#15: Meet HAIK GAZARIAN

22 10 2009

HAIK GAZARIAN, director

Film: VENEZZIA

OPENING NIGHT Feature Film: Friday Oct. 23rd – Red Carpet 6:30/Screening 8:00pm*

*North American Premier!

Official Site: http://www.venezzia.net/

It is February 1942. Pearl Harbor has been bombed and the Second World War is in full swing. A team of Allied military technicians arrives off the Venezuelan coast to patrol German U-boats. Frank Moore (Alfonso Herrera) is assigned to the remote town of Puerto Miranda. There, Frank becomes embroiled in a Nazi plot to sabotage oil supplies destined for Allied ports. He also meets the beautiful and mysterious Venezzia (Ruddy Rodríguez), wife of his commander Captain Henry Salvatierra (Rafael Romero). Longing to escape from the clutches of her domineering husband, Venezzia senses an instant mutual attraction with Frank. Will the two unleash the passion that lies within?

1. Tell us a little about yourself and where you have lived, highlighting any major cultural identities that define, influence or challenge you in your life.

In my early years as a Talent Manager I lived in Bogotá , Colombia; Lima, Peru; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Paris, France;  Moscow, Russia; NYC, Miami and LA and of course Caracas Venezuela. I have been influenced a bit by all these places. But I can say that Latin American has helped shape the way I live and think, and most importantly, my point of view of our cultures.

2. How did you come to be a filmmaker, and where/how did you learn the “craft” of filmmaking?

I started making films when I was 6 years old. At that time my father help me to shoot, develop and edit my film – first in Super 8 mm, and then I moved to 16 mm. I remember going to a TV station and watched how editors edit their news reels. Then I learned the craft and experience by just doing it: shooting and then looking at the results. In 1990 I did my first music video and after 6 years of working in TV commercials, music videos and TV shows I went film school in NYC to learn the rest.

3. What prompted the idea for your film and how did it evolve?

I grew up listening WWII stories from my dad, always from the European and Asian points of view, but when I was in NYC attending film school I started to learn about Venezuela during those years and how important Venezuela was in supplying oil to the allies.

I wanted to make my first film a Love story and surround  a clasic tale of love and Duty with a fresh point of view of WWII. I spent several years creating the background story of my main characters (Frank, Venezzia, and Salvatierra).  I went to Margarita Island and Trinidad Island to interview survivors and from there to help build the story of Frank and Venezzia.

The historical facts are accurate: on February 16 Nazy U-Boat 502 topedoed and sank 7 Oil Tankers of the coast of Venezuela. VENEZZIA is built around that tragic weekend

4. What is your single favorite line from your film?

‘You are one out of Many”

5. What movies would you say have transformed or changed the way you see the world?

Apocaliptico, Shielder List, Braveheart, The Lives of Others, Kite Runner

New Venezzia Poster

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