NEW YORK — The American University of Armenia (AUA) lecturer Zareh Tjeknavorian’s film “Crowned & Conquering” won the “In the Spirit of Analysis & Understanding Award” and a cash prize at the Magikal Charm Experimental Video and Film Festival (MCEVFF). The event took place at the Dolby 88 Screening Room in Manhattan on February 20. Tjeknavorian teaches Filmmaking and Cinema Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS).
Now in its eighth year, the MCEVFF has established itself as one of the most distinctive festivals of underground cinema in New York. The program showcased a selection of 30 idiosyncratic films in what Tjeknavorian calls “a one-of-a-kind exhibition of visionary cinema; of films that are not merely esoteric in content but in form. Films that, in the words of the festival, express ‘a unique personal language.’” According to the MCEVFF: “our intention is to provide a medium for the imaginative, strangely beautiful expression of personal experience(s), truth(s) and transformation. Themes will emphasize the mystical, mysterious, ‘magikally alchemical’ nature of performance, music, poetry, and visual composition.”
Festival co-founder Paul Ricciardelli described Tjeknavorian’s film as a “piece of visual poetry … Beautifully wrought … The work is powerful, ‘Angeresque’, thought-provoking.” Addressing the director, he added: “It is profoundly personal work, such as yours, which creates the ‘Heart & Spirit’ of the festival.”
“Crowned & Conquering,” shot on 16mm and 8mm film, was recently awarded the Grand Prix at the Kinoskop 1st International Festival of Analog Experimental Cinema and Audio Visual Performance in Belgrade, Serbia. “Zareh Tjeknavorian lulls us into the state of a weightless mystical dream,” the jury wrote in conferring the award. ”His allegorical visions appear to open time-space wormholes through which we are transposed into the mythical dimension.”
Earlier in 2019 “Crowned & Conquering” won the Theremin Award for Best Sound Design at the First Hermetic International Film Festival (FHIFF) in Venice, Italy, where it was also nominated for Best Experimental Film.