Armenian-American rock band System of a Down is being honored by the Parajanov-Vartanov Institute at an Oct. 21 event to be held at Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont hotel.
The institute honors the work of filmmakers Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov, including The Last Spring and Minas: A Requiem, respectively.
The former was filmed during wartime in Armenia, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and was edited in candlelight. It has been cited as an important work by such revered directors as Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, who released a statement recognizing System of a Down and its Wake Up the Souls Tour. The trek put the focus on the Armenian Genocide — which took the lives of some 1.5 million men, women and children 100 years ago — in addition to the band’s own arsenal of politically minded hard-rock songs.
Said Coppola: “I would like to extend my congratulations to System of a Down on being honored for their commitment to justice with the 2015 Parajanov-Vartanov Institute Award, in memory of filmmakers Sergei Parajanov and Mikhail Vartanov, whose work I greatly admire. I am also pleased to hear of the band’s unique gesture to help restore Mikhail Vartanov’s film Parajanov: The Last Spring, which was created under prohibitive conditions and yet exemplifies the power of art over any limitations. I would strongly encourage others to unite around this significant endeavor.”