AUA Adjunct Lecturer Zareh Tjeknavorian’s Short Film Nominated at First Hermetic International Film Festival

YEREVAN, Armenia – The American University of Armenia (AUA) is happy to share that College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) Adjunct Lecturer in Filmmaking and Cinema Studies Zareh Tjeknavorian’s short film “Elegy in Light” has been nominated in the categories of Best Documentary (Short) and Best Documentary (Foreign) at the First Hermetic International Film Festival in Venice, Italy. The festival will take place at the Casa del Cinema in the historic heart of the city from March 1-2.

The First Hermetic International Film Festival is dedicated to films that explore esoteric, mystical, occult, and other hermetic spiritual themes.

“Elegy in Light,” shot on super 8mm film at the funeral of Catholicos Vazgen I, Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians, depicts an ancient and rarely seen rite of the Armenian Church with a soundscape of monastic chants taken from composer Loris Tjeknavorian’s “The Life of Christ.” The film is an impressionistic meditation on death and the fragmentary nature of memory; a cinematic memorial made from the substances of time and light, described by one viewer as “a psychedelic trip into medieval times.”

Previously, “Elegy in Light” was screened at the Apricot Tree International Documentary Film Festival in Yerevan, Gyumri, and the village of Ujan.

Zareh Tjeknavorian was born in Fargo, North Dakota into a family of musicians and grew up in Tehran, London, Frankfurt, Paris and New York, where he attended the Professional Children’s School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in film & television. Over the years he’s pursued his interests in ancient and esoteric cultures, lost histories, and the lives of the forgotten and dispossessed through short and long-form films. His most recent work is a folk history of the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath in Soviet Armenia, told through the memories of orphans, refugees and their descendants.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.