Special Awards Gala Banquet to mark Arpa International Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary
Plans are underway for an extraordinary evening in celebration of Arpa International Film Festival’s milestone 20th anniversary.
The Closing Night Awards Gala Banquet, being held at the Loews Hollywood Hotel on November 5, 2017, is set to close the weekend-long film festival with a bang!
The Awards Gala Banquet will include a red carpet and cocktail reception starting at 6:00 PM. An exclusive silent auction will also take place during the cocktail hour, just before the evening’s dinner and awards ceremony.
Closing Night Awards Gala Honorees
This year’s special honorees include Oscar-winning Irish screenwriter and director Terry George, music icon Chris Cornell (in memoriam), acclaimed actor Carl Weathers, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris. Awards will also be presented to winning filmmakers for their films in the best feature, best documentary, and best short categories.
The Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, named after the German soldier/medic who was stationed in the Ottoman Empire during World War I, where he witnessed the onslaught of the Armenian Genocide. The photographs he took documenting the plight of the Armenians, today comprises the core of witness images of the Genocide. In the years following the end of World War I, Wegner also voiced his opposition against the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis, who later persecuted him.
Arpa’s coveted Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, presented each year to a filmmaker whose work contributes toward the struggle for social consciousness and human rights, will be awarded to Terry George (In the name of the Father, Some Mother’s Son, Hotel Rwanda, The Shore, The Promise) in recognition of his extensive body of films that have shed light on the situation in his native Northern Ireland, the Rwandan Genocide, and the Armenian Genocide.
Arpa International Film Festival is honored to be presenting this year’s Lifetime Legacy Award to music icon Chris Cornell, whose life came to a tragic end early this year.
Chris Cornell, best known as the lead vocalist for the rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, as well as the founder and frontman of Temple of the Dog, was also a human rights activist committed to the world refugee crisis and the despair of vulnerable children. The Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter’s last solo release was the charity single “The Promise” written for the motion picture of the same name. Cornell Family, along with special friends, will be present to accept the Award.
Carl Weathers, the beloved actor best known for his portrayal of Apollo Creed in the Rocky series, will be the recipient of Arpa’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also starred in films such as Predator, Action Jackson, Hurricane Smith, Happy Gilmore and Little Nicky. The former professional football player’s most recent project was directing John Patrick Stanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Alexander Dinelaris, best known for his original screenplay for the 2014 film Birdman, will receive Arpa’s Career Achievement Award. His body of work includes numerous theatrical pieces and musicals, including The Bodyguard (2012) featuring the music of Whitney Houston, and the critically-acclaimed On Your Feet! Broadway musical about the life and career of Gloria Estefan. Alexander Dinelaris’ earlier works include the powerful play “Red Dog Howls” in which he touches upon the Armenian Genocide. The piece was influenced by his Armenian grandmother, who played an important role in his younger years.
Closing Night Awards Gala Entertainment
The star-studded evening will also feature special performances by theremin virtuoso Armen Ra and renowned vocalist Mister X.
Theremin virtuoso Armen Ra is considered one of the finest thereminists in the world today. Intrigued by this strange and one-of-a-kind instrument, Armen Ra began to study the theremin in 2001, performing worldwide alongside some of biggest names in music. His debut solo CD, Plays The Theremin was released in 2010. It showcases many classical Armenian laments and folk songs. Theremin Classique, released in 2015 features European classical Arias. His multiple award-winning documentary When My Sorrow Died: The Legend of Armen Ra & the Theremin was released in 2016. Armen Ra’s music has been featured on albums by Selena Gomez and Gwen Stefani.
Mister X, a renowned multilingual vocalist, has held concerts and taken part in music festivals around the globe. The classically trained singer has had a solo career spanning 17 years.