Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Soldiers throwing water on one another. Image links to event page.



Film Screening & Discussion. 1489

Please join the Museum of the Moving Image and the Harriman Institute for a screening of 1489 (Armenia, 2023), followed by a discussion with director Shoghakat Vardanyan.

When a longstanding territorial conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan flared up again in September 2020, a 21-year-old student and musician named Soghomon Vardanyan was thrust into battle. Seven days into the war he went missing, his case assigned the clerical number 1489. Picking up a camera to document her family’s attempts at locatingher brother, Shoghakat Vardanyan films things we don’t often see: the struggles, emotions, and Kafkaesque runarounds when missing soldiers and their families are reduced to a statistic. We also are privileged to see this first-time director become a filmmaker before our eyes, making refined choices about camera placement and movement, alternating between diaristic first-person and frank observation, and turning what might otherwise be experienced as voyeuristic into a cinematic phenomenon of essential witnessing. Grand Jury Prize, International Competition, 2023 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.

In Armenian and Russian with English subtitles.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / discounted for MoMI members ($7–$11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.

Use code harriman10 at checkout for a discount on this event or on an All Festival Pass.

Shoghakat Vardanyan comes from a family of artists. She is a professional musician and has never studied filmmaking. 1489 is her debut documentary film, which won the Best Film and FIPRESCI Awards at IDFA 2023 in International Competition. For 1489 she was awarded the Armenian Prime Minister’s Award (which she refused because she believes the film should not have any political connections) in 2021; as well as the Work in Progress Grand Prix during the Golden Apricot Film Festival in 2022.