Toronto–The Pomegranate Film Festival, an annual celebration of Armenian-inspired cinema, has officially unveiled its program for the upcoming 16th edition. This year’s festival promises to be a poignant and impactful event, focusing on raising funds and awareness for refugees forcibly exiled from their native lands in Artsakh.
The festival will run with live and virtual screenings from Nov. 13-19, 2023. Virtual screenings are scheduled from Nov. 13-16, with select films available virtually until Dec. 15. Live screenings will take place from Friday, Nov. 17, to Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Hamazkayin Theatre at the Armenian Youth Centre in Toronto.
The Festival’s official website, pomegranatefilmfestival.com, will provide an up-to-date schedule for attendees.
In a statement, the festival organizers shared their mission for this year’s event: “Due to recent events, we are reluctant to use the word ‘sweet’ when describing the 16th edition of the Pomegranate Film Festival; however, what we can do is offer 68 memorable films to help raise funds and awareness for refugees that have been forcibly exiled from their sacred lands in Artsakh.”
The festival’s program features a diverse selection of films that capture the essence of Armenian culture and the global Armenian diaspora. Notable highlights include Atom Egoyan’s highly anticipated film, “Seven Veils,” starring Amanda Seyfried. Additionally, the new documentary,”The Peace for All,” directed by Gary Gananian, is set to captivate audiences. In a nod to the festival’s rich history, several alumni of the Armenian Film Society’s inaugural Festival are part of this year’s lineup, contributing their unique perspectives through films like “250km,” “Ararat,” “Carnivore,” “Cycles,” “From the Work of the Devil,” “Nowhere,” and “It Takes a Village.”
The Pomegranate Film Festival serves not only as a platform for showcasing Armenian talent but also as a vital channel for supporting a humanitarian cause. Proceeds from this year’s festival will be donated to the All for Armenia Fund, which assists refugees illegally displaced from Artsakh following a brutal blockade lasting over nine months. The festival’s full schedule includes a diverse array of films, from documentaries to narratives, ensuring there’s something for every film enthusiast. Here is a snapshot of the live screenings taking place at the Hamazkayin Theatre:
Friday, Nov. 17:
We Are Our Mountains with Hishe at 11 a.m.
Armenian Anthology Volume I (a series with four short films) at 12:45 p.m.
Vishap with The Armenian Papers and Coach Rex at 3:15 p.m.
Tales from the Diaspora (a series of seven short films) at 5 p.m.
Agent 044: Operation Garni with The Mud at 7 p.m.
Seven Veils at 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 18:
Chnchik and The Structure is Rotten, Comrade at 11 a.m.
Armenia Now (a series of five short films) at 1 p.m.
We Thrive with Art in Motion and The Granny at 3:15 p.m.
Ararat Uncovered (GALA SCREENING) – Cocktails at 7:30 p.m. and film presentation at 9 p.m. followed by a live performance by Armadi Tsayn
Sunday, Nov. 19:
Sireli Tzougner (series of nine short films) at 11 a.m.
Love is in the Water with ACMOA and Muffins Mean Yes at 1:30 p.m.
Light Drops and 250 km at 3:30 p.m.
It’s Spring at 5:30 p.m.
Women in Black at 7:30 p.m.
The Pomegranate Film Festival, founded in 2006 by the Toronto Chapter of the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, has grown into a unique community event celebrating Armenian-inspired cinema. With a mission to bring Armenian culture to life through film, this festival continues to thrive, offering a fresh and dynamic perspective on Armenian heritage.
As the Pomegranate Film Festival enters its 16th year, it remains committed to its cultural roots, using the power of cinema to shed light on pressing humanitarian issues and celebrate the enduring spirit of the Armenian community.
For more information about the festival and to access the complete schedule, please visit www.pomegranatefilmfestival.com. ֍