Armenian Panorama Jury
Haig Balian (The Netherlands)
Born in 1954, Amsterdam. He became director of Artis Royal Zoo Amsterdam in 2003. Member of the European FilmAcademy. Before changing his complete professional life and country of residence, Balian has been a long time successful film business entrepreneur, managing director, expert and film producer. From 1975 to 1996 he was a major shareholder andmanaging director of one of Holland’s and Belgium’s leading integrated film companies involved in feature film and television production, as well as in theatrical, video and television distribution. After selling his shares to PolyGram Filmed Entertainment in 1993, he became managing director of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment in the Benelux and moved in 1996 to Hamburg to set up PolyGram Filmed Entertainment Business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland as managing director. From 1999 to 2002 he joined Canal+, first as a consultant and later as part of the management of the newly created European Film Studio Canal. In 2002 and 2003 he produced his last feature film with his wife Wiebke Toppel. He is a shareholder and co-director of one of the leading Dutch theatrical exhibition groups, Minerva Bioscopen. Balian was film adviser from 1999 to 2001 for SENTER and FINE, two institutions created by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and from 2005 until 2007 he functioned as Member of the Board of the Dutch Filmfund. Since 2008 he is a Member of the Board of the Dutch Filmmuseum. After he learned Natura Artis Magistra was searching for a new director, he decided to change his life and follow his childhood dream to become the director of the Zoo, enabling him to further develop his profound interest in the natural world.Natura Artis Magistra, founded in 1838, is a non-profit foundation and an inner city zoo in the centre of Amsterdam. Under his directorship a unique masterplan for the future has been developed and already partly implemented, substantially increasing the number of visitors and members.
Norik Keshishian (Germany)
He is a German-Armenian, born in 1960 in Teheran. Studied economics and engineering and has worked in these fields. He established Genia Film Arts with Razmik Melkonyan in 1999. Since then, he has been producing Melkonyan’s short films: Karma, The Loser, The Third World, ThePacifier, and Only This Time, among others. The Loser and Karma received the rating “valuable” from the German film evaluation centre. The Loser was broadcast on different TV-channels and shown in several cinemas throughout Germany. The short film Karma, a black comedy, was shown in several movie theatres in Germany and abroad. Since his first visit to Armenia in 2002, he has become very involved with the activities regarding film production there.
Aneta Yerznkyan (Armenia)
Film critic, member of the Cinematographers Union of Armenia, Association of Film Critics and Cinema Journalists, Professor. Born in Yerevan in 1949 to the family of the famous film director Yuri Yerznkyan. In 1971 graduated from Yerevan State University, Philology Faculty and continued her postgraduate education at Moscow Art StudiesResearch Institute. In 1973-89 worked atthe Board of the Cinematographers Union of Armenia as the Chair of Creativity Chapters. In 1986 was elected Secretary of the Cinematographers Union of Armenia. Since 1977 lectured at Kh. Abovian Pedagogical Institute, Cinema Faculty, Cinema and TV Program. Since 1996 has been teaching at Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema and since 2000 has been leading the Film Critics Workshop at the same Institute. Author of articles on cinema and television, and the books, The Role of Cinematic Art in Upbringing the Young Generation (1986), The Beginning of the Artistic Communication of Armenian Television (2008). In 2006 was appointed as Proctor of Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema for Instructional and Research Issues.
Eric Nazarian (USA)
Born in Armenia in 1976 and immigrated to Los Angeles with his family in 1981. After a four-year apprenticeship at his father Haik’s photo lab, Eric took up freelance photojournalism in college, covering stories about culture, film, immigration and sports in the Southern California Armenian community and Nagorno-Karabakh. His work as a freelance photojournalist and writer has been published in publications including Movie Maker Magazine, Written By, Ararat Quarterly, Armenian International Magazine (AIM) and The Armenian Reporter. He was the recipient of the New Century Writer’s Award for Shine and Shutter, a short story about a Nagorno-Karabakh landmine victim and the AFFMA Award for his screenplay, Land of Plenty. During his undergraduate years at University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, Eric studied directing, screenwriting and cinematography, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production. During the summers he traveled throughout the Southern Caucuses, photographing post-war life in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh. In 2007 Eric wrote and directed The Blue Hour, his first feature film. The Blue Hour’s World Premiere took place at the 55th San Sebastian IFF in competition for the New Director’s Prize. At the 10th AFFMA IFF Eric was the recipient of the Best Director Award for his work on The Blue Hour. At the 5th Golden Apricot IFF in Armenia, Nazarian was awarded The Golden Apricot for Best Film in the Armenian Panorama section, The Ecumenical Jury Award, The Prime Minister’s Award and The Cultural Ministry’s Award for Directing. In 2008, Eric received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for his original screenplay Giants. Nazarian is the first Armenian in the history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to be awarded the fellowship.
Grigor Harutyunyan (Armenia)
Director. Born in Yerevan in 1950. In 1975 entered Kh. Abovian Pedagogical Institute, Cinema Faculty, Directing Division (workshop of G. Melik-Avagyan). In 1980 graduated from the Institute and left for Meghri where worked as a director at the local theatre. In 1981-1984 was the director at Yerevan TV Films Studio. In 1987 joined Hayfilm Studio, later worked at Hayk Studio as director of documentary films. In 1988 his film, Theatre Square participated at Sverdlovsk IFF of Non-Feature Films and won the Jury Prize. In 1989 the same film received the Grand Prix at Kiev IFF. In 1990 Harutyunyan was invited to Kiev IFF as a jury member. His works have won several prizes at international film festivals. Has directed over 15 films.