French Armenian Filmmaker Appears on the Opposite End of the Camera at the AGBU Screening of “V for Verneuil”

French Armenian artist Toros with filmmaker Arto Pehlivanian in Valence, France.

After a lifetime of filming others, the late French Armenian artist Henri Verneuil has himself become the subject of the silver screen with the documentary “V for Verneuil,”which was presented by AGBU Valence in partnership with Cinema le Navire on May 31, 2012.

The 2010 documentary, which was created by Arto Pehlivanian, founder of the French-Armenian Film Club (an initiative of the French Cultural Union of Armenians of France), explores the life and career of the celebrated author and director. Drawing from various archives and personal records, Pehlivanian highlights the ways Verneuil blurred the lines between fact and fiction with his semi-autobiographical novel, Mayrig, and the popular movie of the same name. Both tell the story of a family’s struggles after immigrating to France from Turkey following the Armenian Genocide of 1915, mirroring Verneuil’s own past. His work resonated strongly with audiences and now, through “V for Verneuil,” his legacy lives on among his many admirers.

The AGBU-sponsored screening attracted public figures including French director Cyril Désiré, director of le Navire cinema, and French Armenian sculptor Toros Rast-klan (Rastguelénian), who were joined by AGBU France District Chair Philippe Panossian.

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