Ethiopia / Armenia
99 MIN

Modern Ethiopian big band orchestra music finds its unlikely origins in the royal adoption of 40 Jerusalem orphans of the Armenian Genocide by Emperor Haile Selassie.  Their presence as the first royal imperial band would make way for the composed music of Ethiopia’s first national anthem, the popularization of brass instruments, and in later decades, a jazz revolution that swept the country before descending into the throes of the communist Derg regime. Told through first-hand accounts with Ethiopian jazz greats such as Alemayehu Eshete, Mulatu Astatke, Girum Mezmur, as well as Sammy Yirga and while following Vahé, the only performing Ethiopian-Armenian singer / musician in Addis Ababa, Tezeta opens the musical door to a light of memories of a jazz club, a beloved teacher, and a golden musical era forgotten by many.

Cast & Crew
Producers: Aramazt Kalayjian, Vahan Khatchatryan, Marie Claire Andrea
Director: Aramazt Kalayjian, Garegin Papoyan
Script: Aramazt Kalayjian
Director of Photography: Andranik Sahakyan
Music: Various Artists including Alemayehu Eshete, Seyfou Yohannes, Getachew Mekurya, Vahe Tilbian, Girum Mezmur’s Addis Acoustic Project
Sound: Armen Bazarian
Editor: Aramazt Kalayjian, Garegin Papoyan
Cast: Francis Falceto, Alemayehu Eshete, Mulatu Astatke, Ameha Eshete, Girum Mezmur, Vahe Tilbian, Aramazt Kalayjian
Production:I.C. Penguins, Open Studio

Audience Choice Award, Addis IFF, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2024

Aramazt Kalayjian
Aramazt Kalayjian (born 1982, New York, USA) studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where he received his Bachelors in Fine Arts in Communications Design. He is debuting his first film in the music documentary, Tezeta, which was shot over the course of a decade. Kalayjian's prior film work had focused on advertising before attending the Maysles Institute in East Harlem, centering on studies in independent documentary filmmaking. He later directed the music video for the music performer, Vahe, which received continental recognition in Africa. Kalayjian currently lives in New York and Yerevan working on a screenplay for a taxi driver anthology, as well as a documentary about the global obesity epidemic.

Tezeta (doc., 2024).

Garegin Papoyan
Garegin Zhirayr Papoyan (born 1985, Yerevan) studied in Armenian State University of Economics and worked in the sphere of communication for 10 years .He has over five years of experience in documentary photography. He has worked as a cinematographer for various TV programs and films at the TV channel Shoghakat for a year. Papoyan shot his first documentary short film in 2015 called Skhtorashen. In 2021, he completed his next film, his first feature documentary, Bon Voyage. Currently, he is working on the documentary feature, Searching for Cinema, which will be ready for release in 2025. In addition, Garegin Papoyan is working on film restorations of classic Armenian cinema, such as Land of Nairi, House on the Volcano, and Lur-da-Lur.

Skhtorashen (doc., 2015), Bon Voyage (doc., 2020), Tezeta (doc., 2024).