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Mary taught her Revolutionary Send Workshop at Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography in October, 2017. An amazing day with talented students!


Sose International Film Festival

in Yerevan, Armenia

I was asked to be a Jury Member at the SOSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL in Yerevan, Armenia in October 2017. The amazing Founders, Rita Khalatyan and Syom Sahakyan, have been running the festival for five years. The festival is named after the most courageous and strong Armenian woman - the mother of Armenia - Sose Mayrig (1865-1953).

I am of Armenian heritage. When I found out that Sose was from the same town as my family - Bitlis, Armenia - I could hear my ancestors calling me. My great grandfather, Setrak Simonian, could very well have been killed the same night as Sose's husband, Serob Vartanian, during a freedom fighter meeting in Bitlis on November 1, 1899. After my great grandfather's murder, my family name was changed from Simonian to Setrakian - "son of Setrak" to honor my great grandfather. His son, my grandfather Arpoxit (Sox) Setrakian, escaped the Turkish Red Sultan in the early 1900's and came through Ellis Island, eventually raising his family in San Francisco, CA. (Sox was in the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.)

I was so taken by the founders, Rita Khalakyan and Syom Sahakyan and their passion to bring international films to Yerevan, that I wanted to help them on their artistic journey. When their grant fell through to bring me to the festival, I asked to pay my own way so I could participate. I'm glad I did. I offered my singing workshops gratis for their students at the Yerevan State Institute of Theatre and Cinematography - but what more could I do?

They desperately need help with PR to raise awareness for the film festival - even in their own community of Yerevan. So I had an idea to raise some money here with a GoFundMe campaign. Just a little bit goes a long way in Armenia. Any money raised here would go to PR so that they can truly share this work with the Yerevan community and open up to the artistic international community. 

Beautiful films and life changing stories are being shared in Yerevan, Armenia at the SOSE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. I believe in the adage Art Saves Lives. Even just a little bit ($20 suggested) can help our artistic friends in Armenia.

Please join me!
Click on the GoFundMe link below.

With joy and gratitude!

Mary Setrakian

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Rita Khalatyan - Mary Setrakian - Syom Sahakyan