Festival Awards

The Arpa International Film festival (AIFF) brings acclaimed local and international filmmakers and entertainment professionals, including producers, directors, writers, and agents to select the films that stand above the rest.

Film Category Awards

  • BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM AWARD (feature-length documentaries only)
  • BEST SCREENPLAY AWARD (feature narrative films only)
  • BEST DIRECTOR (feature narrative films only)

Honoree Awards

  • CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2017 Honoree: Oscar-winning screenwriter ALEXANDER DINELARIS (Birdman)
  • LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 2017 Honoree: actor CARL WEATHERS (Rocky, Predator, Happy Gilmore
  • LIFETIME LEGACY AWARD 2017 Honoree: Grammy award-winning musician, singer, and songwriter CHRIS CORNELL (in memoriam)
  • ARMIN T. WEGNER HUMANITARIAN AWARD 2017 Honoree: Oscar-winning director TERRY GEORGE (The Promise, The Shore, Hotel Rwanda, In the Name of the Father)

Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award

Annual Arpa Film Festival Armin Wegner AwardThis special award was created by AFFMA following a proposal by Armin T. Wegner Society of USA.

The award is presented each year to a filmmaker whose film deals with subjugated peoples, ethnic cleansing, forced deportation, massacres and genocides. The motion picture must contribute to the fight for social conscience and human rights, a struggle to which Armin T. Wegner devoted his entire life.

Read more about the 20th annual Arpa International Film Festival 2017 Honorees.

Festival Jury

Delving into creative exchanges, the jurors create an opening where the passionate intensity of these gifted filmmakers flourish. Each year we are fortunate to have jury members who have an increasing awareness and understanding of contemporary international cinema.

2018 Jury Members


Previous Festival Judges

Our past international film festival judges include: Charles Agron, James Duke Mason, Felix Pire, Sev Ohanian, Sebastian Siegel, Howard Rosenman, Deborah Attoinese, Charles Gideon Davis, Max Howard, JD Larson, Stuart Manashil, Debra Balamos, Rob Bowman, Alan Cassidy, Alan Cummings, Kirby Dick, Heather Jack, Corey Kaplan, Jeffrey Meadows, Carol Mechanic, Nina Menkes, Susan Kay Moses, Paul Peterson, David Rosenbloom, Hamlet Sarkissian, Steven Small, Geoff Stier, Katherine Tomlinson, Ara Keshishian, Jeff Speich, Owen Ward, Ken Sherman, Randi Wilens, Milton B. Suchin, Essy Niknejad, Stacey Margetts, Ray Rhodes, Scott Davis, Frank Guttler, Geoff Yim, Valerie McCaffrey, Stuart Sender, Vatche Mangassarian, Stuart Manashil, and Ken Davitian.

2017 Jury Members

Adrian Alonso

Jury member Adrian Alonso

Adrian Alonso is an Argentinian and Spanish Film Director, Creative Director and Art Director. He was member of the jury at several international Film festivals. He is co-founder of the audiovisual company called Barbershop Indie films.

Justin Humphreys

Jury member Justin Humphreys

Justin Humphreys is a writer, curator, film historian, and voiceover actor. He has published two books on film, Names You Never Remember With Faces, You Never Forget and Interviews Too Shocking to Print!; written and narrated documentaries; and curated large portions of the estates of, among others, Natalie Wood, Charlton Heston, and Maureen O’Hara. Mel Brooks quoted from Humphreys’ latest book in his Young Frankenstein: A Mel Brooks Book (2016). He will be appearing in several documentaries this Fall and is currently completing the authorized biography of Academy Award-winning filmmaker George Pal.

Ara Keshishian

Jury member Ara Keshishian

Ara Keshishian currently serves as President of Production for Voltage Pictures. Keshishian began his entertainment career at CAA in 2000. As a motion picture agent at CAA, Keshishian’s clients included Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas, Kate Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, Kerry Washington, Lena Headey, and Liev Schreiber. He also worked closely to help put together acclaimed independent films such as BLACK SWAN, MUD, and MARGIN CALL. He worked closely with various studios in helping package such films as IRON MAN, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THOR, and MARLEY AND ME. In 2011 Keshishian became President of Lotus Pictures, where he produced the Lionsgate/Roadside release MAGGIE starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, as well as the upcoming Sony feature NOVEMBER CRIMINALS starring Ansel Elgort and Chloe Moretz; directed by Sacha Gervasi based on Steve Knight’s screenplay. In addition, he oversaw production and executive produced the Lionsgate/Roadside release Z FOR ZACHARIAH with Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, the upcoming Aviron thriller KIDNAP starring Halle Berry, the new horror movie from Peter Safran and the Hayes brothers THE CRUCIFIXION, and the upcoming sci fi thriller REPLICAS with Keanu Reeves which is currently in post production.He is currently in pre production on the upcoming Zac Efron starrer EXTREMELY WICKED, SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE based on the acclaimed Blacklist script about serial killer Ted Bundy, and to be directed by Academy Award nominated documentarian Joe Berlinger. Keshishian holds a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School where he received the American Jurisprudence award for International Law.

Karina Manashil

Jury member Karina Manashil

Karina Manashil is a Talent Agent at WME IMG. She started in the WME Mailroom right after graduating from Chapman University with her BFA in Film Production and came up internally. Her clients include Josh Gad, Dax Shepard, Jason Schwartzman, Stephen Merchant, Marc Maron, Kid Cudi, Hasan Minhaj, Mayim Bialik, Melissa Rauch and Cailee Spaeny.

Stuart Manashil

Jury member Stuart Manashil

Stuart Manashil is the founder and runs Novo, a management and production company in Beverly Hills. Stuart represents writers, directors, and producers from all over the world. His clients include multiple academy award winning writers and directors, as well as financing slates. Some of his clients include Fede Alvarez, Damian Szifron, Barry and Sam Levinson, Olivier Assayas, Alejandro Amenabar, Brad Furman, The Dowdle Brothers, among many others. Stuart also produced Labyrinth for Open Road starring Johnny Depp, which will premiere next year and multiple movies and television series. Before starting Novo, Stuart was a partner at WME for three years, and an agent in motion picture literary for 6 years at CAA. He graduated summa cum laude from UCLA with a masters degree in philosophy and comparative literature.

Ken Nolan

Jury member Ken Nolan

Ken Nolan has been a working screenwriter since 1994. He worte “Black Hawk Down,” which was nominated for four Academy Awards and won two. Nolan was nominated for a WGA Award for his work. He went on to win the WGA Award for the cold war thriller TNT mini-series “The Company,” based on the best selling book by Robert Littell, in 2008. Nolan recently co-wrote “Transformers 5: The Last Knight,” for Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures, released in June of 2017. He also co-wrote “Only The Brave,” the heroic story of the Arizona Granite Mountain Hot Shot firefighters. Nineteen men in the squad tragically lost their lives in a wildfire in 2013. Joe Koskinski directed, and Sony Pictures releases the film in October. Nolan is working on “Under Fire, The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi,” for HBO and late producer Jerry Weintraub, based on the book by Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz. He also recently sold the spy thriller “The Defection,” based on yet another Robert Littell novel, to Fox. The script placed Nolan on the heralded “Black List,” a list of the 50 best unproduced scripts of that year. Nolan has another Littell adaptation in the works for Fox: “The Amateur.” Nolan’s first novel, “The Spawn,” was published by Permuted Press in 2015. Ken Nolan lives in Los Angeles with his wife Corrie, his seven-year-old daughter, Willow, and three dogs, one of which is a straight up psycho (Jack Russell Terrier).

Warren Zavala

Jury member Warren Zavala

Warren Zavala is a partner of WME – IMG and agent in WME’s talent department. Zavala, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, joined WME from CAA in June 2012. Zavala is also a host committee member for the Annual MPTF event, “Reel Stories, Real Lives.” He was a member of The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation Class of 2004, as well as Variety’s Top Hollywood Talent Agents in 2015. Additionally, he is on the board of the USC School of Dramatic Arts and an Imagen Award recipient in 2016.