DETROIT — Jivan Avetisyan is a filmmaker from Artsakh. His latest film, “Gate to Heaven,” is on a worldwide tour, being shown in various countries, including in the US, where it was distributed through AMC Theatres.
Avetisyan is following the film’s distribution wherever it goes, making appearances and raising awareness about the movie. But he’s even more interested in raising awareness about the struggle of the people of Artsakh. In fact, that is why he made the film in the first place.
Although the film is receiving its premiere in various parts of the world, it isn’t exactly new. It was first released on October 17, 2019. With the pandemic and its subsequent lock down five months later, Avetisyan did not have a chance to promote it around the world as he would have liked.
The genesis of “Gate to Heaven” came after the 4-day war of 2016.
Avetisyan said he wanted to make a film that would show the situation in Talish. “I knew stories connected to the war,” he says. “The stories about the opera singer and photojournalist are true, but are brought to the situation that took place in Talish.”
The film tells the story of a German photojournalist who had been in Nagorno-Karabakh during the war in the early 1990s, and who traveled back to Artsakh in 2016 when conflict broke out again. He meets a young singer who is going to perform in an opera. The hidden connection which is revealed between the two main characters forms the rest of the movie’s plot.