Filmmaker / Documentary-Street Photographer
University of California, Los Angeles
MFA, Theater, Film & Television
Birds’ Nest is a Photographic Essay of Bourj Hammoud in Lebanon that struggles to retain its Armenian character against a tide of political uncertainty engulfing the Middle East. It is my story. Birds Nest will be available in fall of 2016. ~ Ara Madzounian
Ara Madzounian is a filmmaker and a documentary-street photographer. His themes focus on memory and displacement. As a teenager he was attracted to theater and photography. He took his first pictures with his brother’s Agfa Silette camera. At the start of the Lebanese civil war, he moved to Los Angeles where he studied at the School of Theater, Film & Television at UCLA.
Ara’s works range from shorts to features, both in fiction and documentary. The Pink Elephant, his first film, won awards and has been shown in various international film festivals. His cinematography experience includes several films. He has produced and directed many live television telethons, including projects in Armenia for Czech Television and for the Monterey Institute of International Studies as well as educational videos for the Los Angeles County Refugee Project. He made his screen-acting debut in Radio Inside. He is one of the founding members of the Armenian Experimental Theater in Los Angeles.
For several years, Ara lectured on Armenian cinema at the ARS Summer Studies Program at Amherst and Bradford colleges. He has produced and directed more than twenty television commercials and corporate films. In 2015, he started collaborating with Smithsonian Institution, producing visual stories to strengthen cultural heritage sustainability through community-based tourism development in Armenia. His first photo book Birds Nest will be available in fall of 2016.