When Tarkovsky inscribed and sent his child's drawing to the imprisoned Parajanov who annotated and forwarded it to the blacklisted Vartanov for his son Martiros — Boy with a Movie Camera — his journey in arts began. He escaped to Hollywood and graduated from UCLA where he made his first film, The Last Film, which was released by Criterion. He's also served as a curator and juror at festivals in Busan and Beverly Hills, and worked on the restoration of The Color of Pomegranates selected for Festival de Cannes. Martiros also presents the institute's annual awards whose recipients include Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese and the Grammy winning rock band  System of a Down.

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