Screening of Planet Zorthian by Armenian Film Society @ Abril Books, Glendale [7 July]

Screening of Planet Zorthian by Armenian Film Society

19:30 - 21:00

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Abril Books
415 E Broadway, Ste 102, Glendale, California 91205
ARMENIAN FILM SOCIETY presents a screening of

(67 minutes / Released in 2004)

An experimental «cubist» documentary by
Arno Yeretzian, Harout Arakelian, Lisa Tchakmakian and Sevag Vrej
Produced by Arno Yeretzian

Followed by Discussion with Filmmakers.

FRIDAY, JULY 7, 2017 — 7:30pm
ABRIL BOOKSTORE — 415 E. Broadway, Glendale, CA

Admission is free.

PLANET ZORTHIAN is an experimental “cubist” documentary created by five filmmakers primarily at the Zorthian ranch. The objectified on-screen subject and backdrop of the project is the Zorthian ranch, an ongoing work of art created by Col. Jirayr Zorthian, encompassing his artwork, the architecture, the livestock, the found objects, and the lives of the residents, including that of Jirayr and his wife Dabney. In addition, the documentary calls to attention the individual subjective views of the filmmakers through their portrayals and interpretations. The final piece is the consecutive screening of each filmmaker’s edited footage to be premiered outdoors at the Zorthian ranch. The beginning and end of the unified piece are created in collaboration and present the annual events of «The Blessing of the Animals» and the «Primavera» celebrations.

Col. Jirayr Hamparzoom Zorthian was born April 14, 1911 in Kutahya, Turkey, of Armenian parents. At the age of three, he showed considerable talent in drawing and painting. He went through two Turkish massacres before age eight. He left Turkey at age nine with his family and spent a year in Padua, Italy, during which his father took him to many cities in Europe and exposed him to great works of art. He arrived in the United States at the age of eleven and settled with his family in New Haven, Connecticut, where he obtained his formal education. After graduating from Yale, the Winchester Fellowship granted him a year and a half at the American Academy in Rome with study throughout Europe. His art career branched into various directions on his return to the United States. He has forty two murals throughout the country. Other aspects of his art career include sculpture, painting, and almost fifty years of designing and constructing the Zorthian Ranch. Col. Jirayr Zorthian passed away on January 6, 2004.


Arno Yeretzian was born in Lebanon at the start of civil war in 1976 and immediately settled with his family into the Armenian community of Hollywood. Arno obtained a B.A. in Film and Video from UC Santa Cruz. Incorporating multiple projections and audience participation, Arno works to break through traditional conventions. Some prevalent themes within his work are subjectivity versus objectivity, self-consciousness and criticism, and the influence of external and internal factors upon people. He has directed eight short videos and two short films and is currently starting his own production company.

Harout Arakelian was born in Rhode Island to a family that emigrated from Iran through Lebanon. Harout has been involved in the arts from a young age. Hip hop culture and Jazz music have shaped his artistic sensibilities. Harout holds a passionate belief in the potential of cinema to entertain and educate. Enjoying the dynamics of the collaborative element of cinema, he has worked on many projects throughout the years and has completed two shorts.

Lisa Tchakmakian received her B.F.A. with a Film and Video emphasis from the Art Center College of Design. She went on to earn a M.F.A. from the University of Southern California. Her work examines the relationship between motion imagery and architecture.

Sevag Vrej found the inspiration and resources needed to start his directing career in his native Los Angeles. Growing up in a family with strong ties to the old-world, Sevag challenged his community’s conventional wisdom by excelling in the arts. Seeing the value in diversity, he aspired to bridge the gap between the old and the new. Finishing his formal education at Art Center College of Design, Sevag received a B.F.A. in TV/Film Directing. While at Art Center, he directed and produced numerous short films and commercial spots. After graduating, he directed his first feature, N4, which won the Best Director Award at the AFFMA International Film Festival of 2000.

THE ARMENIAN FILM SOCIETY is a monthly event that meets on the first Friday of each month at Abril Bookstore. Lead by Armen and Mary Karaoghlanian, the evenings are composed predominantly of film screenings and discussions, with occasional lectures, workshops, classes, and other types of activities relating to film with an element of Armenian culture and/or involvement. The purpose of the film society is to bring together people of all backgrounds and expose them to the rich cinema of Armenia, as well as talented filmmakers with an Armenian background.

Upcoming screenings include Ravished Armenia, A Piece of Sky, The River Ran Red… Also look forward to special lectures and presentations by filmmakers such as Carla Garabedian, Roger Kupelian and many more.

ARMEN KARAOGHLANIAN is a writer, filmmaker and the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Interiors, a film and architecture publication. He currently teaches film studies at Woodbury University. MARY KARAOGHLANIAN works as a producer and production manager for Interiors.
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