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Armenian Film Festival of Boston to Begin Oct. 29

BOSTON, Mass.—The Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance (ADAA) and the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) have partnered to present the third Armenian Film Festival in Boston, an array of powerful and visually dazzling narrative, documentary, short, and animated films. The festival will be held at the ICA from Oct. 29-31.

Simon Abkarian and Virginia Ledoyen in 'Army of Crime'

Representative Peter Koutoujian, who recently cut the ribbon on the Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, is honorary chairman of the festival. “Most U.S. audiences would not have the chance to experience these amazing films without the Armenian Film Festival of Boston,” he said. “Thanks to our partnership with the ICA, we are able to celebrate the rich heritage of Armenian art and culture through the riveting stories Armenian filmmakers are producing today.”

The festival kicks off on Fri., Oct. 29, with screenings of “The Army of Crime” (L’Armée du Crime, France 2009), Robert Guédiguian’s lush historical drama, and “Barking Island,” winner of the Palme D’Or for Best Short Film at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Opening night screenings will be followed by a dessert reception in the ICA’s lobby, now featuring five perspective-defying paintings by Francesca DiMattio on the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall.

“Army of Crime,” characterized as a “passionate act of remembrance” by Stephen Holden in a recent New York Times review, recounts how Armenian poet Missak Manouchian led a band of youngsters and immigrants in a dramatic series of guerrilla attacks in a clandestine battle against the Nazi occupation in 1944. This story of a significant event in World War II history, artfully told by Robert Guédiguian,  features fine performances led by highly honored French-Armenian actor Simon Abkarian.

“Barking Island” will precede “Army of Crime” on opening night. This animated short film by Serge Avedikian illustrates an episode from Constantinople in 1910, when the newly established government found an unorthodox way of dealing with the city’s stray dogs.

The opening night films will be followed by a dessert reception. Tickets for the films and reception are $40; tickets to just the films are $25 for the general public and $20 for ICA members and students.

Co-founder of ADAA, CEO of TechFusion, and longtime financial supporter Alfred Demirjian said, “We had over 1,000 attendees at each of the last two film festivals. In these difficult economic times, we continue to count on the support and attendance from our community in order for these festivals to go forward. This year’s festival has attracted our strongest line-up of films, and I know our community will be pleased and enthusiastic.”

An all-festival pass, which includes admission for two people to all films, panels, and receptions, is $125. See other ticket prices and purchase on www.icaboston.org or by calling (617) 478-3103. All screenings take place in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater at the ICA/Boston from Oct. 29-31.

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