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Armenian Culture, Science and Education Development Foundation

“Aram, Aram,” the first Armenian language film at Los Angeles Film Festival

Culture.AM ARAMARAM

Film festivals are commonly named after the cities that host them. The Los Angeles Film Festival, however, takes its name to heart.

According to curator for this year’s 21st edition of LAFF and the nonprofit arts organization Film Independent, which produces the nine-day festival Elvis Mitchell it’s a great idea to make this a festival that has an emphasis on L.A. films, as Dailynews reports.
“It feels like an obvious thing to say that there’s so much filmmaking and there’s so much talent based here, why isn’t there a special emphasis placed on filmmakers coming from here. Why not capitalize on the fact that this is the place where almost every filmmaker in the world wants to be involved in the film business in one way or another?”, -he says.
That idea is underlined by the festival’s additional emphasis on independent film and diversity. LAFF plans to showcase 74 features, 60 shorts and more than 50 new media works when it officially begins Wednesday (pre-screenings start Monday).

“We have fully embraced the mission of Film Independent, which is to support the community of artists who are diverse and have innovative points of view,” says festival director Stephanie Allain. “Forty percent of (this year’s films) are by women and over 30 percent are directors of color.”
LAFF is a really strong supporter of films made by women and minorities where inclusiveness takes many forms this year.

“Aram, Aram,” the festival’s first Armenian language feature about a troubled immigrant boy, was shot in Glendale and Little Armenia by San Fernando Valley native Christopher Chambers (and, no, he does not speak Armenian).

“Our rule in casting was that all Armenian characters had to be played by Armenian actors,” reveals Chambers, who says he became fascinated with the culture through Armenian friends he made while doing camera work on local indies. “This was because I wanted to make sure we had authentic performances and an authentic story.”

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