The Pomegranate Film Festival, established in 2006 stems from the Toronto Chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society. A group of young Armenian professionals, bound by a passion for film and culture. Now in it’s 10th year, the Pomegranate Film Festival is a unique community event celebrating Armenian inspired film.
This year over 50 fascinating films will be presented between Nov. 16-22 at the 10th edition of Hamazkayin’s Pomegranate Film Festival. Below are a dozen of particular interest (in order of appearance) as the centennial of the Genocide draws to a close. All films below will be presented at the Hamazkayin Theatre (50 Hallcrown Pl) except for THE CUT.
100 YEARS & WE’RE STILL DANCING! – Monday Nov. 16 @ 7pm – $15
The triumph of joy and dance a century later. Film screening will be complemented with a musical performance by singer/songwriter Isabella Bablumian from Brazil as well as Hamazkayin’s Erepuni Dance Ensemble doing what they do best.
ANTOURA: AFTER THIS DAY – Tuesday Nov. 17 @ 7pm – $10
Popular director Nigol Bezjian will be attending from Beirut to present his brand new film. The true tale about a Turkish pharmacist who saved hundreds of Armenian children from imminent death at the Antoura Orphanage.
ARAM, ARAM – Tuesday Nov. 17 @ 9:15pm – $10
A dramatic action film that has critics raving. Young Aram is forced to leave his peaceful life in Bourj’hammoud (Lebanon) to live with his grandfather, but must deal with the Armenian mob in Los Angeles. Director Chris Chambers, as well as actors Sevak Hakoyan & Levon Sharafyan will be in attendance for this Toronto Premiere.
WESTERN ARMENIA – Wednesday Nov. 18 @ 7pm – $10
A trio of films about Historic Armenia to be presented by activist/attorney Matthew Karanian, the author of the remarkable new travel guide HISTORIC ARMENIA. Signed copies of the book will be available for sale following the screening, a prerequisite for anyone interested in making the trek to trace their roots.
9:15pm – THE RIGHTEOUS TURK – $10
Presented by Kourken Sarkissian on behalf of the Zoryan Institute. The North American Premiere of STONY PATHS, a film that explores righteous Kurds and Turks that saved Armenian lives in 1915. Q&A with Director Arnaud Khayadjanian from France to follow the screening. Traditional Armenian folk music performance led by Harout Bedrossian prior to screening.
THE CUT – Friday Nov. 20 @ 9pm – $15
The Western Armenian version of the incredible epic film 100 years in the making. Filmed across several continents and arguably the most ambitious feature ever made about the Genocide. Legendary screenwriter Mardik Martin, responsible for MEAN STREETS and RAGING BULL, fulfilled a lifelong goal with the completion of this film and will be in attendance to receive the Golden POM lifetime achievement award at the Regent Theatre (551 Mt. Pleasant Rd.)
ANAHIT – Saturday Nov. 21 @ 1:30pm – $5
The North American Premiere of the first Walt Disney style animated feature film made in Armenia. Follow the historic tale of King Vachagan and his comical adventure to win the heart of young Anahit. Due to popular demand, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance.
OUR ATLANTIS: The Story of Camp Armen – Saturday Nov. 21 @ 3:30pm – $10
Heart warming story about a special place in Tuzla, on the outskirts of Bolis where hundreds of Anatolian children, including Hrant Dink, regained their Armenian identity. The Camp has garnered a lot of media coverage in recent years, having been confiscated by the Turkish government. Cinematographer Tammam Hamza will be attending to make this special presentation and prove that even Armenian films can have a happy ending!
COLLECTIF MEDZ BAZAR – Gala Film – Saturday Nov. 21 with cocktails @ 7pm – $75
A collection of musicians that has taken Europe & Asia by storm will perform for the first time in North America at the 10th annual POM Gala within the milieu of a French Carnival theme under the big tent. This year’s Gala film will be the Toronto Premiere of Robert Guediguian’s light comedy ARIANE’S THREAD.
OPERATION NEMESIS – Sunday Nov. 22 @ 3:30pm – $10
A presentation of the most riveting short films commemorating the Genocide centennial in collaboration with the Armen Karo Student Association. Followed by an in depth analysis about the covert sting that avenged the deaths of 1.5 million innocent victims. Panel to feature authors Eric Bogosian (Operation Nemesis) and Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy (Sacred Justice) who will both be presenting their new books for the first time in Toronto.
WOMEN & THE ARMENIAN CAUSE – Sunday Nov. 22 @ 5:30pm – $10
North American Premiere of the film MAP OF SALVATION, the unbelievable true story about a group of Scandinavian women who helped rebuild the Armenian nation in the aftermath of the Genocide with a network of schools and orphanages in Aleppo & Beirut, laying the groundwork for today’s Diaspora. Keynote address to be delivered by Prof. Isabelle Kaprielian-Churchill and musical performance by Anahit Goudsouzian.
DON’T TELL ME THE BOY WAS MAD – Sunday Nov. 22 @ 8pm – $15
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors, and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats. Reach out - firstname.lastname@example.org