Father Mashtots Babayan (Armenia)

Father Mashtots was born on the 21st of December, 1957 in Yerevan.
After graduating school in 1975 he entered the Yerevan State University, where he studied at the faculty of cybernetics.
In 1980 he graduated from the university and worked as an engineer in several Research Institutes.

In 1995 started serving in Church as a clergy and in 1999 ordained as a deacon. From 2002 to 2004 studied at Auditorium of preparation of monks.

In 2004 he was ordained as a priest and serves at St. Stepanos church in Abovyan city to this day.


Katia Malatesta (Italy)
Artistic Director of "Religion Today" film festival

Graduated from the faculty of Cultural Heritage Protection. Earned a scientific degree in Visual art history at Pisa University.
She has been writing articles and historical-artistic texts for exhibitions, publishing houses, and multimedia.
Currently, Katia is working in the center of the historical-cultural heritage of Trento managing the department of cultural heritage protection and appreciation.
Artistic director of the film festival "Religion today" since December 2008 (International film festival devoted to the dialogue between religion and film).
Member of the Council of the forum on human rights and peace in Trentino and the Italian branch of "Religion for peace".

Simone Semprini (Italy)
President of "Religion Today" film festival

Simone Semprini graduated in Computer Science and got a Ph.D. in Software Engineering at the University of Pisa.
He currently works for a large IT company as a Head of Mobile Engineering.
He is involved in the Religion Today Film Festival since 2005, first as technical adviser, then as a programmer, and lately also as President of the association that organizes the festival.



Hrant Hakobyan (Armenia)

In 1970 he was admitted to the “Laert Vagharshyan Studio” of the Culture department in the Armenian state pedagogical University named after Khachatour Abovyan.

Between 1979 and 1988 he worked at “Hayfilm” studio, first as assistant director, then as a second director. In 1982 he moved to Moscow for training under the guidance of Ilya Frez. Since 1988 he has been working at the “Hayk” Documentary Film Studio.

He has filmed more than 40 documentaries. “Monte”, “Without Comments”, “Armenia-Under Siege”, “Dwellers of Forgotten Islands”, “Motherland Armenia” and many others are among them. He has authored more than 100 television programs. His films have been shown in many international festivals and become award-winner.

In 2010 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the RA Ministry of Culture. He is a member of the Unions of Cinematographers and Theater Workers of Armenia.


Olga Ameljanenko  (Russia)
producer, psychologist- fairy tales therapist

She was born in 1961 in a small village Uralets of Sverdlovsk region.
In 1979 she graduated from UPI but worked as an engineer-metallurgist for a short period. In the nineties, she abruptly changed her profession into a psycho-pedagogical profession, graduating from the LSU.
Since 2006, author and producer of the film project "Your Fairy Tale", over these years 12 movie-fairytales were created.
Some of the films have become the best in the international festivals (more than 40 diplomas), one of the most valuable awards is the "Golden Knight" in the nomination "For moral ideals. For the elevation of the human soul "- which most accurately determines her mission.
In 2015 she graduated from International Institute of the Fairytales Therapy becoming Master-technologist, a specialist in the work with family. The author of a series of books for children "Once upon a time". The hostess of the program "Female Voice" on the Orthodox radio "Voskresenie" in Ekaterinburg.


Karen Mnatsaknyan (Armenia)

In 1991 he entered the Department of Turkology at Yerevan State University, Faculty of Oriental Studies, and graduated in 1996. He has worked in Public Television of Armenia,” Yerkir Media” television channel. Directed films by the order of Ministry of Culture of Armenia.

He has been a publisher in the press, chief editor in “Charagayt” junior magazine, and the director of daily magazine “Erkir”.

Currently, he is working at the Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia, as the Head of Diaspora Relations Department, and correlates with a position of a history professor at a high school.


Hakob Abrahamyan (Armenia)

The president of the non-governmental organization “Armenian Association for the Disabled "Pyunik”.
Founding President of Armenia's National Paralympic Committee, NGO.
Member of several committees and non-governmental organizations (Armenian United Nations Association and YMCA Armenia, etc.). Member of the "National Commission dealing with the issues of people with disabilities", "The national youth policy attached to the Armenian Prime Minister", "Council dealing with the issues of the people with disabilities, attached to the President of the National Assembly".


Irina Yaghubyan (Armenia)

She was born in Yerevan in 1978. Graduated from Armenian State Pedagogical University after Kh. Abovyan, the Department of Defectology (1995-2000).

Since 2000 she is a Co-director of the Manner Education at Kharberd Specialized Children's Home, run by the Ministry of Labour and Social Issues.




Gayane Abgaryan (Armenia)

Gayane Abgaryan was born in 1976 in Hartashen village of Shirak region.
After graduating school, She has studied in the Medical college of Gyumri. She has participated in teachers' training courses of the history of Armenian Church. She has worked as a teacher of the history of Armenian Church at first in her birthplace, later in Gyumri.

She has studied in the department of TV directing of Yerevan H. Ghoushchyan Academy. She has taught in the theatrical group and the history of Armenian Church group, organized by the St. Hakob Church of Gyumri. She has also learned different kinds of crafts.

Refusing everything in her life in 2008, She has made a covenant with God in her soul and has been given to God. At first, She served in the monastery of St. Gayane, later as a votaress in Harichavank, then she has continued her service as a hermit.


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