LOS ANGELES — The USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, in collaboration with the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Variance Films, will host a special theatrical screening and rare analysis of Amerikatsi — Armenia’s official Oscar submission for Best International Film. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Michael A. Goorjian, the film’s writer, director, and lead actor, and Patrick Malkassian, producer, in conversation with Luis Moreno Ocampo, Founding Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Dr. Shushan Karapetian, Director of the USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, and Ted Braun, USC Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics.

Amerikatsi tells the story of Charlie, an Armenian-American who moves to Soviet Armenia in 1948 in hopes of finding a connection to his roots but is unjustly imprisoned. The Q&A will explore the role of film in portraying and shaping public opinion on topics such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, and prisoners of war. Charlie’s story will be used as a metaphor to bring attention to the plight of prisoners of war held captive today and provide context about the role of international law and justice.

Michael Goorjian is an Emmy Award winning actor, writer, and filmmaker of Armenian decent, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Michael won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in David’s Mother alongside Kirstie Alley. He is also well known for playing Neve Campbell’s love interest, Justin, on the Golden Globe winning series Party of Five, as well as Heroin Bob in the cult classic SLC Punk. Recently he starred alongside Robert De Niro in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies. Other film & television credits include: Newsies, Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr., Forever Young with Mel Gibson, Leaving Las Vegas, Hard Rain with Morgan Freeman, Broken with Heather Graham, Lincoln Lawyer, Lucifer, Covert Affairs, Lie to Me, House, Alias, Monk, CSI, Without a Trace to name a few.

On stage, Michael has won numerous awards, including; an L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Lead Actor in Modigliani, and a LA Critics Choice Award for choreographing the world premiere of Reefer Madness the Musical. Most recently Michael appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theater World premiere of Imaginary Comforts by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). As director, Michael achieved international acclaim for his award-winning feature film debut, Illusion, in which he starred along side Hollywood-legend Kirk Douglas (and some other guy named Bryan Cranston). Soon after, Michael began collaborating with the publishing company Hay House to helm a number of productions, including; The Shift starring Wayne Dyer. Michael’s debut novel, What Lies Beyond the Star was released world-wide in 2016.

The timing of this discussion is significant with the complete ethnic cleansing of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) two months ago and the unknown fate of 55 Armenian prisoners of war in Azerbaijan.

The screening is free of charge and open to the public. RSVP is required.

When: December 5th, 2023 at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)

Where: The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108

USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Please note, all SCA screenings are overbooked to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.

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