Like the nation’s own history, Armenian film is filled with tragedy and joy. The tradition began with ‘Haykakan Sinema’ (1912), the first film made with Armenian subject matter, directed by Armenian Egyptian Vahan Zartarian.
In Soviet times there was a boom in the production of Armenian films, although Armenia’s most famous film, The Color of Pomegranates (1969, dir. Sergei Parajanov), which has repeatedly polled as one of the greatest films ever made, was banned across the Soviet Union and only distributed in Armenia.
Contemporary Armenian film often focuses on making sense of the nation’s fractured past and contributions from the Armenian diaspora include Atom Egoyan, the famed Canadian director of Armenian heritage, who remains a fixture on the international festival circuit.