After Armenia was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1922, the centralized government formed the Armenian Film Foundation in 1923. With the establishment of Armenfilm (Hayfilm) studios in the same year, Armenian cinema began to flourish until the onset of World War II, when production declined.
After the resurgence and revitalization of Hayfilm in the late 1950s, the film industry again began to increase its momentum. Receiving their orders from the Central Television of the USSR, and in collaboration with Mosfilm, the largest and most significant studio in Russia and Europe at the time, the Armenian film industry eventually grew to regularly release six to seven feature-length movies a year during the 1980s.
However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, and Armenia declaring full independence in 1991, Armenia encountered severe economic difficulties, which impacted significantly upon their film industry. According to Peter Rollberg, the funds allocated by the Armenian government were ‘barely sufficient to pay salaries and maintain the rapidly aging, underused equipment’ (Rollberg 2009).
It is only since 2000, when Armenia moved towards a market economy…
The full 500 word version of this article is published in Women Screenwriters: An International Guide, edited by Jill Nelmes and Jule Selbo, published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.