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10th Golden Apricot - Yerevan International Film Festival, 2013

The Last Winter
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The Last Winter (Salem Salavati)

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) 

Yerevan (10th Golden Apricot — Yerevan International Film Festival, July 7-14, 2013). FIPRESCI Prize: The Last Winter (Zemestane akhar) by Salem Salavati (Iran, 2012, 77 min, HD CAM), shown in Films Across Borders section. Jury: György Kárpáti, Hungary ("Magyar Nemzet"), Marc Hairapetian, Germany ("Neues Deutschland", "Film-Dienst"), Anna Yerzinkyan, Armenia ("Kino", "Sobesednik Armenii"). Print Source: Setak Film Sanandaj, P.O.Box: 66135/137, Sanandaj, Iran, Tel: +98 918 870 9237, E-mail: satar_ch@yahoo.com.
Festival: www.gaiff.com

Motivation: This year our FIPRESCI jury decided to give the award to the Iranian film The Last Winter directed by Salem Salavati. Our jury admired the unique mentality of filmmaking specific expression of film content combined with philosophical deepness. The harmony of pictures, sound, acting and design was emphatic. 

Reports

Ten Sweet Apricots of Success. The Golden Apricot International Film Festival (GAIFF) in Yerevan, Armenia celebrated its 10th edition from July 7 to 14. Founded in 2004, this festival carries the theme of Crossroads of Cultures and Civilizations. GAIFF has achieved the goal that lies in its foundations and has become an international meeting point for filmmakers and cultural industry in a region where neighbouring countries are not exactly on friendly terms. Alin Tasciyan's text. arrow.
Searching for the Memories and the Glorious Past. György Kárpáti reviews the FIPRESCI Prize-winning film The Last Winter (Zemestane akhar), directed by Salem Salavati. arrow.
Exceeded Expectations: Between Occident and Orient. Marc Hairapetian's impression of the Golden Apricot's 10th anniversary is one of a personal journey but also a celebration of the program, the exceptional hospitality and other events which made for a magical festival. arrow.

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Yerevan 2013

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