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Arpa International Film Festival 

Wednesday, Oct 25 2006

In addition to turning a lens on Armenian filmmakers and subject matter — a documentary on composer Aram Khachaturian narrated by Eric Bogosian, and a day in the life of the late painter Jirayr Zorthian at his Altadena hippie commune — the Arpa International Film Festival also showcases the works of artists from around the world who focus on cross-cultural themes. This year’s shorts and features — selected by the local nonprofit Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art, founded in 1995 — run the gamut from Awake Zion, Monica Haim’s exploration of Judaism and reggae featuring Orthodox Jewish rapper Matisyahu, to Persepolis Recreated, in which Iranian Farzin Rezaeian uses 3-D models to reconstruct ruins of ancient Persia. The festival once again offers further studies into the Armenian genocide, highlighted by a retrospective of 92-year-old J. Michael Hagopian’s Emmy-nominated Germany and the Secret Genocide trilogy, as well as modern-day back-to-roots travelogues: One follows NFL lineman Rien Long of the Tennessee Titans to his great-grandparents’ birthplace, including a stop at the Khor Virap monastery, at the foot of the breathtaking biblical Mount Ararat; another travels with Canadian opera star Isabel Bayrakdarian on her first trip to the mother country for a series of concerts first broadcast on Canada’s CBC. If music is the greatest cultural ambassador, listening to Bayrakdarian sing haunting liturgical and centuries-old folk songs in some of the world’s oldest churches is a virtual trip. Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Thurs., Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m.; $11. (323) 663-1882 or

—Siran Babayan

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