- The Union of Cinematographers of Armenia has issued a statement saying that Turkish authorities have banned the screening of the Armenian-Iranian film “Yeva” at the 13th International Filmmor Women's Film Festival on Wheels. It’s believed that the decision was made after significant pressure on Turkey from Azerbaijan. .
Why does Azerbaijan disapprove of the movie?
- The movie was shot in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan is opposed to foreigners visiting Nagorno-Karabakh without permission from the government in Baku. Doing so is considered a criminal offense.
- According to Ahval News, Melek Özman from Filmmor told the independent Turkish press agency Bianet that the Consulate of Azerbaijan first sent an official letter to the French Institute, the venue of the Festival, and asked them to cancel the screening. Finally, the Turkish authorities have issued a written decree prohibiting the screening of the film.
- The website adds that the Azerbaijani government claims that the film creates "a perception that Nagorno Karabakh is an Armenian territory."
What is “Yeva” about?
- “Yeva” is an Armenia-Iran joint film directed by the Armenian-Iranian director Anahid Abad.
- The film takes place in post-war Nagorno-Karabakh. It's a dramatic story about a woman who wants to forget the tragic events that happened during her life. Yeva decides to leave Yerevan, Armenia and goes to Karabakh to stay at a friend’s house. However, the past persists everywhere.
- The film’s scriptwriter is Anahit Abad, the operator is Hasan Karim, composer is Vahan Artsruni, and the producer, Taghi Ali Gholizadeeh.
- Casting: Narine Grigoryan, Shant Hovhannisyan, Marjan Avetisyan, Rosy Avetisova, Sergei Tovmasyan, Vrezh Kassouni, Tigran Davtyan, Naran Petrosyan, Evelina Adamyan, Marat Davtyan and others.
What the statement says?
- According to the Union of Cinematographers of Armenia, Turkish and Azerbaijani authorities interfered brutally in the affairs of the Filmmor Women’s Film Festival.
- “They applied measures to restrict censorship and freedom of art in the world of cinema (...) It is disappointing that the Turkish authorities, both with Azerbaijan do not realize that cultural cooperation is a part of the world’s ruling system of values nowadays,” said the statement, adding that the decision to ban the screening puts the two countries out of the world’s cultural map.
- “Azerbaijan continues pursuing a policy, hindering any phenomenon that has any connection with the Republic of Artsakh, failing to understand that this policy is doomed to failure and the Republic of Artsakh is free to pursue its policy, including cultural ones,” continues the statement.
- “It is inadmissible and incomprehensible for Armenian cinematographers and the public, as many Armenian and international film festivals have featured both Azerbaijani and Turkish films,” added Union of Cinematographers of Armenia.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced on September 21 that he will be traveling to Yerevan, Armenia, from October 11 to 13, to attend the XVII Francophonie Summit. This will be Trudeau’s first official visit to Armenia.
Held every two years, the Francophonie Summit gathers Heads of states of all member countries of the International Organization of the Francophonie around the themes of discussion. The year’s theme is “Living together in solidarity, shared humanistic values, and respect for diversity: a source of peace and prosperity in La Francophonie.”
Three weeks after his release from jail after serving 4 ½ years of a seven year sentence handed down in March 2014 on charges widely condemned by human rights organizations and the international community as fabricated, Ilgar Mammadov, chairman of the as yet unregistered Azerbaijani opposition party Republican Alternative (ReAl), announced on 4 September his intention of resuming his political activities, and specifically of participating in future parliamentary and presidential elections.
It is worth pondering on why there was a revolution in Armenia; it’s not a bad idea to remember sometimes. We can only assume that people felt something was gravely wrong. Something so wrong, that they had no fear of beating in broad daylight, no fear of mass arrests, no fear of heavy-handed external intervention, and finally, no fear of death. As a friend suggested about a year before the revolution, “they have managed to keep us subjugated and in fear since March 1, 2008.” Well, no more.