On Thursday, July 30, I had the opportunity to join a Facing History workshop with teachers. This was the first Facing History workshop to use “Hove (The Wind)” as part of the educational materials used to teach the history of the Armenian Genocide. The response from the teachers was incredible. They had so many insights and were so appreciative of the film. I thought we would probably discuss the film for thirty or forty minutes and that would be it. Two hours later the facilitator, David Schwartz, mentioned that it was time to wrap it up!
It is my sincerest hope that the film will have a life in the classroom. Judging from the response of these educators I think it could be a great tool in introducing this complex and intense subject. The life of a short film is so often the year or two of festivals and then it goes up on the shelf. Because of the quality of performances, thank you to Olympia and Shirleyann, and the quality of the images, thank you Panavision and Milton Kam! I think the film can last a really long time in the classroom. The plan is to make copies available free of charge to Facing History that they can then loan out to teachers for the classroom only. Already a couple of teachers have inquired about setting up a time where I might come and talk about the film and the Genocide.
Hopefully this is just the beginning of bringing this history to a much wider audience. Stay tuned!
Having the World Premiere of “Hove (The Wind)” at the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival was just fantastic. A really wonderfully run festival – thank you to Kathleen McInnis and Darryl Macdonald for making it all happen!
We were in the “Shooting Stars” program and it was a great time slot. 8pm, Saturday night sold out show. Films by Marc Turtletaub (producer of Little Miss Sunshine), Demi Moore, Courtney Cox and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. We met filmmakers from Australia, Tahiti, Korea, Brazil and many other countries. The film was received with such admiration and interest. All the people who were unfamiliar with the Armenian Genocide commented that they were fascinated and wanted to know more. As the writer and director of the film I could not ask for a better reaction. One of my goals always with “Hove (The Wind)” was first to tell a good story, an interesting mystery and then to hopefully create questions in the audience and an intense desire to unwrap and solve some of that mystery that the Genocide is (unfortunately) for many non-Armenians.
It was also wonderful to get to know Palm Springs. A beautiful landscape, almost lunar – and with unbelievable temperatures. Usually between 100 and 115 degrees while we were there!
(Pictured above from right to left Marc Turtletaub, Shirleyann Kaladjian, Alex Webb and Palm Springs Festival Director Darryl Macdonald)
“Hove” has been made an official selection of the Montreal World Film Festival and will screen its Canadian premiere in the “Focus on World Cinema” program. This is a huge festival (it runs from Aug. 27-Sept. 7) and it is also great because it is the first festival we have been invited to that mixes feature length films and shorts. Hopefully we can screen as the single short before a feature length film at the festival. I am lo0king forward to visiting Montreal for a few days as I have never been there. As I get more information on screening times etc. I will make sure to update the website.
“Hove” has been invited to the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival. A great festival and another Oscar-qualifying festival. It will screen on the opening day of the festival July 23, Thursday at 3:15pm at the Laemmle Sunset Five Theatres in Hollywood. Later that night as part of the opening day Scarlett Johanson will screen her directorial debut film. Order tickets at: http://www.laemmle.com/viewtheatre.php?date=07232009&thid=2
I am really looking forward to screening the film again and hopefully getting a nice turnout from the Southern California Armenian community.