Asian Cinema Fund 2018

2011 Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund

Project The Chosen Ones
Category PUFS Fund
Project The Chosen Ones
Country Armenia
Director's Profile Arman Yeritsyan has directed a large number of PSAs and award-winning documentaries including, [Under the Open Sky] and [Hello Felini]. He has worked for various TV channels, has taught a series of workshops and master classes, and has been a jury member at many international film and media festivals. Arman has collaborated with Bars Media since 2007, directing several documentary films including [The Chosen Ones] (in production), [Donkeymentary] (in production) and [The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia] (2009/2010). Vardan Hovhannisyan has shot numerous documentaries including [A Story of People in War and Peace], a powerful, personal examination of the human costs in war. It has won over 20 prizes including The Best New Documentary Filmmaker Award at Tribeca IFF. He established Bars Media and produced [The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia], a co-production with NHK, ITVS, YLE, SVT, TVP. Vardan is developing documentary films in Africa, Russia and Afghanistan.
[The Chosen Ones] centers on the lives of elderly people who must overcome great adversity to dance in the only senior amateur dance troupe in Armenia, The Chosen Ones. The joy they take in dancing belies their own personal troubles. At the end of the day each one goes home to find themselves immersed in deep thought and loneliness. This film is about the possibility that at any moment in life, no matter what hardships an individual has endured, there is always a chance to turn it all around. Through their performances, and new companionship, each member attempts to move forward with newfound hopes of love, wonder and possibility for the future. Each performance could be their last. Will they let their circumstance stop their lives for good or will they fight for one last piece of happiness?
Director's Note
This film brings a message disputing the idea that elderly people are disconnected from the rest of society. In Armenia, there is a common notion among young people that the problems of seniors differ from theirs but is that really true? This group of 15 dancing pensioners proves with each performance that there is hope even it appears that their lives have been lived in vain. Through dance each one helps the other, and their audiences believe in the unique message of hope and optimism which transcends age, belief, culture and language. This film speaks to the victories achievable at any age, and reminds us that it is never too late to reach for the happiness that we all seek.
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