Fresco 2016 was launched on 19 August at Haghartsin Monastery Complex in Tavush Region with a 3-day-lasting open air film camp of Fresco 2016. There were many foreign and local guests, representatives of many youth NGOs and groups, kids from orphanage and socially vulnerable groups, journalists. These three days were full of various cultural events, including evening screenings, discussions in the open air, with direct participation of the authors of films, master classes. This year, for the first time Fresco film camp joined the event called “Haghartsin days”, enabling a greater number of people to be involved in this cultural event.
On August 26 Silk Road Hotel hosted Fresco 2016 guests and participants with a master class on “Armenian carpet weaving” with ethnographer Tatev Muradyan, and lavash baking ceremony and a film screening and discussion.
Film screenings- This year Fresco film list includes 74 films from 22 countries(Armenia, Russia, Iran, Ukraine, Spain, France, Australia, Cyprus, USA, Poland, Belgium, Argentina, Greece, Brazil, Mexico, UAE, South Korea, Georgia, Puerto Rico, Portugal, Singapore). The festival involved those types of films of the world (fiction, animation, full-length, short, debut and so on) which reject wars, ecological disasters, violence, discrimination and preach peace, tolerance, humanism, kindness, patriotism; cover the actual family problems, and are aimed at restoring family values, giving spiritual and moral education to the youth, and are about healthy lifestyle and positive world outlook. The jury of the film competition program was the audience itself, during the first screening of each film the members voted for their favorite film on pre-prepared sheets. Film Screening were held both in Haghartsin were a large screen was installed on the wall of the church and at Swan Lake and also at Narekatsi Art Institute and at the Artists Union of Armenia. Concerts- Concerts of various genres were organized near Haghartsin Complex and Swan Lake. Arsen Grigoryan (Mrro) and “Sasna Tsrer” folk ensemble, “Nubar” folk ensemble, “Alexandrapol Orchestra” rock group.
Photoexhibition - On August 23-31 within the frames of Fresco Festival were held two big photo exhibitions which were unique both by the theme and by the chosen authors themselves. The abbot of the monastery of the Holy Archangel Church of Jerusalem Ghevond Vardapet Hovhannisyan presented his photos of "Armenian Jerusalem" and held a master class “Iphoneography” and famous Israeli photographer Dmitry Brickman presented his photos "The Eyes of Armenia through the Eyes of an Israeli" and a master class “To see the seen”.
The 2nd edition of Fresco International Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual-Moral Films was held from June 27 till July 5. The Opening ceremony took place near Swan Lake, in Yerevan where many well-known artists, film directors, colleagues, citizens, artists, clergymen and intellectuals, as well as Fresco’s best friends and volunteers.
Within the frames of Fresco International Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual-Moral films was also held an international open-air photo exhibition "Faith without borders". Exhibitions were held near Swan Lake, Yerevan and at Harichavank Monastery, Shirak Region. - Dmitry Brickman, a famous photographer from Israel presented his photo-album called “Jerusalem is not just a city” and for 4 days it was exhibited in the heart of Yerevan, near Swan Lake. - Grigor Epremyan’s photos, were done during the canonization ceremony of the victims of Armenian Genocide at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. His photos were also open-air exhibited near Swan Lake. - Tatevik Melkonyan presented her photos taken in Western Armenia in a photo-album entitled “Bowed sanctities of spiritual Armenia”, which was exhibited during the Fresco movie-camping at Harichavank Monastery.
Within the frames of Fresco Festival was also presented Sand Art animation show. The special guest of Fresco Darya Kotyukh from Saint Petersburg presented an amazing sand animation in Yerevan and in Harichavank.
In the concert-program of Fresco International Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual-Moral Films were included professional artists and groups of various genres loved by an audience of different tastes. The Choir of Gevorkian Theological Seminary, “Vordan Karmir” rock group, and “Paros” choir of Unison NGO performed during the opening ceremony of festival that was held at Swan Lake. Following 2 festival days and the beginning of film screenings were also announced with concert and "Sasna Tzrer" folk ensemble, Arsen Grigoryan (Mro) and Astghik Kheranyan joined the festival with their wonderful performance. In Closing Ceremony, held at the church yard of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, performed “Nubar” folk ensemble, “Ovsanna” Choir and “Zangakner” ensemble- artistic director Shahe Keshishian. Performing songs and music of various genres Fresco once again brought together an audience of different generation and taste.
Tent and movie camping of Fresco International Festival 2015 was held at Harichavank Monastery, in Shirak Region. This year, the tent camp was held in 2 phases, which brought together about 180 participants. Before the start of movie screenings Anahit Karapetyan shared with cam-participants her talent of embroidering and showed some of her embroidering. The children of Kharberd specialized orphanage joined her and began to embroider some ornaments. Sand-art animation artist Darya Kotyukh from Saint Petersburg once again at Harichavank presented her special program about Armenia and held a master-class for camp participants and for the young and the locals of Harich. The first film of movie-camp was “Prayer of Jerusalem” a photo-interpretation by Israeli photographer Dmitry Brickman. The film's main character speaks with God, and all this is accompanied by photos. The screenings were held both outside the monastery on a big screen and inside at the monastery narthex, due to which a mysterious atmosphere was created.
In the evening, on July 5 the cinema-lovers had gathered near the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin for the closing and award ceremony of 2nd Fresco Festival of Modern art and Spiritual-Moral Films. The festival has received more than 600 film submissions from 53 countries, and only 54 of them have been included in the competitive program. These year the awards were given in the following categories: Best message of “Faith”, ”Hope”, "Love", "Peace". One more special prize was given in the nomination of Audience Sympathy. The prizes and diplomas of the winners were given by the Italian director Marco Leopardi, Spiritual Mentor of the festival Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, the Deputy Mayor of Yerevan Aram Sukiasyan, the director of “Specialized Children’s Home of Kharberd” SNCO Harutyun Balasanyan and the director of “Unison” NGO Armen Alaverdyan.
The festival also gives a special importance to the employment of special social groups and especially individuals with limited abilities. Due to the cooperation with the institutes specialized in this field, individuals with a disablement were not only participate in all the measures of the festival, but also were actively involved in all the organizational works of "FRESCO". We must note that the clay made prizes in the form of fish have prepared with their own hands children of “Specialized Children’s Home of Kharberd”. Besides, the veterans of World War II were also present during film screenings about WW II.
The entire program of Fresco festival 2015 was presented in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Festival guests and participants visited the Genocide Museum and got acquainted with the temporary and permanent exhibitions presenting the proofs and facts of the Armenian Genocide, then they were present at the screening of the film “Aurora”. Festival guests also visited the Memorial Complex of Tsitsernakabert and the eternal fire, where they honored the memory of the innocent martyrs with a minute of silence.
After the closing of second Fresco Festival, on July 15, the organizers of the Fresco International Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual Films, accompanied by His Grace Bishop Bagrat Galstanyan, Director of the Conceptual Affairs Office of Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin and His Grace Bishop Vardan Navasardyan, Director of the Christian Education Center of Mother See visited His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The organizers of the festival expressed their gratitude and thanked His Holiness for the support of the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church. His Holiness conveyed his blessings and best wishes to the festival organizers.The Catholicos made particular mention of the role of the youth in the activities and organization of the festival, also noting that the festival provided an opportunity for people from vulnerable groups of society to take part in the events. The Catholicos of All Armenians stressed the importance of the need to implement such initiatives directed at the strengthening of spiritual and moral values in civil society. Once again expressing his appreciation to the initiators of the spiritual film festival, His Holiness wished them success in their future works for the festival and expressed confidence that in the future it will play a powerful and unique role not only in Armenia, but also on an international scale.
From June 20 to July 6, 2014, the “Fresco” First International Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual Films took place.
During 15 days within the festival the crowded places of Armenia had turned into platforms of debates and discussions (Swan Lake, Yerevan Choral Society, Araratian Patriarchal Diocese, halls of Holy Trinity Church of Yerevan, Tsitsernakaberd, yards of Odzun and Akhtala churches).
Due to the combination of modern art and classical culture, it was possible to bring together audience of different generation and taste: from rock lovers to those preferring classical music, from fans of folk music to those preferring pop style.
The festival also attached a special importance to special social groups and especially individuals with limited ability. People with disabilities not only participated in all the events of the festival, but also actively involved in organizational works. The festival statuettes were made by the children at the specialized orphanage in Kharberd. All the events took place with sign language interpretation.
More than 1500 people participated in the opening ceremony of "Fresco" Festival, which took place in the area of Swan Lake. Senior officials, religious, cultural and public figures, as well as foreign guests were present. 2000 burning candles, made by the volunteers and blessed by the Holy See, were handed to the people with a prayer and a mysterious performance. Generically, 400 applications from 39 countries were presented in the "Fresco" First International Festival of Modern Art and Spiritual Films. 21 competitive and 36 non-competitive films were selected. Swan Lake had turned into an outdoor cinema and the innovative format had created a warm and a modern atmosphere. The film directors, citizens, artists, clergymen and intellectuals, as well as the members of jury and honored guests like Father John Guaita, clergyman, historian and journalist (Russia), Katia Malatesta, the organizer of the film festival "Religion Today" (Italy), Goran Radovanobic, documentarian (Serbia), Bishop Michael Longin (Hero of Ukraine), Gianluca Sodaro, director, screenwriter (Italy), producer Marta Zaccaron (Italy), Tiyam Yabandeh, director, actor (Iran), producer Sattar Chamani Gol (Iran), Jalal Panahi, director (Iran), producer Olga Amelyanenko (Russia), Zoya Kotovich director (Belarus) participated in the discussions.
The capital screenings and discussions were followed by the regional phase. A tent city had been created in the picturesque corners of Armenia, in the area of Odzun and Akhtala churches. Tents, national hospitality, songs and music, films proper to the area and discussions by the fire.
The festival also had turned to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, presenting "Memorial of truth" in Tsitsernakaberd, a special project which included film screening and discussion, meeting with Father John Guaita, Katia Malatesta and the director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-institute, Hayk Demoyan.