Arpa Announces 2013 Jury And Nominated Films

Special Awards Honors Go To Sid Haig (Lifetime Achievement Award)  Sev Ohanian (Breakthrough Filmmaker Award) September 26th-29th, 2013 at the Egyptian Theatre

LOS ANGELES—The 16th Annual Arpa International Film Festival (September 26 -29, Egyptian Theatre, Hollywood) today announced the members of the 2013 jury, along with the nominations for the nine awards they will grant.  Festival Director Alex Kalognomos also announced this year’s Special Awards recipients, Actor Sid Haig and Producer  Sev Ohanian (Fruitvale Station). The honorees will be feted at the festival’s Closing Night Gala on Sunday, September 29 at 7:30pm, with red carpet and screening of the film, Masque, directed by Robert Hatch.  The Closing Night Gala will include a dinner reception. Tickets are $45 and can be reserved at

2013 Special Awards

Arpa founder and head, Sylvia Minassian, noted that, “The 2013 nominees and Special Awards recipients Matthew VanDyke and Sev Ohanian truly reflect the festival’s core philosophy, which is to cultivate cultural understanding and global empathy. These are films which shed light on people and places that Los Angeles audiences might only know from the news. Matthew’s film follows two people on the front lines of the conflict in Syria, while Sev’s film shows the tragic effects of cultural divide here in the United States. ”

Minassian continued, “Our Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Sid Haig in recognition of a remarkable and ongoing career in which he has and will continue to create memorable characters. We are honored to applaud him for his contributions to the cinematic community”

Actor Sid Haig

Producer and Arpa alumni Sev Ohanian, whose film My Big Fat Armenian Family entertained audiences at the 2008 Arpa festival, will receive the 2013 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award for his award-winning Fruitvale Station. The film – which was the winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and, a Best First Feature for Director Ryan Coogler at the Cannes Film Festival in May – tells the story of Oscar Grant whose fateful encounter at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day 2009 rocked the nation to its very core.

This year’s special awards include Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Sid Haig, whose 50-year acting career includes more than 80 films and 350 television series. Haig’s performances include such films as Hatchet 3, The Devil’s Rejects, Jackie Brown and Kill Bill: Vol. 2. His chilling portrayal of the fun-loving but lethal Captain Spaulding in House Of 1000 Corpses has earned him an induction into the Horror Hall of Fame – along with the cache of being one of the major Horror icons of the 21st Century.

Past Arpa Special Award recipients include Academy Award® nominees Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) and Shoreh Aghdashloo (House Of Sand And Fog); award-winning producers Robert Papazian, Jim Hirsh, Arthur Sarkissian (Rush Hour), Hank Moonjean (Dangerous Liaisons); Dr. J. Michael Hagopian and Carla Garapedian (Armin T. Wegner Award recipients), and Mardik Martin (Raging Bull) as well as Michael Pogosian (If Only Everyone) and Frances Fisher (Titanic) to name a few. Previous award presenters include Ken Davitian, Vivica A. Fox, Alanis Morissette, Tippi Hedren, Missi Pyle, Alison Janney, Arsine Khanjian, Marilu Henner, Tony Shaloub, Cheech Marin, Alfonso Herrera, Dean Cain, and Ann Magnuson.

2013 Jury Members

This year’s distinguished jury includes actor, producer and writer Charles Agron (Haunted), actor James Duke Mason (What Happens Next), producer and 2013 Breakthrough Filmmaker Award recipient Sev Ohanian (Fruitvale Station), award-winning actor/playwright Felix Pire (12 Monkeys), award-winning producer Howard Rosenman (Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt) and British writer/filmmaker Sebastian Siegel (Love Sex God. Part 1, Awakening World). See biographies below.

Jury-Award Nominations

The following films have been nominated for “Best” Jury Awards in their categories:

Best Documentary: Figure of Armen, Fracknation, Orphans of Genocide, Two: The Story of Roman and Nyro, and Welcome Nowhere. Best Short Film: Half Good Killer, Lao, Luminoso, Masque, Perfrect Day; Rose, Mary and Time, Subhuman. Best Music Video: Ganesh Is Fresh, Moonbeam, Safe and Sound by Capital Cities, Switzerland by The Dewars, and Beautiful by Vassy; Best Feature nominees will also be eligible for Best Screenplay and Best Director prizes. The five nominees are: Abstraction, Always Faithful, Kral Yolu, My Name Is Viola, and The Power of Few.

As previously announced, The Opening Night Film, on Thursday, September 26 will be the North American premiere of My Name Is Viola Featuring two luminous female leads, Lusine Alexanian in the title role and Janet Spitzer as her hero/nemesis. The program includes two Centerpiece Films.  On Friday September 27, the feature is Abstraction, by Los-Angeles indie-director Prince Bagdasarian. The intense crime drama stars Korrina Rico, Ken Davitian, Natalie Victoria, and Eric Roberts. On Saturday, September 28 it is the multiple-perspective urban crime drama The Power of Few, by writer/director Leone Marucci and starring Christopher Walken, Christian Slater, Anthony Anderson, Juvenile and executive produced by Roy Kurtluyan. Sunday’s Closing Night film (September 29) will be the award-winning drama Masque, directed by Robert Hatch and starring Lauren Holly and Wilford Brimley.

Arpa International Film Festival ticket prices are:  General screenings $13, Centerpiece film and reception $25, Opening and Closing dinner receptions $45. For more information and the full film lineup, schedule, and tickets visit

2013 Jury Biographies

Producer, writer and actor Charles Agron is a native of Los Angeles California, and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Agron’s first screenplay, Haunted, was  directed by Victor Salva,  stars Tobin Bell, and will be released in 2014.  In 2012, he formed Charles Agron Productions, where he currently has several projects in development. His next feature Monday at 11:01 A.M.” is slated to begin production at the beginning of next year.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Law and Society, he then attended UCLA to study Pre-med. Moving to Washington DC, he took a position as a lobbyist with the National Physicians Association, a company that advocates for the rights of doctors.  He then began training with Lena Harris, protégé of Baruch Lumet and director Sydney Lumet’s father, in her acting program at 20th Century Fox. Agron returned to Los Angeles landing roles in commercials and independent films while studying with Melissa Scoff and his current acting coach and Actors Studio alumnus, John Sarno.

James Duke Mason is an American actor. The son of Go-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle and producer Morgan Mason (Sex, Lies, and Videotape), and grandson of the late British actor James Mason, his first film, What Happens Next, was released in 2012.  He will next star in the drama Jack & Lem, which will shoot in 2014. Since January 2012, he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Outfest, the youngest person ever to be appointed in the organization’s 30-year history. In 2011 he was selected by Out magazine to be included in their “Out 100” list, and he also was selected in 2010 as one of The Advocate’s “Forty Under 40.” He has worked on behalf of various political candidates and has written for publications such as The Huffington Post and The Advocate, and been featured on the “E!” Channel, as well as on TV programs such as “Nancy Grace”, “Politicking with Larry King” and “Dr. Phil”.

With over 20 years in the entertainment industry, Felix Pire is an actor in Film and TV, an acting professor, and an independent producer-writer-director.  His many acting credits include 12 Monkeys (opposite Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis, and directed by Terry Gilliam) and Phatgirlz (opposite Mo’Nique).  In 1997, Pire won the New York Outer Critic’s Circle Award for Outstanding Solo Performance in for “Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown” by Guillermo Reyes.  His one-man play “The Origins of Happiness in Latin”, won the California Community Foundation’s Brody Grant and the 2001 National Latino Playwriting Award. His screenplay, “Hurricane Nena”, (written at HBO’s Latino Screenwriting Workshop), won a Certificate in Recognition of Creative Excellence in 2003 from ABC Television’s Talent Development Program.

Pire is a 2008 graduate of the Producer’s Guild of America’s Diversity Program. He has produced, directed & edited commercials for Spanish-language TV station, Azteca. He continues to create the award-winning Latino puppet webisodes of “LosTiteres.TV“, which have led to his being trained and hired as a television puppeteer by the Jim Henson Company. He also became a part of their live improv puppet comedy show, “Stuffed & Unstrung“. Other web series include a self-named cartoon series “The Felix Pire Show” and a sexy, urban comedy, “Latinas En L.A.”

Filmmaker Sev Ohanian

A Los Angeles native, Sev Ohanian has been an active filmmaker since high school. At the age of 20, he produced and self-distributed My Big Fat Armenian Family, a feature-film that became extremely popular with Armenian audiences around the world. Shortly after, he attended the USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA program, using the profits from his film to pay for tuition. While at film school, he focused on producing several ambitious short films in collaboration with fellow students. Since graduating, he was the Co-Producer on Fruitvale Station, a feature film written and directed by Ryan Coogler, starring Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer. The film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award. It also premiered at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival. The film was acquired by The Weinstein Company and released in theaters everywhere in July 2013. Sev recently finished producing The Labyrinth, a feature film project for James Franco’s Rabbit Bandini Productions, in collaboration with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Award-winning producer Howard Rosenman has been responsible for several box-office hits during his career, including The Main Event starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal, and two-time Academy Award® nominee Resurrection starring Ellen Burstyn and Sam Shepard, with producing partner Renee Missel. While co-heading production at Sandollar with producer Carol Baumhe, Rosenman produced several projects including Father of The Bride, and Gross Anatomy (about Rosenman’s years in medical school), and Harvey Fierstein’s Tidy Endings for HBO, which garnered two Emmy Award nominations and two Cable ACE Awards. Also during this time, Rosenman served as Executive Producer of the Oscar-winning Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

He subsequently formed Howard Rosenman Productions and produced The Family Man, Noel starring Susan Sarandon, Penélope Cruz and Robin Williams and You Kill Me, starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Téa Leoni.

Rosenman is Co-Founder of Project Angel Food in Los Angeles, a meals-on-wheels program for people living with life-threatening diseases including AIDS and cancer.

Sebastian Siegel is a British-American actor, writer and filmmaker. He wrote, produced and directed the acclaimed two-part documentary, Love Sex God, Part 1: Awakening World, which premiered at festivals to standing-room-only audiences, including the largest audience in the history of the Sedona International Film Festival. Awakening World was the Centerpiece Film at Arpa’s 2012 Festival. Sebastian adapted the screenplay for Ken Wilber’s book and true story, Grace and Grit, and recently wrote, produced and directed the trailer for EuroCinema Hawaii. He has played pivotal character roles on “The Finder”, “Hawaii Five-0”, “Lost”, “Family Guy”, and “The Family That Preys.” Sebastian writes on psychology and philosophy for The Huffington Post.


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One Comment;

  1. Vanessa Kachadurian said:

    Great to see former Fresnan actor Sid Haig be recognized for his many years in film. I have had the pleasure of view 2 submissions nominated for Arpa awards. Film “Abstraction” is a story of twists and turns centered around a manipulative femme fatale, that men fall victim to. The cast is very talented with special kudos to actor Hunter Ives, who has also designed the movie poster and graphic design for the web site, while being an accomplished actor. Actor Ken Davitian, in a departure from his usual comedic fun roles portrays a sinister organized crime leader that plays a battle of mental ping pong with the lead actress. The second film is in the documentary genre “Orphans of the Genocide” is an excellent account of the 150,000 Armenian Orphans that were the remains of the Ottomans ugly sword. Mr. Maronian has taken actual research and paperwork from the library of congress, under the “American Near East Relief “. Voted in by US Congess to care for the 150,000 Armenian Orphans. The documentary includes actual footage, photographs and interviews of survivors and family members. The most compelling being the Danish missionaries who opened orphanages for these children and in many incidences risked their life to care for these firgottenchildrenwgo would be the basis of starting new Armenian communities worldwide. The orphans stories too Film maker Bared Maronian to Canada, USA, Armenia and to Lebanon. An excellent film with substantiated back up support of Mr Maronian’s superior research.