The Documentary, "Frunzik Mkrtchyan: India Remembers Me" screened in October Cinema, Gyumri
On the 26th of December 2021, Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO organized the screening of the documentary, "Fruzik Mkrtchyan: India Remembers Me" in Gyumri, the second-largest city and the cultural capital of Armenia. The screening, which took place at the famous October Cinema, was warmly received by the local population. Gyumri is also the city of birth of Mher Mkrtchyan himself.
Several eminent guests attended the screening. The newly-elected Mayor of Gyumri Mr. Vardges Samsonyan, the Ambassador of the Republic of India to Armenia and Georgia HE KD Dewal, and the head of the Shirak Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church His Eminence Archbishop Mikael Ajapahyan were among the prominent guests who also addressed the audience. Other dignitaries gracing the occasion included Mr Mnatsakan Safaryan, Head of Asia-Pacific Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Armenia, Mr Vachagan Vardanyan, Head of the Cultural Department of the Shirak Province regional Government and other prominent residents of Gyumri.
The event commenced at the statue of Mher (Frunzik) Mkrtchyan, where the dignitaries laid flowers in honour of the celebrated actor. Thereafter, the guests visited the actor's house-museum to see some of the famous artifacts he brought with him from India before attending the screening.
As per Indian traditions, the screening ceremony commenced with the lighting of the auspicious lamp, which was followed by the felicitation of the guests.
Other than the dignitaries, Mr Rananjay Anand, Co-Founder and President of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO and the Indian Cultural Centre, Armenia and Mr Davaid Bejitashvili, Co-Founder and President of the Council for Cultural Relationships between Georgia and India, also gave opening remarks.
Following the speeches, the Shakti Song and Dance Group of the Indian Cultural Centre presented the guests with a beautiful performance of “Khatuba”, the famous movie from Ali Baba and Chalis Chor in which Frunzik played the role of Mustafa.
The documentary has been produced jointly by the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO and the Chamber of Cultural Relationships of Georgia and India (NPLE) in collaboration with the Embassy of India in Armenia and Georgia. The documentary project was supported by Indus Aurora Holidays. Indian handicrafts and gifts shop Crafty Gitfs also joined to sponsor the screening in Gyumri. A selected variety of Indian items was also presented for people to buy and carry home.
Mher (Frunzik) Mkrtchyan was a legendary Armenian actor who was one of the icons of the Soviet Film Industry. During his illustrious career, he acted in many Soviet and International films, including Bollywood movies. The legendary actor was seen on the Bollwood screen through his roles in "Ali Baba Aur 40 Chor", and "Sohni Mahiwal".
Featuring some of his co-stars and friends from India, Armenia and Georgia, it provides a complete narrative of Frunzik’s journey from Gyumri, Armenia’s cultural capital, to the Indian cinema. The music of the living icon of Armenian music, the great composer Tigran Mansuryan will accompany the documentary. The documentary will also feature members of the actor’s family and friends.
The audience got the chance to learn more about the legendary actor through the memories of the legendary Indian Actress and member of Indian Parliament Hema Malini, famous Indian Actor Dharmendra, renowned Georgian actor-director Vakhtang Kikabidze, Russian actor-film director Roland Bikov, among others. Armenian legendary composer Tigran Mansuryan, whose music has been used throughout the film, is also featured in the film.
The documentary is in Armenian and Russian languages, with English subtitles and has been produced by David Bejitashvili and Co-Produced by Rananjay Anand.
The event was a continuation of the year-long 10th Anniversary Celebration of Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO (established in 2011) and was dedicated to Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the ongoing celebrations of the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence.
On behalf of Indo-Armenia Friendship NGO we express our heartfelt gratitude to the Embassy of India, the October Cinema, Mher Mkrtchyan's house-museum and our volunteers for helping make the event a grand success.
Our gratitude also goes to our sponsors, Indus Aurora Holidays and Crafty Gifts, Armenia, for their support in this project.
This was the third screening of the documentary. The premiere of "Frunzik Mkrtchyan: India Remembers Me" took place earlier this year at the Moscow Cinema in the presence of ICCR President and Member of Indian Parliaiment (Rajya Sabha) Dr Vinay Sahasrabuddhe during his maiden visit to Armenia. Thereafter, the film was also screened in Tbilisi by the Council for Cultural Relationships between Georgia and India.