The 25th Anniversary Awards Gala of ARPA International Film Festival

Photo: Courtesy ARPA International Film Festival

The annual Arpa International Film Festival (Arpa IFF) was founded 1997 from Sylvia Minassian, who always had a deep passion for languages and the arts since her youth, holds a Master’s Degree in French Literature. Her passion for the arts led her to start a foundation to promote the arts. Sylvia´s mission defines to create a dynamic forum for international and local filmmakers who explore such issues as diaspora, war, genocide, dual-identity, exile and multiculturalism. She believes that a festival is first and foremost a product of its participants. She takes great pride in representing AFFMA, a non-profit art foundation whose sole purpose is to  recognize the diverse tapestry of international talent and presenting their creative work to an appreciative audience.

For 25 years, the annual gala of the The ARPA International Film Festival (Arpa IFF) has attracted American, Armenians and international filmmakers from all parts of the U.S. and around the globe, all determined to strengthening the cultural exchange with the magic of film tradition of keep ARPA alive. This year, the legendary Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles served as the venue for the Silver Anniversary Gala, where thanks to Louisa Sharamatyan (newest member and Director of Publicity and Social Medica for Arpa IFF), used her huge platform on Instagram as an Influencer to pump up the ARPA awareness and helped convert delegations to gala attendees, which were not merely Armenian/American, but from Europe, such as myself and many other guests. Red Carpet, cocktails and silent auction at 5:30 PM followed by dinner and program. The festival was fortunate of dynamic individuals from Fox 11’s Emmy Award winning anchor of Good Day LA, Araksya Karapetyan and entertainment anchor Amanda Salas.

Each year, this festival looks forward to screen an exceptional program of films from many different countries such as Germany, Denmark, Armenia, Switzerland, USA, Japan, just to name a few, taking great pride in the works of all of the filmmakers who, in their brilliant visions, have created their own distinctive place in the Global Film Community.

Awards presented to the winning filmmakers on the Gala night with the festival’s prestigious awards honoring the celebrities in the cinematic arena. The honorees for this year are: Diane Baker / Icon Award, Michael Madsen/Career Achievement Award, Aaron Ryder / Career Achievement Award in producing and Krys Marshall of “For All Mankind” on Apple TV +(fourth season)  Breakthrough Artist Award. The Gala welcomed the Academy award winning producer Terry George and producer Mike Medavoy. The surprise Humanitarian awards followed.

About the Film Selection

ARPA presents a huge and an eye-opening selection of nominations from recent international films, narrative and documentaries. Unfortunately the feature narrative film from Germany “Die wahre Schönheit” didn’t win, however two films from Switzerland won at the 25th ARPA IFF: “Lions´s Cage” by Linus Von Stumberg and “The Record” by Jonathan Laskar. Also, two more European productions won. “The Captain´s Heart by the Danish Director Simon Bang and “Car 24” by the Italian-American Director, Writer and Actor Matias Desiderio.

About the Film Winners

Best Feature Narrative and Best Director: It’s Spring… | Directed by Roman Musheghyan (Armenia)
Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  1 hour 45 minutes
Synopsis:  Depicts paternal relationships spanning three generations and their conflicting ideologies.

Best Feature-Length Documentary: The Captain’s Heart | Directed by Simon Bang (Denmark)
Genre:  Feature-Length Documentary
Running Time:  1 hour 34 minutes
Synopsis: Years after the death of the captain, Sion inherits his grandfather’s sea chest, and thus begins an adventure for Simon to find out who his much admired grandfather really was.

Best Short Documentary: Spokespeople | Directed by Ryan Mekenian (United States)
Genre:  Short Documentary
Running Time:  23 minutes
Synopsis:  For Los Angeles natives living in the early 1900’s, bicycles and streetcars shared the road as our primary modes of transportation. But the arrival of the freeway effectively wiped them out. Today, a collective of cycling communities fight for protected bike lanes and road safety; determined to bring a new era of mobility justice to the city.

Best Short Film: Lion’s Cage | Directed by Linus von Stumberg (Switzerland)
Genre:  Short Film
Running Time:  15 minutes
Synopsis:  To free herself from her two pimps, Klea hires a hitman whose assassination plan leads up to a tense reunion.

Best Animated Film: The Record | Directed by Jonathan Laskar (Switzerland)
Genre:  Animation
Running Time: 8 minutes 38 seconds
Synopsis:  An antique music instrument dealer receives a magical vinyl record from a traveler: “It reads your mind and plays your lost memories”. Obsessed by this endless record, the antique dealer listens to it again and again and the forgotten memories of his childhood reemerge.

Best Music Video: Valerine | Directed by Andrea VONJAKO Giacomini (United States)
Genre: Music Video
Running Time:  5 minutes
Synopsis:  The long journey of carrying secrets.

Best Screenplay: The Justice of Bunny King | Screenplay by Sophie Henderson (New Zealand)
Genre: Drama
Running Time:  1 hour 41 minutes
Synopsis:  A triumph over adversity tale about women fighting their way back from the bottom of society.

Audience Favorite: Car 24 Directed | by Matias Desiderio (United States)
Genre:  Drama
Running Time:  1 hour 30 minutes
Synopsis:  Two men walk down the street from opposite directions to end up meeting at a parked black Mercedes with tinted windows in front of a Los Angeles Downtown warehouse. A mercenary Sicilian and a Latino assassin encounter one another for the first time in preparation for zero hour. Both highly recommended in their field to prominently eliminate a high profile target in the warehouse. They have been hired separately to work in one accord to kill a trader. More…

Statement by Founder Sylvia Minassian

“With a strong team which we call our Affma Family we remain committed in supporting and inspiring filmmakers globally devoted to their craft. At this time, I would like to express my appreciation to all the filmmakers, sponsors, donators, press and guests who participated in our festival this year.”



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