Today is the Armenian cinema founder Hamo Beknazarian’s birthday
«Happiness comes to a person in different ways. It stood in front of me as a thirty-five years old tall blonde male and suggested playing in films»
Founder of the Armenian national cinema Hamo (Hambardzum) Beknazarian was born on May 31, 1892 in Yerevan. He received his primary education in Yerevan and then in Tashkent's gymnasiums. Then he continued his education at the Commerce Institute of Moscow, graduating in 1918. When young, he was a professional wrestler. Under the stage-name Maron he performed in circus, participated in some international competitions.
Concerning his way to cinema, it is worth to mention that at first he was a trick actor in the studio of the Russian movie maker Libken. Despite the fact that he was playing trick roles, Beknazarian was able to leave a maximum impression on the audience that soon began to call him the "Handsome Bek".
Beknazarian featured in more than 70 films. In 1924, the State sinema director Daniel Dznuni initiated the creation of the first Armenian film based on Sirvanszade's "Namus"novel, and he proposed that to Beknazarian, who had already been in neighboring Georgia and promoted the creation of Georgian cinema. Thus, he was to produce “Namus”. Beknazarian wrote the film's scenario in a matter of days and, after which in different parts of the world people were speaking and writing about his work as one of a qualitatively new level, plot diversity and interest. One of the consequences of this work was the release of "Namus" cigarettes in the USSR.
In 1926, Beknazarian's second silent movie, “Zare”, was shot, which was the first movie about the Kurds in the world. In 1927, the "Khas-push" was shot, the first film about the Persians in the world. Beknazarian also created the first film about Chechens in the world, "The Person with the order", then "Igdenbu". Beknazarian is also the producer of several documentary films.
In 1935, he staged the first Armenian sound film, “Pepo”, in two languages - Armenian and Russian. Among Beknazarian's works, “David Bek” should be distinguished, where the author succeeded to combine the real facts and imaginary stories.
The last film shot by Hamo Beknazarian in Armenia was "The second caravan" in 1950, which was about the Armenians who survived Genocide and spread around the globe, but Stalin did not like the title, and by his order all the negatives of the film were destroyed.
In 1959, Beknazarian filmed his only color movie in Tajikistan - "Nasreddin in Khojent". It was his thirty-first and last movie.
Hamo Beknazarian died on April 2, 1965 in Moscow. He was buried at the Armenian cemetery in Moscow near the tomb of his wife, Sofia Volkhovskaya-Bek-Nazarova. Since 1966, the Armenian film studio is named after Beknazarian.
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