Vardan Hovhannisyan
President / Founder
(Armenia) Vardan began his career as a director, producer, and cameraman for International news outlets such as CBS, BBC and ARTE. He covered hotspots throughout the Soviet Union and the Nagorno-Karabagh war before founding Bars Media, the first independent documentary film studio in Armenia, in 1993. His first intenational documentary was prompted by a question from his son about his work during the war - it led Vardan to return to his experience and the people he had met there. The result was A Story of People in War and Peace, an International Co-production with BBC, ITVS/PBS, ARTE, WDR, YLE and others. After the success of War and Peace, Vardan returned to the rich history of his native Armenia to produce The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia, a documentary about an ancient and dying art. Vardan is currently developing documentaries in Africa, Russia and Afghanistan. Vardan is a certified paraglide pilot and in his free time he is flying sometimes for aerial filming and sometimes just for fun.
Inna Sahakyan
Producer / Director
(Armenia) Inna Sahakyan has been producing and directing films at Bars Media for over ten years. She began with small projects in the villages of Armenia for various International organizations like UNICEF, USAID, and the UN, producing films such as 'Sold Out Childhood,' and 'Childhood Dreams' about orphans and children with disabilities. Inna was the assistant director on Vardan Hovannisyan's International award-film, A Story of War and Peace, and then went on to co-direct her first full length documentary, The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia, an International Co-production with NHK, ITVS, YLE, SVT, and TVP. Currently, Inna is developing Elephant Soldiers, a documentary following a British scientist on an international adventure to save the world's population of African elephants. When Inna is not chasing stories around the globe, she spends her time raising two beautiful daughters and managing an office full producers, directors, and interns.
Arman Yeritsyan
(Armenia) Arman Yeritsyan is one of Armenia's most well known and innovative documentary film makers. He has directed a number of award-winning documentaries, including "Under the Open Sky" and "Hello Fellini". He has been a jury member at the "Golden Apricot", "Banff World Media", "Russia", "Message To Man" and "Saratov Sufferings" International Film Festivals.
Since joining Bars Media in 2007, Arman has co-directed the international award winning documentary "The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia" and "Donkeymentary: Donkey Island." Currently he is directing "The Chosen Ones", a feature length documentary about elderly Armenians who have unified around dancing; it is a film about friendship, dreams and hopes!
Tigran Baghinyan
Senior Editor
(Armenia) After graduating with a degree in radio engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Yerevan, Tigran spent five years as the Secertary General of the Armenian Tae Kwon Do Federation. After sustaining a major injury, Tigran decided to try a safer profession, video editing. Although Tigran came from a completely different field, he quickly became one of the most sought after editors in Armenia. In 2002, Bars Media managed to recruit him as Senior Editor and since then he has used his skill for hundreds of commercial and documentary projects. His work has aired in hundreds of countries around the world on channels such as BBC, ARTE, WDR, SVT, YLE, and NHK.
Vahagn Ter-Hakobyan
Camera / Director of Photography
(Armenia) Vahagn Ter-Hakobyan is without a doubt one of the best cameramen in the former Soviet Armenia- not only in Armenia, but also in whole S\ex Soviet region. He has worked as Director of Photography alongside some of the most prominent filmmakers in the region, including A. Peleshian, B. Hairapetian, E. Baghdasarian and Russian director A.Eshpai, as well as being involved on countless music video clips and advertisements. He has won numerous awards at International film festivals for such films as "Where the Sky Lies on the Earth" (1988), "A Voice from Without" (1992), "The End" (1993), and "A Story of People in War and Peace" (2007). Vahagn has been collaborating with Bars Media for almost a decade now and is currently working on The Chosen Ones and Elephant Soldiers.
Yulia Grigoryants
(Armenia) Yulia joined the Bars Media team more than two years ago and since then she has been keeping their many projects organized and moving quickly forward. She has been responsible for the distribution and festival life of all the studio's compelted documentaries and has recently been traveling the world to pitch new films at International forums such as HAF in Hong Kong and in Germany for Robert Bosch Schtiftung co-production prize. Recently Yulia completed the short Armenian documentary for ARTE France – "15 Young by Young: Kings for Sale" and currently she is producing the full length documentaries "The Chosen Ones" and "Elephant Soldiers"! When she is not developing or producing films, Yulia spends her time hiking, or photographing.
Astghik Sayadyan
Project Director/Producer
(Armenia) Astghik graduated from the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema in 2009 and began her career editing trailers for feature films and producing music videos. After free lancing for Bars Media for a few years, Astghik joined the staff full time as the head of the corporate department. Since then she has made numerous short films such as "Girl's Field Hockey in Armenia" and "They Exist" for International organizations such as Counterpart International and Local NGOs such as Orran.
Giuseppe Bucciarelli
(Italy) Giuseppe is an Italian biologist who took his scientific expertise to the Middle East and Kenya eight years ago to start working as an independent filmmaker. Now, he collaborates with several conservation organizations and wildlife experts to make films about endangered African ecosystems. He is also closely involved with many local communities in Kenya, helping them to solve human-wildlife conflicts. Giuseppe‘s nature films, such as “Laikipia, the Land of Life,” “Spotter Come-Home,” “Walking with Baboons,” and “Ahmed and the Return of the Arab Phoenix,” have been aired on PBS (USA) and the National Geographic Channel Italy (Italy). In collaboration with Bars Media, he is currently developing “Bush Wars,” a 6 part series, where Giuseppe is director, host, and peacekeeper in the war between people and Africa’s most dangerous animals.
Nelly Arustamova
Office Manager
(Armenia) Nelly is a certified Russian teacher who graduated from the Bryusov Pedagogical Institute with a degree in philology. She has worked as a Russian language and literature teacher in various schools since 1983. In 2002, Nelly joined Bars Media as the head of both the Office and the Kitchen. She keeps the books and accounts in perfect order, but has also turned her love for cooking into a second specialty as the Head Chef.
Lauren Kesner
Project Director / Producer
(United States) In 2001, Lauren moved to Yerevan and joined the Bars Media staff as a project director and producer. She manages many of the studio's daily activities such as research, writing, film distribution and production. She has produced films for Internatinal organizations such as the UN, Armenian Habitat, Orran and the British Council. She is currently studying at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs for a Master's Degree in International Affairs, with a concentration in Economic development and media. When time permits, Lauren can also be found writing scripts for her own film projects.
Emily Mkrtichian
(United States) Emily graduated from Fordham University in New York in 2011 with a Master's Degree in English Literature. Wanting to get in touch with her Armenian roots, she decided to move to Yerevan and join Bars Media, where she has been a researcher and writer since October 2011. She is currently working on the "Elephant Soldiers" documentary. In her free time, Emily enjoys photography, writing, and design.
Anush Mirzayan
Journalist / director / editor
(Armenia) Anush graduated from the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinema in 2010. Before coming to Bars Media, she worked at different TV stations as a journalist and director. Her first film has received awards in local festivals. Since Anush joined the staff full time, she has worked as a journalist, director and editor for small projects in the Corporate Department. In her free time, Anush likes to swim, ride horses, and study German.