The 15th Arpa International Film Festival (AFFMA.org) ran from Thursday, November 29 to Sunday, December 2, 2012, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, and showcased over 60 films from around the globe.
The festival culminated with a Gala event and awards ceremony at which filmmakers, sponsors, and honored guests were celebrated.
BEST PICTURE was awarded to Nicolas Tackian for his French drama AZAD
BEST DIRECTOR kudos was delivered to Caner Alper and Mehmet Binay for the Turkish film ZENNE DANCER.
BEST SCREENPLAY Award was given to Arshaluys Harutyunyan for the Armenian drama WANDERING
The BEST DOCUMENTARY Feature Award for THE SUFFERING GRASSES: WHEN ELEPHANTS FIGHT, IT IS THE GRASS THAT SUFFERS was presented to Yara Lee.
Eddie Deleon Melikyan accepted the award for BEST SHORT FILM for directing JUST LIKE HER.
Also present at the ceremony were the 2012 special award honorees. Presenters such as filmmaker Haik Gazarian and actress Valentina Rendon presented Hrach Titizian with the Breakthrough Actor of the Year Award; actress Heather McComb presented Michael Poghosian the Artist of the Year Award; actor/filmmaker Sebastian Siegel awarded Frances Fisher the Career Achievement Award; AFFMA Founder Sylvia Minassian presented Lusine Sahakyan, director of “Hamshen at Crossroads of Past and Present” (Armenia,Turkey) with the prestigious Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award; Actress Anoush NeVart presented the Arpa Foundation Award to recipient USC Shoah Foundation, The Institute For Visual History And Education. The award was accepted by Dr. Stephen D. Smith, MBE, PhD who spoke about the merits of supporting independent cinema and archiving efforts such as those by the Shoah Foundation. And Achievement in International Cinema Award was accepted by “Lost & Found in Armenia” (Armenia, USA) director, Gor Kirakosian.