By Valerie Milano
Hollywood, CA (Hollywood Today) 12/1/2012 – “You mean like Glendale?” Jaime Kennedy referencing his familiarity with Armenians in the new film Lost and Found in Armenia. Kennedy co-stars alongside Armenian beauty, Angela Sarafyan in this romantic comedy that was featured this past Thursday night at the Egyptian Theater as part of the 15th Annual Arpa International Film Festival and Hollywood Today is covering it. Founded in 1997 by Sylvia Minassian, the Arpa International Film Festival serves as an opportunity to foster cultural understanding and empathy with a particular focus on films that explore Diaspora and exile within culture. Lost and Found in Armenia, directed by Gor Kirakorsian, is a perfect example of the cinematic examination of ethnic intricacies and ties to specific regions, cultural practices and beliefs. This film tells the story of Bill (Jaime Kennedy), the son of a U.S. Senator who accidentally gets dropped in Armenia after being coerced into a trip to Turkey by best friends (Dave Sheridan and Murisa Harba) hoping to mend his recently broken heart. From the moment he lands in the remote Armenian village, he gets into a host of shenanigans trying to find his way home, including wild chases, red handled axes and falling in love with the beautiful Ani (Angela Sarafyan).
Written as a comedy, the feature length movie jokingly made references to the relationship between Armenia and Turkey and the American perspective of the Middle East. Complete with language barriers, social differences and overall lack of understanding, Kennedy is ultimately celebrated by the villagers after returning Ani from capture by Turkish soldiers. While we are all familiar with the cliché, love knows no boundaries, ethnic and racial prejudices continue to serve as a wedge between multi cultural relations. Lost and Found in Armenia reminds us that we are all human beings who want to give and receive love regardless of its physical manifestation, and instead of closing ourselves off to our unique characteristics, they should be embraced and celebrated.
The 15th Annual Arpa International Film Festival will continue to do just that this weekend as they screen films from writers, directors and producers from around the globe. “Our goal is to launch the careers of emerging filmmakers and celebrate the independent film work of our festival’s most gifted filmmakers.” Sylvia Minassian, Founder of the Arpa International Film Festival told us. Whether you’re Armenian, American or somewhere in between, the Arpa International Film Festival is a great opportunity to get a glimpse into the world beyond what you know. Tickets can still be purchased for tomorrow’s viewings at AFFMA.org.