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Tarsem Singh, Director of Lady Gaga’s '911' Music Video, to Lead Jury at Golden Apricot Film Festival

Tarsem Singh in comic con

The Golden Apricot International Film Festival has announced that Indian-American director Tarsem Singh will head the jury for its “Regional Panorama” competition program. Singh is widely recognized for directing the music video for Lady Gaga’s song “911,” which drew inspiration from Armenian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov's aesthetics.

Lady Gaga 911 music video

Singh's career includes directing iconic music videos such as R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion," Vanessa Paradis' "Be My Baby," and Lou Reed's "What’s Good." In 2000, Singh made his film debut with the sci-fi thriller "The Cell," starring Jennifer Lopez. He has directed five feature films since then, with his latest drama, "Dear Jassi," premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2023 and winning the Platform award.

The Golden Apricot International Film Festival will take place from July 7-14 this year, showcasing competitive films from various countries, including selections from prestigious festivals like Cannes and Berlin. This year, the festival will commemorate the 100th anniversaries of Charles Aznavour and Sergey Parajanov.

Tarsem Singh Golden Apricot banner

Singh’s connection to Armenian culture goes beyond his work on Lady Gaga's "911." The music video contains numerous references to Armenian culture and history. Singh visually referenced "The Color of Pomegranates" (1969), an Armenian Soviet art film by Sergei Parajanov, throughout the video. The video features scattered pomegranates, a poster of the film, and other symbolic imagery related to Armenian culture. These references were integrated into Gaga’s allegory of pain, blending elements from Singh's film "The Cell" and other artistic influences such as Frida Kahlo, Federico Fellini, and Alejandro Jodorowsky.

The significance of the "911" music video to Armenians has been widely discussed. Many see it as a reflection of Armenia's historical and ongoing struggles, with references to the country's conflicts and political dynamics. Comments on various forums and social media platforms highlight interpretations of the video's symbolism, relating it to Armenia's war with Azerbaijan and its geopolitical challenges.

The inclusion of Singh as the head of the jury at the Golden Apricot Film Festival shows the festival's commitment to celebrating diverse cinematic talents and cultural connections. His involvement promises to bring a unique perspective to the festival’s “Regional Panorama” program, further enriching the event's offerings.


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