The title is ‘Toastmaster’, in honor of the great toastmasters from the Caucasus countries
The American Armenian population will receive a special tribute in the first feature film directed by Spanish filmmaker Eric Boadella. Toastmaster is the story of Alek Nerguizian, who finds himself at his reclusive uncle’s house, in Glendale, California, surrounded by his parrot, sheep, and rooster, while awaiting his mother’s second wedding. Uncle Kapriel realizes this weekend is the perfect opportunity to teach Alek the toastmaster tradition, just in time for his mother’s wedding. A tradition that started in their family over a hundred years ago with Alek’s great-grandfather, Armen, known in the entire Caucasus region for rallying social gatherings with his poetic toasts.
Toastmaster explores the difficulty that the first generations of Armenian immigrants had to adapt to the Californian culture. “Too much contrast between the ancient Armenian traditions and the new western American world”, says Eric Boadella, who wrote a script filled with music, folklore and Uncle Kapriel’s mysterious past.
Within the large American Armenian community are a number of talented artists and musicians ready to collaborate with the film, currently in pre-production. Toastmaster would not only be a visual experience, the audience will enjoy the sound of ancient instruments like the Duduk. Martin Yernazian, the producer of the film, plans to create new songs that combine both styles, with rock bands performing traditional Armenian songs and viceversa.
Toastmaster is an Atorrante Films & Reversal Productions film and has a partnership with the San Francisco Film Society. The film is currently seeking financing via sponsorships and ‘crowd-funding’, where anyone can contribute to the project online and become actively engaged in the project. To collaborate and learn more about the project visit:
Eric Boadella / Writer & Director
Vanick Der Bedrossian / Executive Producer