“Es Em” International Youth Film Festival

The Armenian film industry is taking small steps, and the National Cinema Center is still in the Soviet era as it anticipates government funding.

Despite that, there is a large movement of film festivals taking place in Armenia, meaning the opening of a big road toward the world of cinema that can serve as a serious impetus for the rebirth of Armenian cinema. Recently the 6th “Es Em” International Film Festival opened at Moscow Cinema in Yerevan and became one of the film festivales organized in Armenia.

For the sixth time, the film festival has brought together young filmmakers who live and create abroad, seek new ways and new expressions, new topics, try to apply new art and aesthetics, demanding the right to keep cinematography alive for young film directors.

According to President of the National Cinema Academy David Muradyan, the creation of this film festival is a necessity because it is a link that systematizes young filmmakers’ activities. “The film festival paves the way for young filmmakers to the world of cinema”, David Muradyan said, adding that the young film directors will be rated based on their thoughts and creativity. David Muradyan mentioned that the film festival had been held in Yerevan since 2004 and is already recognized in the world of cinema, especially among young creators who wait impatiently and with responsibility for the opening of the festival every year.

This year, there are nearly 112 films presented by film directors from 16 countries. This many films goes to show that Armenia is gradually integrating into the world of cinema and is forming a part of the developments taking place in that world. What is nice to see is that young film directors are participating in such film festivals. It is a means for them to express themselves and convey their thoughts and ideas to professionals around the world. The festival has given a large number of young Armenian filmmakers and cameramen the chance to present themselves and show their films. The festival program includes filmsm by R. Hovhannisyan, E.Tadevosyan, A. Shahnazaryan, Sh. Hakobyan, D. Makaryan, A. Tchughuryan, A. Karapetyan, H. Mkhikyan, H. Baghdasaryan, T. Ghazaryan, V. Poshotyan, A. Chilingaryan, T. Nazaryan and others. Indeed, what is troubling is that amateur film directors are also presenting films along with the young filmmakers. For instance, Arman Mazmanyan has presented his feature film called “Aykido: Art of Peace”. Arman Mazmanyan has studied as a theater director, and this means that there are unequal conditions for amateurs and professionals. Perhaps the festival committee will set aside amateur films and give the non-professionals the chance to show their films in other categories. It is no secret that in the last couple of years, along with the restrictions on film production, there has also been a certain decline of film studies in Armenia, meaning that Armenians lack knowledge of the role and significance of cinema, the analysis of the process, the appreciation and the positions of critics. Thus, the “Es Em” International Youth Film Festival can also help the youth know about films and enrich their knowledge.

The awards are given in six categories, including Best Film, Best Directing, Best Feature Film, Best Photography, Best Documentary and Best Student and Animated Films. Two more awards will be given in the “Hope” category to the best filmmakers from Armenia and abroad.

Levon Mutafyan

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