The 18th Golden Apricot I kicked off

04 October 2021

The most important cultural event in the capital, the Golden Apricot International Film Festival, was launched. For a week, from October 3 to 10, the Armenian movie lovers will have a unique opportunity to enjoy the annual film feast.

The official opening ceremony of the 18th Golden Apricot took place on October 3 in the "Moscow" Cinema. The famous guests of the festival, the members of the jury, the participants of the competition and non-competition programs took part in the ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony, footage from non-competition and competition films was presented, as well as information on the composition of the jury. The participants respected the victims of the war with minute of silence, calling for the release of the captives.

Harutyun Khachatryan, the founder and president of the Golden Apricot IFF, congratulated those present at the start of the festival. He especially emphasized that the festival takes place in rather difficult times, thanked the young team implementing it, the team which is not afraid of difficulties. Khachatryan invited the other two co-founders of the festival, Susanna Harutyunyan and Mikael Stamboltsyan, to the stage. The three of them announced the start of the festival.

During his speech, Harutyun Khachatryan invited the honorary guest of the festival is the famous American screenwriter and director Paul Schrader to the stage. The latter is the screenwriter of Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver", "Raging Bull", as well as director of "The Last Temptation of Christ", "American Gigolo", "Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters", "First Reformed" and 20 other films and laureate of 30 international film festivals. Khachatryan presented Schrader with the festival's "Parajanov Thaler" award for his great contribution to cinema. Schrader thanked for the award.

During the opening ceremony, Karen Avetisyan, Artistic Director of the Golden Apricot IFF, informed the audience that the festival kicks off with the award-winning film "Ahed's Knee" by Israeli award-winning film director Nadav Lapid. According to Avetisyan, the film is a letter-love confession to the cinema and at the same time contains the nerve of war.

The honorary guest of GAIFF 2021 Israeli director, Golden Bear (Synonyms, 2019), Cannes Special Jury Prize winner (Ahed's Knee, 2021) Nadav Lapid also attended the ceremony.

Karen Avetisyan invited Lapid to the stage and handed him the "Master" award of "Golden Apricot".

Nadav Lapid thanked for the award, admitting that it was a surprise for him to receive it. He added that he was happy to receive the award after Schrader. Then he added that he had been trying to come to Yerevan for three years, and finally he succeeded. He confessed that the film refers to the post-war events, but does not want conflicts to unite us all - we should be united only by our love for cinema.

It should be noted that the RA Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports supports the film festival.