Monday, October 28th, 2013

American Film Showcase 2013 "Youth Empowerment"

YEREVAN-From October 28 to November 15, the U.S. Embassy is partnering
with the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies to launch a "Youth
Empowerment" project, which includes an American Documentary Film
Showcase, an essay contest, chess with Armenian grand masters, and
master film classes for young people. The project was introduced at
Tumo during a press conference on October 28, which included the U.S.

Ambassador to Armenia John A. Heffern, Tumo Director Marie Lou
Papazian, producer/editor Nelson Dellamaggiore, director/producer
Katie Dellamaggiore, and independent filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt.

The showcase's opening film, Brooklyn Castle, is the remarkable
and improbable true story of Intermediate School 318 in Brooklyn,
New York; defying stereotypes, it has the highest ranked junior high
chess team in the nation. It tells the stories of five members of
the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high
school that has won more national championships than any other in
the United States. The film follows the challenges these kids face
in their personal lives as well as on the chessboard, and is as much
about the pain of their losses as it is about the anticipation of
their victories. Ironically, the biggest obstacle thrust upon them
arises not from other competitors but from recessionary budget cuts to
all the extracurricular activities at their school. Brooklyn Castle
shows how these kids' dedication to chess magnifies their belief in
what is possible for their lives. After all, if they can master the
world's most difficult game, what can't they do?

The film will be shown in Armenia's three main cities: Yerevan ,
Gyumri and Vanadzor. The next 23 films will be screened at Tumo,
and they all follow the theme of the showcase, "Youth Empowerment."

In addition to the films, the "Youth Empowerment" project sponsored an
essay contest for young Armenians to describe an inspiring teacher
in their lives. The contest received over 3200 entries, and was
co-sponsored by Dasaran.am. Winners will be announced at the opening
film reception by U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John A. Heffern.

Internationally recognized filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt, director/producer
Katie Dellamaggiore and three-time Emmy award nominated director Nelson
Dellamaggiore will run a series of master classes for a group of young
people at Tumo. The filmmakers will work with groups of Tumo students
who have been studying scriptwriting, cinematography and editing over
the course of the past year at Tumo, in order to produce short films
on topics of concern to them.

Armenian grand masters Levon Aroyan and Gabriel Sargsyan will play
chess with a select group of boys and girls prior to the premiere.

Other VIPs will also be present.

From: Baghdasarian