Toastmaster (film)

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, a feature film about… from Toastmaster on Vimeo.

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.

SEARCHING FOR THE TAMADA from Toastmaster on Vimeo.

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.

GETTING A TASTE OF ARMENIA, CA from Toastmaster on Vimeo.

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

From Ararat To Zion

The story of the Armenian presence in Holy Jerusalem from the early beginnings of Christianity

AGBU Montreal is proud to announce that Mountain Lake PBS will be broadcasting the TV Premiere of the multiple award-winning documentary From Ararat to Zion on Sunday the 20th of March 2011 at 7:00 p.m. and rebroadcast it on Sunday April the 24, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

The colorful mosaic of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land has been shaped over two thousand years. Pilgrims have brought their stories with them, and left their memories with the land.

Here the documentary filmmakers have given us a view of some essential passages in these stories, to reveal the precious identities which the stories preserve. They follow the paths taken by Armenian pilgrims as they travel between two focal points of history – from the Mount Ararat to Zion, from A to Z.

For the filmmakers themselves, the process of making this film became a pilgrimage they will remember throughout their lives. They personally experienced the perils of the journeys made so long ago by pilgrims who called themselves “those who witnessed death.”

The documentary communicates the spirit of pilgrimage which has nurtured and sustained the sanctuaries and monasteries of the Holy Land over the centuries. At the cost of immeasurable sacrifices and immense exertions, pilgrims have come to the Holy Shrines to witness the earthly presence of God.

The viewer sees the Holy Shrines through the pilgrims’ eyes. Though they may have been put on display many times before, these special places emerge anew in the film, revealing their otherworldly essence and life-transforming power.

The film shows such striking scenes as the Holy Sepulcher by night, the colorful spectacles of Easter in Jerusalem, the Ceremony of Holy Light, Mount Sinai in Egypt, the Monasteries of the Judean Desert, the summit of Mount Ararat

The documentary is woven together to make an impact at every level, through the exceptional narration of Aidan Quinn, the beautiful music of Lisa Gerrard, and the striking visuals and rich personal reflections.

Angela Sarafyan

Get ready to see something you have never seen before – a rising star at the break of dawn.

Angela Sarafyan, an Armenian-American actress (born in Armenia and moved with her parents to the United States at the age of four), has been cast in the upcoming feature film ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn’. This next and final installment of the insanely popular vampire film series is slated to be released in November 2011. Angela will be playing the role of Tia, a member of the Egyptian Coven.

We’re embarrassed to say that we had never heard of Angela Sarafyan before this news, but with a little research, we’ve come to learn that she’s no overnight sensation. Angela has been in a long list of television series (Judging Amy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Shield, 24, CSI:NY, The Mentalist), several feature films (The Informers, A Beautiful Life, Kabluey, On The Doll), and numerous commercials.

From the looks of things, we’re going to be hearing about Angela a lot more from now on. On the heals of the Twilight Saga casting news, Angela is also going to have a leading role alongside Jamie Kennedy in a future movie called ‘Lost And Found In Armenia’.  Can’t wait for this one!