top of page

The two winners of the First Page screenwriting challenge

Ophelia Harutyunyan and Matthew Yaldezian share the $2,000 top prize for their transfixing openers

December 18, 2019  |  by Creative Armenia

Banner (eng).jpg

Creative Armenia is delighted to present the two winners of its recent First Page screenwriting challenge, hosted by Ucom. Matthew Yaldezian and Ophelia Harutyunyan share the $2,000 top prize for their powerful first pages for an imaginary movie called Creative Armenia. The honorable mentions are Andre Avanessian, Iren Stepanyan, Jason and Svetlana Lasky, and Noah Megherian Bartel.

“We received many impressive submissions from across the world,” said Alec Mouhibian, Founding VP of Creative Armenia. “But these two openers stood out for their subtlety and power. They established their heroes in a vivid way, gave us a tantalizing hint of the story ahead, and made us want to turn the page.”

Associate Director of the Professional Programs at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, Matthew Yaldezian delivered an impressionable protagonist tangled up in the “rambunctious collection of cross streets” of Little Armenia.

Armenia-born filmmaker Ophelia Harutyunyan has brought to life a variety of films that have played at major film festivals such as Sundance, TIFF, and Raindance, and produced others for Alex Gibney and HBO. Her opening to Creative Armenia conjured up the dream and dust of an old — or is it new? — Yerevan circus.

The First Page screenwriting challenge is the third and most recent collaboration of Creative Armenia and Ucom, following the Art of Shadows photography challenge and the Movie Poster design challenge.

“On behalf of Ucom I congratulate the winners and don’t find it surprising that the winners are two,” said Hayk Yesayan, Co-Founder and Director General at Ucom. “There are many talented and creative people in our country, and I will be happy to see screenwriters, filmmakers, and actors of the new generation continue working and succeeding in the global stage.”

Creative Armenia, a global arts foundation for the Armenian people, pursues a mandate to discover, develop, and promote innovative talent. 


Ucom, the fastest fixed and mobile services provider in Armenia and a member of Galaxy Group of Companies, along with the other members, implements social impact projects to support the creative culture in Armenia.

To learn more about the First Page screenwriting challenge, please visit

bottom of page