Bars Media Film Studio

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About Us

Bars Media Documentary Film Studio was established in 1993 by Vardan Hovhannisyan, who began his career as a frontline-filmmaker covering hotspots in the former Soviet Union. Bars Media was one of the first independent film companies in Armenia, which specializes in making documentaries about human stories, culture, history and other social issues.

Studio’s documentaries have been broadcast on BBC-Storyville, ARTE(France-Germany), WDR(Germany), PBS(US), YLE(Finland) and on many other international channels. Located in Armenia, the studio is uniquely positioned at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and is thus able to cover a wide range of stories from the region. It is a dynamic studio, with 12 people who are responsible for all stages of documentary filmmaking, starting from early research all the way through post-production. The aim of the studio is to create thoughtful, timely and visually beautiful films that both educate and encourage constructive social change.

Bars Media Studio’s documentary A Story of People in War and Peace is a powerful, personal understanding of the human costs of war. The film has won over 20 other awards including the FIPRESCI prize, the Best Documentary Filmmaker Award at Tribeca Film Festival (New York, 2007), the Audience Award at Trieste Film Festival (Italy 2007), the Special Mention Award at the ZagrebDox Film Festival (Croatia 2007) and Docaviv Film Festival (Israel 2007), and was nominated for the Joris Ivens award at IDFA (The Netherlands, 2006). The film was shown on the BBC, ARTE WDR, YLE and PBS.

Bars Media also produced the award-winning documentary The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia, an international co-production with NHK, ITVS, YLE, SVT, TVP and TVE. The film was awarded The Best Armenian Film Award at the Golden Apricot International Film Festival (Armenia, 2010), Special Jury Award at Gdansk International Doc Film Festival (Poland, 2010), Grand Prix at XIX International Festival of Ethnological Film and others. The film was also included in official screening list of IDFA (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2009), Goteborg International Film Festival (Goteborg, Sweden, 2010), Euganea Film Festival (Padua, Italy 2010), FilmFest Humburg (Humburg, Germany, 2010).

Bars Media recently completed a humorous documentary, or more accurately, Donkeymentary about Lamu Island in Kenya, a place with 24,000 people, 6,000 donkeys, 2 cars, and a donkey racing champion who has no donkey of his own. A version of the film was shown on ARTE and WDR, and the Director’s cut is currently in Post-Production.

Bars Media is currently in Production of The Chosen Ones, a documentary about an aging group of people living in Yerevan, Armenia, who form an amateur dance troupe and in it find hope, happiness, and the strength to continue. The Chosen Ones just won the Robert Bosch Stiftung Co-Production Prize, a prestigious award for young producers and directors from Eastern Europe.

Bars Media is also developing documentary films in Africa, Russia, Afghanistan, and at the North and South Poles.