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Learning from the Best: Visionaries Behind Poor Things, Dune, and This American Life Guide Armenian Creators

In 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellows learned from many high profile mentors. Here are but a few of them. 

Jan 26, 2023  |  by Creative Armenia


Still from Poor Things (2023), edited by Yorgos Mavropsaridis, the 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowships mentor | ® The rights to the still belong to the owner

A great mentor can redefine the trajectory of your career. With over 100 impactful mentorships behind us, these advisory sessions have been an essential part of many of our programs, most prominently Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellowships. As part of the program throughout the years, we connected Armenian artists with trailblazers who shape every creative industry, including Oscar, Golden Globe, and Pulitzer Prize-winning mentors. Last year our lineup of mentors was occupied with more noteworthy names. Today we want to celebrate some of them.


Let’s dive right in! 

Ira Glass, the host of This American Life

Exploring the Ins and Outs of Podcasting with Ira Glass of This American Life 

A few people know as much about podcasting as Ira Glass, the host and producer of This American Life. A highly acclaimed weekly radio show and podcast, it has become one of the most popular and well-respected narrative journalism programs since its launch in 1995. And with his unique approach to storytelling, Ira Glass has always been the heart and soul of the podcast. 

When our 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellow, writer, and creative producer Nyree Abrahamian, along with the team of her co-founded podcast Country of Dust, met with Ira Glass, he had a lot to share. Together they delved into all things podcasting. They discussed how to tackle difficult topics, engage audiences, and seek new opportunities. Ira Glass generously guided the team, offering a refreshing perspective on the industry and the complicated and intricate craft of storytelling.

Yorgos Mavropsaridis, the editor of The Lobster, The Favourite, and Poor Things

Celebrating Authenticity in Storytelling with Yorgos Mavropsaridis

To say that Yorgos Mavropsaridis is a powerhouse film editor is an understatement. With films like The Lobster (2015), The Favourite (2018), and most recently Golden Globe-winning and Academy Awards-nominated Poor Things (2023) under his belt, he has rightfully earned the title of one of the most innovative editors in Hollywood. Renowned for his active involvement in shaping the narrative flow of films, Yorgos Mavropsaridis brings a profound understanding of storytelling and visual rhythm to all his projects.


His meet-up with our 2023 Fellow and filmmaker Alik Tamar Barsoumian was an inspiring mix of philosophical ponderings and actionable advice. He shared his insights on the role of editing in storytelling, the importance of intuition, and creative bravery. 

Shoair Mavlian, The director of The Photographers' Gallery

Discussing Opportunities and Challenges in Photography with Shoair Mavlian

Having worked at some of the most prestigious photography museums and institutions, including Photoworks and Tate Modern, Shoair Mavlian understands the industry from within. Recently appointed as the director of The Photographers' Gallery, she has been masterfully merging creativity with strategic thinking, bringing a fresh perspective to all initiatives she leads. 


During the mentor meet-up, Shoair Mavlian offered our 2023 Fellow photographer and filmmaker Alexis Pazoumian practical insights. She helped the artist better understand the nuances of organizing an engaging book launch for his upcoming project Black Garden. Together they reflected on new creative avenues and opportunities for exhibiting his work as a photographer. 

Mark Mangini, the sound designer of  Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Blade Runner (2017), and Dune (2021)

Mastering Sound and Silence with Mark Mangini

It takes magic to create movies as grandiose as Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Blade Runner (2017), and Dune (2021). Mark Mangini is one of the magicians, yet there is a lot of strategy and science behind his magic. His acute appreciation for the power of sound has allowed him to bring unmatched emotional impact to his films. A celebrated sound designer who has developed the sonic world of some of Hollywood's biggest films has been acknowledged by two Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing. 

He shared his wisdom with our 2023 Fellow, filmmaker, and producer Nare Leone Ter-Gabrielyan, offering invaluable advice on mastering sound. Together they deliberated on the crucial role of silence in setting the stage and telling a story. The mentor also invited our Fellow to keep an open mind about sound and its sources, encouraging the filmmaker to seek sonic inspiration from nature and beyond.

Shaping Careers with Many More Incredible Mentorships

From an inspiring conversation with the 93-year-old jazz legend Sonny Rollins to insightful business advice from the business adviser Manushak Vahramyan, last year's mentorships reflected the diversity of our 2023 Creative Armenia-AGBU Fellows and their ambitions. Organized with the unique needs of our artists in mind, each meet-up has assisted our fellows in filling gaps in their practice, pursuing new curiosities, and shaping their career paths.


If want to learn more, you can explore all the mentors in our social media series: Part I, Part II, Part III


Thank you to all our mentors for sharing their time, experience, and minds with a new generation of Armenian talent. 


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