Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Awards
Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson was honored with the 2016 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award at Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival — DOC LA, where David Lavallee’s Canadian documentary To The Ends of the Earth, which she narrated, also received the International Environmental Film Award.
Francis Ford Coppola congratulated the 2015 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award recipients, the Grammy-winning rock band System Of A Down for their historic justice world tour Wake Up the Souls. The event at Chateau Marmont Hollywood on 21 October 2015 benefited the restoration of Parajanov: The Last Spring film trilogy at UCLA. Agnieszka Holland has also released a statement for the occasion.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to System Of A Down on being honored for their commitment to justice with the 2015 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award, in memory of filmmakers Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov, whose work I greatly admire. I am also pleased to hear of the band’s unique gesture to help restore Mikhail Vartanov’s film Parajanov: The Last Spring, which was created under prohibitive conditions and yet exemplifies the power of art over any limitations. I would strongly encourage others to unite around this significant endeavor.”
One of cinema’s greatest masters, Martin Scorsese, accepted the 2014 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award on behalf of his World Cinema Project and The Film Foundation for the restoration of The Color of Pomegranates and introduced the masterpiece at the 52nd New York Film Festival. NYFF first screened the film in 1980, and hosted Sergei Paradjanov in 1988.
The institute’s founder Martiros Vartanov, who worked on the restoration with Cineteca di Bologna and L’Immagine Ritrovata, presented the award on October 2, 2014, at Lincoln Center. The restored film premiered in May at Festival de Cannes, as well as at Italy’s 28th Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival with Mikhail Vartanov’s Parajanov: The Last Spring. The North American premiere was at TIFF, Toronto Int’l Film Festival. The US premiere, with Martiros Vartanov’s last film, was at The Academy at LACMA in Hollywood.
The 2013 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored Oscar-winner William Saroyan (1908-1981) and was presented to his granddaugther Cream Kate Saroyan by Oscar-winner Jon Voight at Four Seasons Los Angeles on May 12. William Saroyan — one of the 20th century’s greatest authors — won the Pulitzer Prize for the Time of Your Life (1939) and an Academy Award for The Human Comedy (1943).
Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award in 2012 was presented on April 29 at Four Seasons at Beverly Hills to Mardik Martin — the legendary screenwriter on Martin Scorsese’s seminal films Mean Streets and Raging Bull starring Robert De Niro. Mardik Martin is among the screenwriters on WGA’s list of 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written.
Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award in 2011 honored the French film icon Jean Vigo (1905-1934) and was presented to his daughter and Paris-based film critic Luce Vigo by Oscar-winning actor Jon Voight at Four Seasons at Beverly Hills on April 10, 2011.
Oscar-winning film director Martin Scorsese sent a letter for the occasion to the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute with words on Vigo, Paradjanov and Vartanov, all of whom had fought against censorship.
“…It is fitting that the institute named in memory of Paradjanov and Mikhail Vartanov, who made the wonderful film PARADJANOV: THE LAST SPRING, is honoring the genius of Jean Vigo with the first Hollywood retrospective in recent years… I wish I could be there…”
The Inauguration of the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute in 2010 was attended by Mrs Parajanov and Mrs Vartanov who were honored during Beverly Hills International Film Festival for the underappreciated role women play in the lives of artists. The event was at Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire Hotel, on April 18, 2010. Channel 1 Moscow TV report.