Garin Hovannisian, Anna Hakobyan, Serj Tankian, and Alec Mouhibian during Q&A

‘I Am Not Alone’ Premieres to Standing Ovation and Critical Buzz at TIFF

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TORONTO — The documentary capturing Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, titled “I am not Alone, directed by Garin Hovannisian and executive produced by Serj Tankian, premiered to a sold-out crowd Saturday evening at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Anna Hakobyan, the wife of Armenia’s prime minister, also attended the world premiere. The head of TIFF Docs, Thom Powers, introduced the film as a “must-see for anyone who wants to make sense of recent history.”

The premiere took place at the Scotiabank Theater and drew a capacity crowd of film-lovers, entertainment executives, human rights leaders, and government officials, including Armenia’s Ambassador to Canada Anahit Harutyunyan and United States Ambassador to Canada Richard Mills.

Melina Esrailian, John Pendergrast, producer Eric Esrailian

“You might view this film as a political thriller,” said Hovannisian, the director of the documentary. “Or a drama with high educational value. For me this film is most like a fairytale.”

The film’s first audience reacted with a thunderous standing ovation, as the filmmakers took the stage after the premiere for a question-and-answer session. Hovannisian, Tankian, and Hakobyan were joined there by editor Barry Poltermann, executive producers Raffi Hovannisian and Dan Braun, and producers Alec Mouhibian and Eric Esrailian.

“It was a thrilling experience to watch the film. What our people accomplished deserves to be presented to the world. I am sure that this film will do it wonderfully,” remarked Anna Hakobyan, mentioning that the fairytale of the velvet revolution was possible also due to the crucial and determined role of Armenian women.

“This film is unique as it holds the secret key to accomplishing progressive change anywhere in the world, utilizing decentralized civil disobedience,” added Serj Tankian, who also composed the original score for the film.

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