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YEREVAN, JUNE 30, ARMENPRESS: The first “Golden Apricot” Yerevan International Film Festival opened today at Yerevan’s Moscow Cinema with premiere of Roman Balayan’s film, “The Night is Bright.” The Award Ceremony will be held on July 4, 2004 at the same place. Sixty-seven participants and guests from 19 countries have arrived in Yerevan to participate in the festival, among them filmmakers, producers, film critics, actors.

The festival received about 200 films from 20 countries and 121 films are selected for the festival screenings. Eighty-four films are selected in the festival’s 6 categories of competition (7 feature, 16 documentary, 15 animation and experimental, 7 short, 14 student and 25 video art films).

Sixty-three films are included in non-competition program (28 in informative, 13 in international and 22 in retrospectives). Most of them are Yerevan Premieres. Best recent Swedish, Italian, German, and Bulgarian films, as well as awarded films from Rotterdam Film Festival will be screened in informative program of the festival. Film trilogy of Gunnar Berdgahl about famous Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman is included in the Swedish program.

The films will be screened at Moscow and Nairi Cinemas, Armenian Center of Contemporary Experimental Art and National Gallery of Armenia.

The festival has rich program of special events. The 80th anniversary of founding of Armenian cinema should be celebrated: on this occasion an exhibition of Armenian film artists’ works will be opened at the Union of Artists. The world premier of the most recent Armenian film – “Jeano” by Suren Babayan, will be screened. Together with Parajanov Museum and the National Cinematheque of Armenia, filmmaker Sergei Parajanov’s 80th birthday will be celebrated during the festival, with a showing of his works and site visits to the places where Parajanov shot his films. His wife and son will be present. A French artist will present an open-air installation devoted to Parajanov at the National Cinematheque.

In addition, there will also be other jubilee celebrations: the 80th anniversary of the founding of Armenian cinema, and the 80th birthday of French singer Charles Aznavour. For the first time, there will be a Blessing of the Apricot Feast.

Armenia’s Public Television will cover all festival related events and they will be broadcasted for the Armenian audience as well as by satellite to Europe, the CIS and the Middle East, as well as some parts of the US.

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