“Let There Be Light” Award Ceremony in Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin



On July 18, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, presided over the “Let There Be Light” Awards Ceremony. As a part of the Golden Apricot International Film Festival, the award “Let there be light” has been established by the Holy Armenian Apostolic Church. The ceremony was held in the Events Center of the Gevorgian Theological Seminary, at the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. This year the prize was awarded to Polish filmmaker Mr. Krzysztof Zanussi.

The ceremony was opened by His Eminence Archbishop Nathan Hovhannisian, who welcomed the participants of the Golden Apricot International Film Festival and guests. In his remarks, he spoke about the success of the Film Festival – increasing the number of participants each year and expanding the geography of participation. His Eminence highlighted the essential mission that film has in the case of spiritual life in human development, of which one of the leaders and advocates is Mr. Krzysztof Zanussi, a devotee of cinematography.

Mr. Harutyun Khachatrian, Founding Director of the film festival, extended his appreciation to the Armenian Church and the Supreme Patriarch for the Let There Be Light award, noting the role of Holy Etchmiadzin in the dissemination of art and culture.

Mr. Davit Muradian, Rector of the Yerevan State Theatre and Cinema Institute, spoke on the life and activities of the award recipient, stressing that Krzysztof Zanussi was one the philosophers of modern cinema; a person who believed in eternal values and preached them through his art. He also highlighted the warm and friendly relations which the Polish filmmaker has with Armenia and the Armenian culture, specifically speaking about the close relationship between Mr. Zanussi and Armenia’s biggest filmmaker, Mr. Sergey Parajanov, and his invaluable contribution to the dissemination of art

His Grace Bishop Gevork Saroyan, Dean of the educational institutions and seminaries of the Armenian Church, read the Pontifical Encylical, following which the Pontiff of All Armenians awarded the “Let There Be Light” trophy to the filmmaker Mr. Krzysztof Zanussi, for his significant contributions in the promotion of cultural and humanitarian values and to global cinematographic art.

In his acceptance speech, Mr. Zanussi expressed his feelings to the participants, and extended his gratitude to His Holiness for creating bridges between culture, cinema and belief.
Referring to the universal significance of Christianity, he noted that Christianity is a source of inspiration and love, it is the future, not the past, simultaneously expressing hope that man enlightened with the love of Christ, must also continue to create kindness in his important mission, from now on.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the Supreme Patriarch extended his blessings. Joyfully reflecting on the talented creative activities of the filmmaker, the Catholicos of All Armenians stated: “The God-given creative talent that is granted to a person is primarily displayed through works of art, of which cinematography has also traveled a large developmental path. Cinema as a work of art has a lofty and important mission through its powerful influence, combining the goodness and beauty inside the human heart, creating high spiritual-moral human depictions, expressing inner manifestations and proposing ways of overcoming modern challenges while contributing to the progress of humanity towards a peaceful, benevolent world… We highly appreciate your honored work in the film realm. You have an honored place in the film industry with your documentary and fictional films, and with important directorial works. With remarkable philosophical and reflective creations, you speak to the world and mankind, urging an assessment of God-given life, to not waste this earthly time in vain and evaluate God-pleasing deeds.

…It’s with satisfaction that we reflect on the friendly relations between You, Armenia and Armenian filmmakers, of which the foundation was laid during Soviet times. In that period you also invested commendable efforts in the efforts of art preservation, and introduced to the 20th century international community the famous Armenian film director Sergey Parajanov.

Today, in addition to your respectable works in film, you engage in educational activities, sharing your high professional knowledge and rich experiences; conveying your skills to a younger generation of cinematographers in different countries, including representatives of the Armenian film industry”.

The ceremony was attended by members of the Brotherhood of the Mother See, benefactor Mr. Gabriel Chemberjian, notable cinema and entertainment figures, and guests.