Biographical Information 

Don Askarian
photo by Michael Libby




Don Askarian was born in 1949, in Stepanakert, Nagorno Karabakh. In 1967 he went to Moscow and studied history and art. He worked as an assistant-director and film critic for a year after. In 1975-1977 Don Askarian was prisoned. In 1978 he emigrated from USSR. For last 20 years he lives and woks in Germany. He is a prize winner at several international film festivals. 
He is perhaps the only director whose "purely Armenian" films have been professionally distributed and proved financially successful in Germany, Japan, Holland, England... 
"Magic realism", this is how a number of critics characterize his artistic works. The director himself calls his shooting method "creation of new reality". With "Komitas" and "Avetik" Don Askarian became the most important Armenian film director" (Rheinishe Post). In 1982 Don Askarian founded Margarita Woskanian Film Production. His first film was “The Bear” (direction, scripts, costumes and scenery), based on Chekhov’s story (1983-1984). In 1985-1988 he was making “Komitas”, which has won several prizes at the international film festivals. 1988 - documentary film “Nagorno Karabakh” (direction, scripts). In 1990-1992 - he produced feature film “Avetik” (direction, script, editing, scenery). Retrospectives of his films took place on the Philadelphia Filmfest of World Cinema '93; Int'l Filmfest Figueira da Foz '93; lnt'l Filmfest Sao Paulo '93; Tokyo Int'l Filmfest 1994 (in Kioto)... In 1995 held up the exhibition of photographies, book presentation in Tokyo.In 1995 founded the production and distribution companies - Don Film in Armenia and in 1998 Askarian Film in Germany. In 1996 Don Askarian’s book “Dangerous Light” was published in Armenia. The book includes scripts, esseys of Don Askarian, interviews and reviews from world press (on Armenian). In 1998-2000 he produced documentaries "Parajanov" and "Musicians". “On the Old Roman Road” is his last produced feature film (in 2001). Now he’s working on feature films “San Lazzaro” and "In Noraduz"...