One of my favorite films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was director Garin Hovannisian’s I Am Not Alone. The documentary chronicles the 2018 Armenian revolution which unbelievably started with one man, Nikol Pashinyan, leading a two-week march across the country that ended in the main cities central square. Along the way, Pashinyan was broadcasting live on Facebook and trying to build an organic groundswell of support to show that overthrowing the Prime Minister, Serzh Sargsyan, was possible and they could do it without firing a single bullet. While the original plan didn’t work the way everyone intended, the documentary captures what happened as things took a turn in their favor as the group started using a new idea–decentralized civil disobedience–to try and cause a change in their country. If Hollywood released a movie using the events that actually happened in I Am Not Alone, the audience would say the story is too unbelievable to ever actually happen. But it did, and the story absolutely should be seen to remind every single person what is possible when everyone bands together for a common goal.
Shortly after seeing the movie I got to sit down with Serj Tankian, Anna Hakobyan (the new First Lady of Armenia) and director Garin Hovannisian at the Collider studio at TIFF. They talked about making the movie, how the project happened, watching Nikol Pashinyan put his life on the line, when they realized they were actually being successful, and a lot more. In addition, Serj Tankian talks about doing the music for the film.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and the first teaser trailer.
We also need to send a big thank you to our presenting sponsor Nordstrom Canada and supporting partners Marriott Bonvoy and Ciroc Vodka for supporting the Collider Lounge at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and helping to make these interviews happen.
Serj Tankian, Anna Hakobyan and Garin Hovannisian:
- What is the film about?
- How did Serj Tankian get involved in the project?
- How did filming begin?
- Anna Hakobyan talks about when she realized they were about to start a revolution?
- What is it like watching Nikol put himself out there and risk his life?
- How long was the first cut of the film?
- Serg talks about writing the music.
- How much is the dog responsible for the revolution?
- Are they showing the film in Armenian and how can people see it?
Here’s the official synopsis for I Am Not Alone:
On Easter 2018, a man put on a backpack and began to walk across Armenia. His mission: to inspire a velvet revolution and topple the corrupt regime that enjoys absolute power in his post-soviet nation. With total access to all key players, I Am Not Alone tells the miraculous true story of what happened in the next 40 days.