Years of passion and love for cinema resulted in the establishment of Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival in 2004. Before then, It was just a dream, a thought in three people’s minds: Harutyun Khachatryan, Film Director and Festival General Director; Mikayel Stamboltsyan, Film Critic and Program Director; and Susanna Harutyunyan, Film Critic and Artistic Director, until it became reality in Yerevan, the capital city of Republic of Armenia. The film festival's name refers to the apricot, a fruit native to Armenia. Whose Latin name is “prunus аrmeniaсa” which translates to “the Armenian plum.” A popular symbol of the country, the warm colour of apricot is even found on the tricolored Armenian national flag.

Nevertheless, the festival was not born casually. Armenian cinema since the independence in 1991, though shy, but break through the international festivals. The Armenian cinema has caused big resonance of festivals and retrospective shows in Paris (Pompidou's Center, 1993), in Montreal (2000), in Bologna (2003), and etc. The international success accompanied to the new films of Harutyun Khachatryan, Suren Babayan, Vigen Chaldranyan, David Safaryan, Narine and Arsen Mkrtchyan, Edgar Bagdasaryan, and other Armenian film-makers. It became obvious that in Armenia, country with an established tradition of film production (the first film studio was founded in Armenia in 1923, and the first feature film “Namus” by Beknazarian was screened in 1925), country, in which the cinematograph is connected to the names of Sergey Parajanov and Artavazd Peleshian, needed its own International film festival, which it hasn’t had before.

Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival carries the theme:

“Crossroads of Cultures and Civilizations”.
In Armenia’s past there have been many crossroads of cultures and civilizations, as it has been a flash point for competing geopolitical forces for millennia. This resulted in a civilization replete with international influences and a dynamic arts heritage. Hence GAIFF’s impassioned mantra is to build bridges and foster dialogue between different cultures. GAIFF welcomes films representing diverse ethnic groups, religions, and nations that depict the human experience. GAIFF wants to show the everyday lives of ordinary and extraordinary people alike, , along with their troubles and joys. Illustrating their journey as they try to find meaning and struggle to redefine themselves in a world that recognizes fewer and fewer boundaries and is always changing.

Yerevan, as the capital, is an evolving testament to Armenia’s heritage, and GAIFF has fast become a premier destination for regional filmmakers, particularly those advancing universal values of peace, cultural harmony and mutual understanding. Accordingly, GAIFF features a multitude of films representing various nations, ethnicities, and religions, collectively depicting the full richness of humankind.

GAIFF is different from other film festivals as it is smaller in scale and hence more intimate, nevertheless it garners international attention and respect.

The films are presented in two international competition sections: features and documentaries. The Golden Apricot (grand prize) and the Silver Apricot (special mention) are awarded in each category. The Armenian Panorama is the pan-Armenian competitive section of the festival for films produced by filmmakers of Armenian descent. GAIFF also has three sections outside of competition to showcase more outstanding films: Non-competitive, Retrospective and Tribute.

Among the honorable guests of the festival during 15 years were: Marco Bellocchio, Wim Wenders, Tonino Guerra, Claudia Cardinale, Fanny Ardant, Alain Terzian, Theodoros Angelopoulos, Nikita Mikhalkov, Alexander Sokurov, Claire Denis, Jafar Panahi, Michael Glawogger, Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, Bruno Dumont, Fatih Akin, Lee Chang Dong, Jos Stelling, Krzysztof Zanussi, Dariush Mehrjui, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Bela Tarr, Kohei Oguri, Catherine Breillat, Leos Carax, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Semih Kaplanoghlu, Godfrey Reggio, Victor Erice, Agnieszka Holland, Istvan Szabo, Margarethe von Trotta, Jia Zhangke, Kim Ki-duk, South Amos Gitai, Otar Ioseliani, Robert Guediguian, Ornella Muti, Nastassja Kinski, Jacqueline Bisset, Asghar Farhadi, Larry Smith, Darren Aronofsky, Gianfranco Rosi, Ulrich Seidl, Sean Baker and others.


Parajanov’s Thaler – for outstanding artistic contribution into world cinema

In 1976 when Sergei Parajanov was imprisoned, he carved figures with his fingernails on the aluminum lids of milk bottles and called them "Thalers". Today they are in Yerevan, in the museum of S. Parajanov. A Prize represents a silver copy of one of these coins.

Golden Apricot

* Golden Apricot -' for Best Feature Film
* Golden Apricot -' for Best Short Film Film
* Golden Apricot named after Peter Van Bueren-for Best film in REGIONAL PANORAMA Competition Section.

Silver Apricot
* Silver Apricot - Special Prize for Feature Film
* Silver Apricot - Special Prize for Short Film Film

We welcome films representing diverse ethnic groups, religions, and nations that depict the human experience, daily lives of people, both ordinary and extraordinary, their troubles and joys, as they try to find meaning in a changing world, struggling to redefine themselves in a world that recognizes fewer and fewer boundaries.


for full-length films of any genre (over 60 minutes) from all over the world.

for short films of any genre from Armenia (from 5 to 45 minutes).

feature and documentary films from Western Asia Region, viewed by International Jury and FIPRESCI jury.


Yerevan Premieres best films from all over the world invited by festival.
Twisted Apricot
Special Screenings

Eligible for competitive sections - films which had their first public screening after July 15, 2022


Entries submitted by post, email or any form other than online are not eligible for the Festival.

Registration fee for the International Competition and Regional Panorama programs costs 30 USD
Registration fee for a short film submission costs 10 USD.

The deadline for preselecting submission is May 1, 2023. The Festival reserves the right to refuse later submissions.

Upon confirmation of the film to the competition or non-competition sections of the Festival, the applicant agrees to:

Provide a trailer of the film online by a non-expiring link or HD resolution file;
Provide materials for localization (dialogue lists in English, spotting list, screener and poster artwork);
Materials must be delivered digitally to stating the local and English titles of the film in the email subject line. The Festival does not accept deliveries on hard drives, USBs or any other physical carriers.
Final selection is made by the Selection Committee, and its decision is not subject to appeal.
Unfortunately, we do not have the possibility to return the DVDs or leave a feedback in case if your film is not selected.


Feature films are accepted in DCP formats.

Each film can have no more than three screenings at the Festival. In case the film wins an award, the organizers shall run one extra screening on the last day of the Festival.

All films in the competition will be screened at the Festival in their original languages with English and Armenian subtitles.

The Festival takes responsibility for the prints from the moment of their pick-up from the shipper (at import) to the moment of handover to the shipper (at return/export).

The shipping costs of the prints will be paid by the Festival both ways only if the prints are sent from and returned to their sources. In case the copy is shared with another festival, GAIFF will pay one-way transportation charges only.

The DCP copies must be sent to the Festival in their original hardcover cases clearly labeled with the title of the film.


International Competition Jury
Regional Short Film Competition Jury
Regional Panorama -- Competition Jury & FIPRESCI Jury

Each Jury will operate according to its own regulations. The Director of the Festival may attend the meetings to advise on matters of regulations or procedures, if required.


“Golden Apricot” | Best Film | 1,5 million AMD
“Silver Apricot” | Special Prize

“Golden Apricot” | Best Short Film | 1 million AMD
“Silver Apricot” | Special Prize

“Golden Apricot” | Best Film | 1,5 million AMD
“Silver Apricot” | Special Prize

The “Golden Apricot” prize is awarded to the film director.

All financial awards are subject to tax, to be paid in Armenia, according to the laws of the Republic of Armenia.

The final decision of the Selection Committee will be announced on May 31, 2023.

Overall Rating
  • Kristina Barseghyan

    It was interesting, fast-paced and exciting. There was a lot of new in modern cinema. Lots of talented and creative people. A celebration of art in colorful, hospitable Armenia!
    We will definitely come back here next year.

    July 2023