Asbarez – A famous saying tells us that “opportunity knocks,” but, sometimes, it uses a cell phone instead.
Two years ago, the widely respected Armenian actor, Levon Sharafyan, received an unusual phone call while relaxing at his home in Glendale, California. An American filmmaker had been searching for him for several weeks and wanted urgently to meet.
That filmmaker was Christopher Chambers, a director casting his first feature film, “Aram, Aram,” a coming-of-age drama set in Little Armenia. Chambers wanted to cast Sharafyan in the Lead Role of his film after seeing Sharafyan in an Armenian television series streamed over the internet.
Despite the fact that “Aram, Aram” would be a low-budget film with a long, difficult schedule and despite the fact that Chambers spoke no Armenian at all, Sharafyan agreed to star in the film.
Long heralded for the range and depth of the roles he inhabits, Sharafyan first gained fame acting on the stage in his hometown of Yerevan. He eventually performed in every Shakespearean Tragedy, touring around the globe from Yerevan to Moscow to Paris to London to Glendale. Sharafyan later became a familiar face in Armenian television and film, starring in over 500 episodes of television and over 30 films.
Of Sharafyan’s decision to act in his film, Chambers said, “Mr. Sharafyan is a famous, well-loved star of both the stage and screen in Armenia, he took a huge risk when he agreed to star in this independent film directed by a no-name American director.”
Boasting a Lead Cast of all Armenian actors, “Aram, Aram” first premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, receiving critical acclaim for the powerful performances of Sharafyan and his 12 year-old co-star, John Sevag Roohinian.
The Award-Winning film played at film festivals in Montreal, Yerevan, Armenia, Sydney, Australia and many more cities. This Saturday, October 1st, “Aram, Aram” screens at the Glendale International Film Festival at MGN Five-Star Cinemas where it has been nominated for an impressive six awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Sharafyan’s performance.
Upon hearing of his Best Actor Nomination, Sharafyan reflected, “It was a nice surprise for me to learn about it. I am very happy that my work on “Aram, Aram” has been recognized. It is an honor to receive this nomination.”
When asked what he thinks of his own performance in the film, Sharafyan replied with his trademark humility, “I would like to invite all my fans from my favorite city of Glendale to see the film this weekend,” he paused before continuing as a twinkle came to his eyes, ”Let the audience give us their opinion – I value that more.”