CB: When did you start AFFMA and the Arpa Film Festival?

Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art (AFFMA) was founded in 1995 to provide a platform for filmmakers, musicians and artists, whose work explores subjects of social and cultural importance. AFMMA’s biggest endeavor was launching its signature Arpa International Film Festival in 1997, which quickly came to be recognized as one of the leading indie film festivals in Southern California.

CB: What was your biggest challenge in getting a film festival such as Arpa off the ground?

Our initial challenge was making a name for ourselves in the film festival circuit. We are proud that we surpassed the typical lifespan of many indie film festivals. Another ongoing challenge has been widening our reach to supporters and sponsors of film festivals.

CB: What is the festivals message?

The festival’s mission has always been to cultivate cultural understanding and global empathy by creating a dynamic forum for international cinema. The festival has bridged cultural divides by fostering dialogue among people of diverse backgrounds. By showcasing local and international films that explore critical issues such as war, genocide, diaspora, dual identities, exile and multi-culturism, the Arpa International Film Festival has solidified its role in safeguarding films that continue to make a social impact.

CB: The Arpa International Film Festival, now celebrating its 20th year, is the oldest International Film festival in Hollywood. What can Cinemabuzzers expect to see on this year’s lineup?

We are in the final stages of securing this year’s lineup of films. We assure you that it will once again feature a dynamic set of international and local films. Our 20th anniversary film festival will take place November 3 to 5 at the historic Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. A special Gala is being held on the November 5th at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, where awards will be presented to winning filmmakers and celebrities.

CB: How can people get tickets for the festival and the gala?

Tickets for both the Festival and the Gala will go on sale in late September and will be available via various online ticket sales platforms.

CB: What are the Festival’s social media handles?

@ArpaFilmFestival


About the Organization…

Arpa Foundation for Film, Music & Art

Founded in 1995 by Sylvia Minassian, the Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art is a non-profit organization, formed for the purpose of promoting the arts and enhancing the cultural environment of our community by supporting artists who bridge the cultural divide, unifying diverse people and cultures through the arts.

Sylvia Minassian with Cheech Marín – Photo Credit: Getty

Since its inception, Arpa Foundation has supported a spectrum of artists including writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers, designers, actors and musicians, by staging networking events, concerts, art exhibits, book signings, fashion shows, talent shows, musical performances, lectures, forums, comedy nights, special screenings, private premiers, and most significantly staging its signature event, the Arpa International Film Festival since 1997.

A non-profit Art organization

Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art (AFFMA) is a non-profit 501 (3) (c) organization.

To this date, the Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art has awarded over 150 individuals with grants in support of their creative endeavors. The Founder’s passionate dedication, supported by a unique circle of volunteers, board members, staff and donors,contribute immensely to the success and growth of the organization. They each bring their energy and resources to make the foundation a strong and a worthy place for all those talented individuals to participate and share their dreams.

Arpa International Film Festival

Through its annual Arpa International Film Festival (Arpa IFF), the Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art (AFFMA) has awarded industry legends, with Lifetime Achievement, Career Achievement, Humanitarian and Breakthrough Artist Awards. It has also dedicated programs to Stewardship, to GEMAI, Global Event and Media Accessibility initiative,championing inclusion for blind, deaf, and hard of hearing audiences, and also programs dedicated to Women in Film, such as presenting programs of “Artistry and Mystique in Cinema,” with film programs showcasing international women filmmakers.

Over the past 20 years, Arpa International Film Festival is dedicated to cultivating cultural understanding and global empathy by creating a dynamic forum for international cinema.