ANMF and Golden Apricot Film Festival Awarded the Prix for Best Film

Yerevan, Armenia (July 17) – The Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation (ANMF) and the Yerevan International Film Festival (Golden Apricot) announced today the recipient of the “Mark Sarkis Prix for Best Film” in the Armenian Panorama category which was awarded at the Second Annual Yerevan International Film Festival in Yerevan, Armenia on July 17, 2005.

Designed to increase awareness and generate greater interest in Armenian independent filmmakers, the prize was created by the Ardhaldjian family as a tribute honoring their beloved son and brother, Mark Sarkis Ardhaldjian, an aspiring filmmaker who passed away in 1995, at the tender age of 21. “While Mark’s talents were exceptional in our eyes, we are certain that there are many talented individuals of Armenian decent around the world waiting to be discovered. We thank the Golden Apricot Film Festival for providing us the opportunity to act on Mark’s passion,” explained Raffy Ardhaldjian, Mark’s brother and chief volunteer officer of ANMF.

Judged by a distinguished jury, the $2000 cash prize was awarded to the winner of the Armenian Panorama category. Under the Open Sky, a film by Arman Yeritzyan, portrays the life of two Russian citizens who coincidently arrive in Yerevan. They eventually marry and lead a life of homelessness, but none of it matters to them since they are “Soviet Citizens”. This film had also the honor of receiving a major prize at the Youth International Film Festival “Yes Em”, Yerevan Armenia, May 2005. Mr. Yeritzyan (born in 1975, Yerevan) has graduated from the Directing Department of Yerevan Pedagogical Insititute. His other works include: End (2003), I Want to Say (2004).

“We have been able to fulfill our expectations with the help of our sponsors and support from our government. The festival all of a sudden took flight and grabbed attention from all over the world. Among our participants included Atom Egoyan, Robert Guediguian, Arsinee Khanjian, Abbas Kiarostami, Simon Abkarian, and others. We had twice as many participants this year than from last year competing in the festival; about 140 films from 36 countries. Our success would have been impossible if not for the support we had received from Armenian and Diasporian organizations such as the Ani & Narod Memorial Fund, who donated $2000 under the title of Mark-Sarkis Grand Prix,” states Susanna Harutyunyan, Artistic Director of the Festival.

In its second year, the Golden Apricot was held in Yerevan from July 12-17, 2005. Highlighting features and documentaries produced from 2003 to 2005, the festival screened and judged works by a variety of directors and filmmakers from around the world.

For more information on the Yerevan International Film Festival, Golden Apricot, visit

For more info on the Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation, please visit For all press and media inquiries, contact Teni Melidonian at 626.644.7247 or via email at

The Ani & Narod Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt US organization encouraging the welfare and development of Armenian women and children through innovative cultural, educational, health and social programs.

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