Wednesday, February 19th
US NAVAL HERITAGE CENTER
$18 IN ADVANCE HERE OR AT THE DOOR
USA & Spain / 2013 / 81 mins
Directed by Eric Boadella
East Coast Premiere / Post-screening Q&A with Director and Cast and Opening Night Toasting Party
Lead Cast: David Hovan, Kali Flanagan and Sevag Mahserejian
The fine art of the “toast” at Armenian dinners is passed on from generation to generation to touch the hearts of all guests and remind us of our humanity. Alek & Mariella find themselves at their reclusive uncle’s house, in Glendale, California, surrounded by his parrot, sheep, and rooster, while awaiting Alek’s mother’s second wedding. Uncle Kapriel realizes this weekend is his perfect opportunity to teach Alek their ancient Armenian tradition, Toastmaster, just in time for his mother’s wedding. What Uncle Kapriel does not expect, is what his nephew will uncover about his secret past.
First-time feature director Eric Boadella is a self-taught filmmaker from Barcelona, Spain and an awarded music video director who now focuses on writing and directing narrative films. Influenced by the magical realism imbedded in Catalonian literature, Eric creates peculiar characters that stumble upon unforeseen adventures, connecting them in a remarkable way.
DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT “Many people have asked me why I am making a film based on an Armenian tradition. What is it that attracted me, a Spanish filmmaker, to the tradition of the toastmaster? It was love at the first sight. Before starting to write the script, I had experienced just one social gathering lead by an Armenian toastmaster. One was enough. I immediately admired this poet and master of improvisation. Almost magically, with each lyrical and clever toast, he eternalized the moment and shared the joy with his loved ones. That night I realized the toastmaster and I shared the same vision. Although I use different tools than he does, cinematography and actors instead of poetry and vodka, the ultimate goal is the same: to immortalize a story. My admiration for the toastmaster was my catalyst for writing this humanistic story between two characters from two very different generations: Uncle Kapriel, the Toastmaster, and Alek Nerguizian, the collector of stories.”
Screens with the accompanying shorts:
Girl Meets Boys
Directed by Shiyu Luo
So many types of young men to choose from but only one is perfect.
Directed by Christian Baker
A young soldier stationed alone on the US/Mexican border during the Civil War shifts from childhood fantasies of heroism to the immediate consequences of violence.