Hemo Beknazarian

Hemo Beknazarian was born on 19 May 1891 in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, Russian Empire. His career in cinema started in 1914, when a casual acquaintance offered him a part in a film. Since that part, he decided to pursue a career in cinema. Between 1914 and 1918, he played about 70 parts, becoming a popular actor in pre-Revolutionary Russian film. In 1920, instead of going to Armenia as he had decided, he went to Tbilisi where he developed a film department for the Georgian Commissioner’s office of Public Education. He shot many films in Tbilisi, including Patricide and Lost Treasures. In 1925, he shot his first Armenian film and moved to Armenia. In 1933, he shot the first Armenian sound film Pepo. In 1941, Beknazarian was awarded the Stalin Prize. Besides feature films, he also shot a few documentaries. Hamo Beknazarian died on 27 April 1965 in Moscow, USSR.


ZARE, released in late 1926, is the second Armenian silent feature film. As with the first Armenian-Kurdish feature film. It was written and directed by pioneer Armenian filmmaker Hamo Beknazarian (1891-1965). A thriller and a melodrama, the film takes place in 1915 on the slopes of Mount Alagyaz and tells the story of a Kurdish girl named Zare and her beloved Saydo, who unwillingly get involved in the games of tribal leader Temur-bek and the tsarist authorities. ZARE is considered to be one of the first film to depict the life of the Yazidi Kurds.