Parajanov/Vartanov films on Criterion

Criterion release of Parajanov/Vartanov films


Parajanov‘s masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates, hailed as revolutionary by Vartanov in 1969, is on BFI Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time Directors Poll.

2022 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored Werner Herzog for his film The Fire Within, which had its LA premiere at the institute’s DOC LA Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival in Hollywood.

2022 marks the 85th anniversary of director Mikhail Vartanov and the 30th anniversary of his masterwork Parajanov: The Last Spring.



2021 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored the work of Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges whose film The Beast of Our Time was presented during the institute’s annual DOC LA.


Suren Parajanov (10 November 1958 – 28 September 2021)



2020 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored the work of Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren whose film Escape from Extinction was presented at the institute’s DOC LA. The Best Documentary Film Award went to Kiss the Ground, narrated by Academy Award nominee Woody Harrelson, whose work has been honored with DOC LA Storyteller Award.


Armenia is under attack by Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s genocidal governments – destroying Armenian churches adored by Parajanov and bombing Armenian people of Artsakh. Please donate any amount to the official Armenia Fund at to help stop a new genocide.


A new music video for Lady Gaga‘s song 911 was inspired by Sergei Parajanov‘s masterpiece The Color of Pomegranates. W Magazine report here.


Sergei Parajanov‘s widow Svetlana Shcherbatiuk (Светлана Щербатюк) has passed away on June 6, 2020, in Kyiv, Ukraine, five days after the passing of Myroslav Skoryk, the composer of Parajanov’s 1964 masterpiece Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.


The National Gallery of Armenia – for the first time in 51 years here – will screen Vartanov‘s debut The Color of Armenian Land with Parajanov. Intro by Martiros M. Vartanov (Boy with a Movie Camera). February 25. 3pm. The Hall of Frescoes.


Paradjanov and Vartanov film retrospective will take place at the Copenhagen Cinematheque 2-22 January 2020, courtesy of the Danish Film Institute. Special appearance on January 22 by Martiros M. Vartanov (Boy with a Movie Camera).



Martiros M. Vartanov spoke to Parajanov’s wife, and son Suren — to wish him a happy birthday, and we’ve learned that there was a terrible fire at the Parajanov family apartment in Kyiv (Kiev), Ukraine. Their personal Paradjanov archive has been damaged and they have no place to live (temporarily staying with friends). Please stayed tuned for further updates.


2019 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored the work of Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett whose film Stuart X had its international premiere at the institute’s DOC LA. Grammy-winning musician Ice-T was honored with the 2019 DOC LA Storyteller Award for the documentary Public Enemy Number One.


A new book Boy with a Movie Camera will include unpublished materials from Andrei Tarkovsky, Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov addressed to Martiros M. Vartanov during his Soviet childhood, as well as other rare and unpublished documents, stories, and photographs.



Parajanov-Vartanov Institute asked The Metropolitan Museum of Art to cancel their (January 11, 2019) screening of The Color of Pomegranates (with live performance by M. Kouyoumdjian). We thank The Film Foundation for their help (and The Met for their cooperation). While Parajanov continues to inspire people around the world, it is important to respect his vision and understand that The Color of Pomegranates is not a silent film – the soundtrack is an indelible part of his masterpiece and cannot be replaced.


2018 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored the work of Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon whose film American Mirror had its world premiere at the institute’s DOC LA. Grammy winning musicians Usher and Terence Blanchard received DOC LA Icon and Best Composer Awards, respectively, and actor Emilio Rivera was honored with DOC LA Storyteller Award.


Martiros M. Vartanov was invited by LACMA (Los Angeles Country Museum of Art) to present the screening of The Color of Pomegranates with the work in progress cut of his new film The Resurrection of Sayat Nova, featuring Martin Scorsese and Olivia Harrison.


The Criterion Collection has released Sergei Paradjanov’s restored Color of Pomegranates with Mikhail Vartanov’s rare 1969 debut The Color of Armenian Land and Martiros Vartanov’s The Last Film. You can purchase the Bluray/DVD here.



The winners of the institute’s annual DOC LA film festival in Hollywood have been announced. Joe Berlinger’s Intent to Destroy won the Best Documentary Film Award and Marion Cotillard’s Girl and Typhoons won the Best Environmental Film Award and the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award. See the complete list of all winners at DOC LA site.


Parajanov-Vartanov Institute thanks The Film Foundation for their help (and The Cinefamily for their cooperation) to ensure that Sergei Parajanov‘s The Color of Pomegranates (Sayat Nova) screens with its 1969 original soundtrack as Parajanov intended it. The screening on 22 February 2017 at Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles that was originally advertised with Nicolas Jaar’s “alternative soundtrack” will not take place, and instead the restored version on which we worked with The Film Foundation/L’Immagine Ritrovata is going to be shown.


2016 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored the work of Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson whose film To the Ends of the Earth had it’s US premiere at the institute’s DOC LA. Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo, whose film Dear President Obama also premiered at the festival, was honored with the DOC LA Environmental Hero Award.


Francis Ford Coppola congratulated 2015 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award recipients, the Grammy-winning rock band System Of A Down — for their commitment to justice, exemplified by this year’s historic world tour Wake Up the Souls. The event at Chateau Marmont Hollywood on 21 October 2015 benefited Parajanov: The Last Spring  film trilogy restoration at UCLA.

“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.”


“I would like to express my gratitude to the band System of a Down who share my commitment to justice and to making people aware, through art, of atrocities visited by people upon each other. I wholeheartedly support the restoration of Mikhail Vartanov’s “Parajanov: The Last Spring.” We have to make sure that the work of seminal artists like Mikhail Vartanov is preserved, promoted and accessible to the widest possible audience. His films, made against all odds and under the harshest conditions and repression, are crucial to the important heritage of world cinema.”

film director, AMPAS member, Chairwoman of European Film Academy


Martin Scorsese receives the 2014 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute A
Martin Scorsese / 2014 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award


Martin Scorsese accepted the 2014 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award on behalf of The Film Foundation/World Cinema Project for the restoration of The Color of Pomegranates and introduced the masterpiece on October 2nd at the 52nd New York Film Festival. NYFF first screened the film 34 years ago in 1980, as well as hosted Sergei Paradjanov in 1988. Since its inception in 1990 by Mr. Scorsese, The Film Foundation has been instrumental in raising awarness around the world about the importance of film preservation, and has saved over 600 motion pictures. Parajanov’s Color of Pomegranates is one of their most recent restorations. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2014, and will next play at BFI London Film Festival, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, and Haifa Film Festival in Israel (in October).


Parajanov-Vartanov Institute worked with Cineteca di Bologna’s lab L’Immagine Ritrovata and The Film Foundation on the restoration of Sayat Nova – The Color of Pomegranates and is thrilled to report that the Academy of Motion Pictures (AMPAS) will screen the digitally restored masterpiece at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on 20 September 2014 at 7:30pm. New York Film Festival will screen it on 2 October 2014, and BFI London Film Festival will show it on 10 and 12 October 2014. As previously reported, the restored Sayat Nova – The Color of Pomegranates premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May, with Parajanov: The Last Spring at the 28th Il Cinema Ritrovato in June, as well as Yerevan Film Festival in July, and Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September.


Parajanov-Vartanov Institute worked on the restoration of Sergei  Parajanov’s Sayat Nova – The Color of Pomegranates which premiered in May at the renowned Cannes Film Festival and will next screen with Mikhail Vartanov’s Parajanov: The Last Spring at Italy’s esteemed Il Cinema Ritrovato Film Festival 28-29 June 2014.


2013 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored Pulitzer Prize and Oscar-winning author William Saroyan, and was presented to his granddaughter Cream Kate Saroyan by Academy Award winning Hollywood actor Jon Voight.


Parajanov/Vartanov film retrospective and art exhibition took place at the prestigious Busan International Film Festival in South Korea in October. In April, the legendary screenwriter Mardik Martin (Raging Bull) was honored with 2012 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award.


2011 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award honored French cinema icon Jean Vigo and was presented to his daughter Luce Vigo, a Paris based film critic. Oscar-winning master Martin Scorsese sent a letter for the occasion with words about Jean Vigo, Parajanov and Vartanov.


Parajanov and Vartanov families came together in Hollywood for the inauguration of the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute to champion the legacy of the “brothers-in-arts” Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990) and Mikhail Vartanov (1937-2009). Vartanov’s Parajanov: The Last Spring was presented for the occasion, concurrently with Martiros Vartanov’s photo exhibition, I Will Wear Your Beret Papa, and a classical music concert, at UCLA.

Parajanov-Vartanov Institute

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