Bravo, Virtuoso!
Bravo, Virtuoso!

The Official 2016 award nominees for the 19th Annual Arpa International Film Festival (AIFF) taking place November 3 to 6, 2016, have been selected.

Opening night, November 3, is the World Premiere of Bravo, Virtuoso! a dramatic film that is up for Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Produced by acclaimed French-Armenian director-producer-writer Robert Guédiguian and Armenian director Lévon Minasian, Bravo Virtuoso! takes you in to post-Soviet Armenia where cultural institutions are failing and oligarchs are allied with the mafia which holds the power. Told though the life of a virtuoso clarinetist Alik, who wants to save his orchestra, is thrown into the depths of love and grapples with the twisted fate of being intwined with the mafia.

Friday night’s U.S. premiere of Hot Country, Cold Winter is a triple threat with it Best Feature, Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations. Director-producer, David Safarian has his characters “dealing with the absurdity of hard times.” The film,  tells a tale of a man and a woman suffering the circumstances of a total energy crisis. Their recollections, short narratives, imagination act as aids in understanding of the story, and in understanding that core human values are shared throughout the world.

Another 2016 AIFF triple nominee is Saturday’s centerpiece feature film and U.S. premiere Somewhere Beautiful, directed by Albert Kodogolian, featuring Argentinian stars Maria Alche (The Holy Girl) and Pablo Cedron (The Aura, Aballay), and renowned French film actor Dominique Pinon (Amelie, Delicatessen). This film puts you in the middle of two emotionally charged love triangles as they collide in scenic California and amid breathtaking views in Patagonia. Inspired by Atom Egoyan’s seminal film Calendar, Somewhere Beautiful explores the space between the twilight of one connection and the dawn of another.

On Sunday at noon, K2 and The Invisible Footmen starts the day. Director-producer Iara Lee shows the lives of indigenous porters of Gilgit/Baltistan in Pakistan, the unacknowledged heroes of mountaineering, who make the ascent of K2 possible. This AIFF Best Documentary Film nominee shows the courage and sacrifices the porters make and how it affects their families.

Sunday night, the final film and a Best Short Film nominee, Born With It, will be the prelude to the much anticipated Awards Ceremony. Director-writer-producer Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. created a beautiful dramatic short with a Japanese-Ghanaian boy, bullied for his skin color, sets out to confront the prejudice at his school.

AIFF awards span six categories: Best Feature Film, Best Documentary Film, Best Short Film, Best Animated Short Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Among this years’ 2016 AIFF nominees, one film is a world premiere, 12 films are USA premieres and three additional films are Los Angeles premieres.

The 2016 AIFF category awards nominees are:

BEST FEATURE FILM

Bravo, Virtuoso! (2016) | 92 min. | France, Armenia | Director: Levon Minasian
Good Morning (2016) | 104 min. | Armenia | Director: Anna Arevshatyan
Hot Country, Cold Winter (2016) | 104 min. | Armenia | Director: David Safarian
Lost in Armenia (2016) | 90 min. | France | Director: Serge Avedikian
Somewhere Beautiful (2014) | 84 min.| USA, Argentina | Director: Albert Kodagolian
The Weather Inside (2015) | 100 min. | Germany | Director: Isabelle Stever
Train Driver’s Diary (2016) | 88 min. | Serbia | Director: Milos Radovic
We Will Be the World Champions (2015) | 127 min. | Serbia | Director: Darko Bajic
Welkome Home (2014) | 115 min. | Russia | Director: Angelina Nikonova

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

Albert’s Way (2015) | Serbia | 59 min. | Director: Pregrag Bambic
K2 and The Invisible Footmen (2015) | Pakistan, USA, | 54 min. | Director: Lara Lee
Killing Ed (2016) | USA | 94 min. | Director: Mark Hall
Out of Fashion (2015) | Estonia | 58 min. | Director: Lenard Laberenz
Resident Forever (2015) | Armenia, France, South Korea | 91 min. | Director: Lyang Kim
Russia as Phantasma (2016) | Russia | 71 min. | Director: Andrey Silvestrov, Daniil Zinchenko, and many others
The Other Side of Home (2015) | USA | 41 min. | Director: Naré Mkrtchyan
Women of 1915 (2016) | USA | 90 min. | Director: Bared Maronian

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Anna (2015) | France | Director: Alexia Rubod, and many others
Daewit (Däwit) (2015) | Germany | Director: David Jansen
Junk Girl (2014) | Iran | Director: Mohammad Zare
Lazy Huri (2014) | Armenia | Director: Artur Mikayelyan

BEST SHORT FILM

3000 (2015) | Australia, Greece | Director: Antonis Tsonis
Backyards (2015) | Montenegro | Director: Ivan Salatic
Balcony (2015) | United Kingdom | Director: Toby Fell-Holden
Bluey (2015) | Australia | Director: Darlene Johnson
Born With It (2015) | Japan | Director: Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour
Cain’s Shadow (2016) | Italy | Director: Antonio De Palo
Caps (2016) | USA | Director: Lola Ridgell
Hard Pack (2016) | USA | Director: Emmanuelle Pickett
Home (2016) | Kosovo, United Kingdom | Director: Daniel Mulloy
Mellennium: Eternal Sunrise (2015) | USA | Director: Vlad Aksenov
Touch (2015) | USA | Director: Lulu Wang
Tranquility of Blood (2015) | Finland | Director: Senad Sahmanovic
Two Sisters (2015) | USA, South Korea | Director: Keola Racela
Zaar (2016) | USA | Director: Ibrahim Nada

BEST DIRECTOR

Levon Minasian | Bravo, Virtuoso!
Anna Arevshatyan | Good Morning
David Safarian | Hot Country, Cold Winter
Serge Avedikian | Lost in Armenia
Albert Kodagolian | Somewhere Beautiful
Isabelle Stever | The Weather Inside
Milos Radovic | Train Driver’s Diary
Darko Bajic | We Will Be the World Champions
Angelina Nikonova | Welkome Home

BEST SCREENPLAY

Levon Minasian | Bravo, Virtuoso!
Sevada Grigoryan | Good Morning
David Safarian, Yana Druz | Hot Country, Cold Winter
Serge Avedikian, Jean-Francoise Derec | Lost in Armenia
Matthew Bedard, Jimmy Kelly, Albert Kodagolian | Somewhere Beautiful
Isabelle Stever | The Weather Inside
Milos Radovic | Train Driver’s Diary
Nebojsa Romcevic, Ognjen Svilicic | We Will Be the World Champions
Angelina Nikonova, Olga Dihovichnaya | Welkome Home

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