The Hamazkayin Toronto Pomegranate Film Festival wrapped up its 12th season after 5 days of film screenings and presentations that involved 40 films showcasing worldwide Armenian cinematic talent.
Speaking about the quality of the films, perennial jury member and film industry veteran Silva Basmadjian said it was “fearless and exceptional”.
The Festival awarded French filmmaker Robert Geudikian’s La Villa the Best Feature Film award for its “classic storytelling, realism, nuanced acting, divulging complex themes, touching on universal familiar issues and current political stories”.
Honourable mention in the same category went to Jivan Avetisyan’s The Last Inhabitant for its “intimate storytelling, brilliant acting and stunning cinematography”.
Academy Award-winning director Joe Berlinger’s much anticipated Intent To Destroy documentary about the denial of the Armenian Genocide won the Best Documentary award.
One of the highlights of the Festival was spotlighting human right issues in Armenia such as corruption, free speech and LGBTQ issues. Seda Grigorian’s Way Back Home, tracing actress and activist Arsinee Khanjian’s recent visits to Armenia and Artsakh, won Best Short Documentary award.
The Emerging Filmmaker award went to Daniel Sarkissian for his What Is Classic Rock? . With “one camera and tons of passion (he) manages to get inside the exclusive world of rock music and weave a complete and evocative story”, said the jury citation.
Here’s the list of POM Film Festival 2017 awards:
Inaugural Garmir (Red) POM Award for Community Involvement – Billy Talent rock band (Canada)
Inaugural Pomegranate Aril Award (Rising Star) - Director Daniel Sarkissian, film: WHAT IS CLASSIC ROCK? (Canada)
Best Short Film – MEDITERRANEA directed by Nicholas Sarkissian (France)
Honourable Mention: CEMILLE’S OBSESSION directed by Deniz Ozden (Turkey)
Best Documentary Short – WAY BACK HOME directed by Seda Grigoryan (Armenia)
Honourable Mention: ECHOES OF SURVIVAL directed by Avo John Kambourian (USA)
Best Feature Film – LA VILLA directed by Robert Guèdiguian (France)
Honourable Mention: THE LAST INHABITANT directed by Jivan Avetisyan (Artsakh)
Dr. Michael J. Hagopian Memorial Award for BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM – INTENT TO DESTROY directed by Joe Berlinger (USA)
Audience Choice Award for Feature Film – YEVA directed by Anahid Abad (Iran)
1st Runner Up – GYANK OU GRIV directed by Mher Mkrtchyan (Armenia)
Audience Choice Award for Documentary Film – INTENT TO DESTROY
1st Runner Up – ARCHITECTS OF DENIAL
Golden POM’s (Festival’s Highest Honour):
Dean Cain, Atom Egoyan, Montel Williams