The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia

Two elderly masters of Armenian tightrope dancing search for an understudy to carry on a dying tradition.

Last tightrope dancer in armenia 01
Global Voices
Premiere Date
October 17, 2010
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2010 Gdansk DocFilm Festival, Poland-Special Jury Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2010 Saratov Suffering International Film Festival-Best Cinematography Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2010 Russia Documentary Film Festival-Best Feature Length Documentary Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2010 Russia Documentary Film Festival-Special Prize
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2010 Golden Apricot International Film Festival - Yerevan-Golden Apricot, Best Armenian Film
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2911 Dance on Camera Festival-Best Documentary Award
  • Hovhannisyan vardan filmmaker bio

    Vardan Hovhannisyan

    Vardan Hovhannisyan began his documentary career in Yerevan Documentary Film Studio. From 1986 to 1988, Vardan was a freelance cameraman and covered the hot regions and ethnic conflicts which erupted during the post-Soviet transition for international news agencies including: CBS News, Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC), World Monitor (Christian Science Monitor Television), WTN (World Television News), Vesti (Russian TV News Program), and ARD (German TV Station). Since then he has produced documentary films for BBC, ARTE, YLE, WDR and other broadcasters. In 1993, he founded Bars Media Documentary Film Studio.


    Arman Yeritsyan

    Sahakyan inna filmmaker bio

    Inna Sahakyan

    Inna Sahakyan was born in 1977 in Yerevan, Armenia. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts with an master’s degree in Fine Arts Criticism. Since 2002 she has worked in several design and production companies as a cultural advisor, script writer, and project coordinator. Since 2002 she has been working as a producer, director, and project manager in Bars Media. Inna is also currently working towards her Ph. D. in History and Theory of Art.

    We fund untold stories for public media.

    Learn more about funding opportunities with ITVS.

    The Film

    Zhora (76 years old) and Knyaz (77 years old) were once the most celebrated masters of tightrope dancing in Armenia. Today, they are the only surviving performers who can keep this ancient art alive against the current of contemporary society. Having been bitter rivals throughout their lives, a common objective has finally brought them together: to train the only student of tightrope dancing left in the country. Hovsep, a 16-year-old orphan boy, has to decide whether or not to accept the role of the last tightrope dancer in Armenia, in a society that has abandoned both him and the art of tightrope dancing.