YEREVAN (Realist English). Aram Torosyan, Director of Academy Films, answered these and other questions of the Realist News Agency.
What does cinema art mean to you?
Aram Torosyan: For everyone who is involved in the vast field of cinema art, this is primarily a job. Multicomponent, time-consuming, though creative. Whatever the movie, regardless of genre and purpose, it involves a production process consisting of many stages and in which many people are involved.
As a producer, I am more involved and focused on the industrial side of filmmaking, not on the artistic side. Which, of course, is a bit of a pity. Of course, cinematography is an art. And for me, this is the art of communication, organization, the ability to hear and listen. Because no one can create a movie on one’s own. A million little things have to match, and I see my task in making these coincidences possible.
What goals should cinematography pursue in modern Armenia?
Aram Torosyan: The cinematography of the modern Armenia should pursue the same goals that cinematography pursues all over the world. The national cinematography should tell about our values, about our way of life, it should represent the country, show its beauty and diversity, as well as integrate it into the world community. Cinema is very diverse today and we have the opportunity to develop this industry here, despite the fact that we are still lagging behind in many ways. In order for the industry to develop, it is necessary that movies be produced constantly, flow-line.
To do this, I consider it very important to attract foreign film production, since our country objectively does not yet have enough capacity for such a scale. The more films will be produced in Armenia, the more professionals will be constantly provided with work, the better our product will become. Now we are betting on festival cinema, on a single product, which, of course, can help mark our place on the map of world cinematography, and we have such examples. But for long-term development, we need to develop the industry.
Academy Films pays special attention to the beauties of Armenia and Artsakh in its production. What are you most trying to convey to the viewer?
Aram Torosyan: Our people and our country have a difficult history. The present is also not easy. But we have what we have. By showing the beauty of our land, we say that what we have is beautiful and worthy of our devotion. Our small country is diverse and rich, it is unique in the literal sense of the word, like any other country. And also she deserves to be known, seen.
We believe that we have a great potential that needs to be properly developed. And today it is possible only by getting involved in the global community. In order to cooperate, to be seen, we must share the best that we have. And this is nature, culture, people. You can tell about all this with the help of cinematography.
The popularization of the Armenian classical culture is a the leitmotif in your work. Do you think that there is not enough interest in it?
Aram Torosyan: Of course it is not enough. Despite the fact that we are a small country, we have accumulated a huge cultural baggage, so to speak. Even today we are able to enrich the global culture. For many years, decades, due to the lack of cultural policy, due to the limited vision in this area, the presentation of our culture both inside and outside our country suffered. For some reason, we believe that we can only be proud of our past, our ruins. But culture lives, it permeates all the processes of our life, reflects them, transforms and develops. What we are proud of through the centuries is still alive today. It may look different, express itself differently, sound different, but it’s the same thing. Therefore, we believe that it is necessary to represent it, and to represent it in all its diversity.
Modern artists – painters, musicians, directors, writers — aren’t they carriers and representatives of this culture? We all understand that when difficult times come, when the existence of the country and the people is under threat, culture is the last thing it seems necessary to think about. That is why its preservation and dissemination must be taken care of, purposefully, in spite of anything. Otherwise, after a couple of generations, nothing will make sense.
In 2022, we created a socio-cultural foundation. It is called “Creation”. Of course, there are many projects in our plans concerning various spheres, but now we are promoting the ArarArt project, within the framework of which we want to create a large media library of performances by our modern musicians, dance ensembles — carriers of culture. Our goal is to have perfectly shot videos, I don’t want to call it clips, representing the best performers and their creativity and make this material publicly available.
We are talking about such performers as the Komitas String Quartet, the Children’s Choir “Little Singers of Armenia”, the dance group “Berd”, high-level rock musicians, jazzmen and so on. We hope to consolidate the best professionals in the field of film production and create a series of unique videos, mini-films that will represent what we can always be proud of and what is always worth fighting for.
Imagine that you have caught a goldfish that is ready to fulfill any three wishes. What would you ask for?
Aram Torosyan: I’m politicizing the answer a bit:
1. For Turkey to become a real democratic country,
2. For Azerbaijan to become a truly democratic country. The fulfillment of these wishes will create conditions for peaceful life of Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh.
3. For smart, honest, consistent, strategically thinking, educated people come to power in Armenia, for whom the interests of the country and the people are above everything, which will definitely help the formation of socio-political, creative, scientific elites and Armenians will live in their own country, in a developed, fair society.