The new generation is said to bear numerous responsibilities, like protecting the borders of their homeland, being flexible, proactive, consistent and provident, preserving our national values meanwhile creating universal values and achieving maximum with the scarce resources at hand.

Middle and older generations don’t complain about the youth but constantly hint that they are irreplaceable. It is a paradox having a good youth but not having a generation change. It means that the good young men cannot express themselves and make tangible results out of their potential. More precisely no favorable conditions are available for them to express themselves and that conditions are not created as they are not required. Some uncoordinated, random tactics prevail among our society as in fact talented, capable young people are sought inconsistently and passingly.  

Suddenly a film or a performance appears in the cultural horizon and fascinates the public. We applaud the author, conduct one or two interviews and that is it. The older generation also expresses its satisfaction but no one commits to support that talented young people and to give them an opportunity to express themselves and to stand on their own feet. Whereas in addition to the demand of creating the new and looking ahead we also need to preserve and promote our heritage. For example we need to restore our old films and to present them to the world as national values.

Young director, scriptwriter Diana Kardumyan has come up with some suggestions regarding the evaluation and preservation of our old films as well as creating favorable environment and conditions for the new film projects. We can say that they are included in one package and aim at the production of short films specifically. Diana Kardumyan has presented her ideas and offers to the public during the interview conducted with her by Kinoashkharh.

“Diana, why do you especially highlight the short films?”

“Firstly, each director, as a rule, starts his/her activities with short films. Short films reveal the potential, abilities, taste and style of a director. Meanwhile it is more difficult to convey a big message in a short period which is much easier in case of full-length films. Secondly, it is easier to shoot a short film in financial terms. Smaller budget is required in case of short films. I think that currently we should find out what artists and film projects we have in our country and discover the talented young people. We should let them express themselves and show their abilities through short films firstly. I and my friends have decided to hold short film festivals that will be a basis for other film projects. Personally facing the difficulties of shooting a short film I am well aware of the things that complicate the work. Naturally it is the limited budget. Currently I am shooting a film and only 30 percent of the necessary funds have been allocated by the state, I have to collect the remaining part. But nowadays no organization or institution is interested in short film production.”

“The film directors of the middle generation, for example, have put forward a solution offering to shoot a film with a mobile phone and they assure that a good film project can be implemented in any way and most importantly with small amount of money.”

“I agree that there are some directors who have shot a film with a mobile, but can everyone work in that way? Not every script can be turned into a film by using a mobile. And if they advise us, the young people, why don’t they shoot their films with a mobile phone as well? What makes them superior that they make a film with a high quality technique and a normal budget and we have to do it with a mobile and little money?”

“By organizing short film festivals do you aim at creating a new platform for the young men? But to screen the films they are to be shot first of all, aren’t they? You yourself stress that the most difficult thing is to raise money.”

“The festival is one of the projects. We think that a platform of co-productions should be created. This means that if a part of the film budget is available the rest can be acquired as a result of the co-production by attracting the attention of different filmmaking companies on the same film. It would make the work easier. The process is all clear: the available script is to be presented to different film production companies through pitching. This alternative will allow the directors to rely on the private sector instead of the state. The problem is the short film production should be promoted by all means to discover the potential of the cinema of your country. We intend to organize a film exhibition within the framework of the festival and to invite representatives of TV channels. They would be given an opportunity to feature and buy films. Television has been and still is the most realistic and practical option of showing short films.”

“In addition to presenting today’s and tomorrow’s short films we also have a rich film heritage. Isn’t it true that our film masters of the past century took the first step by making short films? Where are those films? We have only watched some of them.”

“I have an idea related to the old films. I think that a foundation of the restoration of the Armenian films should be established. We would save our heritage by restoring two short films annually. It is well known that the project of “Hayfilm” failed to restore the films, but we realize that films must be saved. We have a wonderful heritage which any country would be proud of. If the above mentioned foundation is established the results to be achieved will be great: Arnold Aghababov’s “Garni”, Kesaryants’s “Avdo’s Motorcar”, Melik Avakov’s “The March”, Suren Babayan’s “The 8th Day of Creation”, etc. These films would be reborn after being restored, digitized and screened. It is clear that the above mentioned project would not require 10-20 thousand dollars. It refers to a significant amount of money. But it is necessary to think and find solutions and also to motivate the private sector by means of the state sponsorship and mediation. I believe that the short film festival together with the affiliated projects will bring together our directors, scriptwriters, producers and will establish a platform to unite the efforts. I think, make plans and imagine the things but supporters and sponsors are needed to realize my ideas. This is the most difficult thing nowadays.

We don’t have specialists who can restore films. Classes are held outside but they are not cheap. But as we have a rich heritage we must make film restoration specialists. A young director realizes that it is not possible to cover great expenses with the small budget allocated to the cinema but not restoring the films shot 50-60 years ago we increase the possibility of losing them through the course of time.”

Naira Paytyan