Director Jivan Avetisyan from Armenia has been inspired to tell Armenian stories especially those from Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) from a young age through his Arthouse films that have received international recognition at various film festivals. Jivan believes that while film is a source of entertainment, they are also a powerful medium of educating the mass.

Gate to Heaven, is director Jivan Avetisyan’s third feature film. The films backdrop takes place in Artsakh with a storyline of a German photojournalist, played by Richard Sammel, who returns to Artsakh in 2016 to cover the war, which reignited after a 22-year ceasefire with its neighbouring country, Azerbaijan. In the result of his journalistic investigation, Robert meets a young opera singer, who happens to be the daughter of missing photojournalist whom he had abandoned in captivity during the fall of the village of Talish in 1992. Robert and Sophia’s frequent rendezvouses leads to a passionate romance…

Richard Sammel, has starred in over 100 films, including Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds”, Roberto Begnini’s “Life is Beautiful”, Martin Campbell’s “Casino Royale”, American vampire series “The Strain” by Guillermo dell Toro and many other films. In 2012, he won “Best Actor” at the Syracuse International Film Festival in New York for his performance in Ruggero Dipaola’s “Apartment in Athens”.

Jivan Avetisyan’s previous films, Tevanik and The Last Inhabitant have received numerous accolades and awards. Tevanik has won over ten awards in International Film Festivals including the Xian, Silk Road International Film Festival- China “Best Viewer’s Choice” Award and Italy’s International Overload Film Festival- Juries Prize for “Most Original Work.”

The Last Inhabitant, Jivan Avetisyan’s second feature film, was considered for the 74th Golden Globe Awards (2017). Recognized by A-Class International Film Festivals including Shanghai and Venice International Film Festivals (2017); Awarded Best Feature Film at the Scandinavian International Film Festival in Helsinki, Finland (October 2017); The film has been purchased and licensed by HBO to air in Eastern European countries.  The Last Inhabitant, also features Homayoun Ershad, who played the lead role in Taste of Cherry by Abbas Kiarostami and was awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival.

Jivan Avetisyan’s team continues its efforts to complete the film about Artsakh. The film is a co-production between Armenia, Lithuania, Germany and France. Art enthusiasts and non-profit organizations who have an interest in the Arts took part in the creation of the film about Artsakh/Armenia. The production team has also launched a Crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to help with post-production funding. www.gatetoheaven.am

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