, and widely published French novelist Marc Levy. The films screen from March 15-19 at The Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea and the closing night Awards Ceremony takes place at the Tenri Japanese Center on the 20th of March.
The full line-up and program of this year’s SR Socially Relevant Film Festival was announced at its Press Day, hosted at Bocca East in Manhattan, on February 2. Selected films will focus on the current topics of immigration, female empowerment, human exploitation, gender politics disability and more, and will feature distinguished personalities including Erin Brockovich, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field, Marc Duret and others.
Two narrative features and six shorts revolving around Armenian themes will have a special presence in this year’s film festival, including the International Premiere of 100 Years Later (directed by John Lubbock) which follows historian Ara Sarafian’s journey through Anatolia as facts of the 1915 Armenian Genocide are uncovered and dialogue is established with local Kurds and Turks.
The second feature, Who Killed the Armenians? (directed by Mohamed Hanafy Nasr), will have its World Premiere at the festival and is the first Arabic documentary on the Armenian Genocide, filmed in Egypt, Armenia and Lebanon. The film reveals rare documents, footage and interviews related to the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
The short film, Eclipse, (directed by Ara Yernjakyan) which will have its U.S. premiere, revolves around the children who suffered and the families that were destroyed during the Armenian Genocide.
Girl on the Moon, (directed by Aren Malakyan), filmed in Armenia, focuses on the first steps of disabled people and how they try to change the course of their lives through dance.
How to Cross from Jiliz to Jiliz, directed by Marineh Kocharyan and Sona Kocharyan, is about a young girl who dreams of being with her grandmother and relatives who live on the other side of the border, only a few meters away. The film will have its New York premiere.
Now I Know, directed by Anna Bayatyan from Armenia, will have its International Premiere, focusing on the theme of hope.
Shattered, directed by David Hovan, focuses on memories of war and chaos and post-traumatic stress disorder. It will have its New York Premiere.
Where is the Euphrates, Son? Directed by Rouben Pashinyan, filmed in Armenia, the film tells the story of an Armenian grandfather who arrives in Armenia as a tourist and tries to find the Euphrates River. It will have its New York premiere at the festival.
Founded by award-winning actor, filmmaker and curator Nora Armani, SR aims to satisfy a market need concentrating on everyday human stories as an alternative to the proliferation of gratuitous violence in film making.
In its first two years of the festival’s founding, it has served as a platform for 108 films from 33 countries, offered four industry panels and presented over 12 awards to talented filmmakers from all over the world. SR believes that positive social change is possible through the powerful medium of cinema.