On July 15, the closing and award ceremony of the 14th Golden Apricot International Film Festival took place in Yerevan. In addition to the congratulations and gratitude, many repeatedly spoke from the stage about the impermissibility of censorship in art. The first one who addressed the topic was Eric Nazarian, a frequent guest at the Golden Apricot Film Festival. His films have been featured three times in the festival, and “The Blue Hour” won the Grand Prix in 2008.
The censorship topic arose from a scandal that took place on the eve of the festival. Two days before the opening, the Union of Cinematographers, which owns the Henrik Malian Theater, decided not to show two films from the “Armenians: Internal and External Views” lineup. The problematic films — Pouria Heidary Oureh’s “Apricot Groves” and Gagik Ghazareh’s documentary “Listen to Me: Untold Stories beyond Hatred” addressed LGBT topics.
The festival, unable to change the screening location of the 37-film project, cancelled the entire program. See Eric Nazarian's comments in the video clip.