The University of Chicago News Office
Nov. 8, 2006 Press Contact: Julia Morse
(773) 702-8359

Writer-director-producer Atom Egoyan to hold the U.S. premiere of new film at the University of Chicago this Thursday

What/Who: Internationally celebrated filmmaker Atom Egoyan will debut his newest film, “Citadel,” for the first time in the United States this week, as part of the University of Chicago Presidential Fellows in the Arts Series. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with Egoyan and award-winning, world-renowned actress Arsinee Khanjian. Gretchen Helfrich of Chicago Public Radio will moderate the discussion.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, November 9

Where: Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St.

Background: Cairo-born, Canadian-bred and of Armenian descent, Egoyan makes films that are especially personal, many times exploring issues of grief, intimacy, displacement and the impact of technology and media on life today. His films, which have received both critical acclaim and commercial success, include “The Sweet Hereafter,” “Exotica” and “Where the Truth Lies.” Egoyan is known for pushing boundaries and using film to tell complicated stories from a variety of non-linear perspectives. Unafraid of controversy, Egoyan has been noted and lauded by critics for his comfort making both big, commercially successful films such as 1997's Oscar-nominated “The Sweet Hereafter,” and smaller, personally gratifying films such as 2002's “Ararat,” a story that confronts the Armenian genocide by the Ottoman Empire. The New York Times called Egoyan one of the most distinctive members of the film industry, and said he has left an indelible imprint on audiences everywhere with his haunting, beautifully wrought work. Creator of more than a dozen films, Egoyan is one of Canada's most prominent filmmakers.

In the documentary “Citadel,” Egoyan is traveling through Lebanon with his son and wife, actress Arsinee Khanjian, in a film that has been called both playful and provocative, with many ventures into politics, religion and the family’s journey itself. In a review of “Citadel,” Sean Farnel of Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto said, “Peppered with tender family observations and self-deprecating humor, somewhere along the way a modest journal effortlessly morphs into an engaging travelogue and astute personal essay. In particular, Egoyan’s interrogation of the ubiquity of captured images, and their availability for mediation and construction, firmly places “Citadel” within the director’s impressive body of work.”

Award-winning actor Arsinée Khanjian has worked with some of the most well-known Canadian filmmakers, including Ken Finkleman and Atom Egoyan, as well as such distinguished international directors as Michael Haneke, Catherine Breillat, as well as films by Olivier Assayas and, most recently, the new film by the Taviani Brothers. She has also acted extensively in theatre, including the international tour of Irina Brook’s French-language premiere of Brian Friel’s modern classic, Dancing at Lughnasa. Her recent role as the title character in Ruba Nadda’s romantic comedy, “Sabah,” was a critical and popular hit in Canada, earning Khanjian her second Genie nomination. Her role as Ani in “Ararat” brought her many awards, including Best Actress at the Durban Film Festival in South Africa. In addition to her acting credits, Khanjian, who has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from The University of Toronto, has an extensive administrative background in the arts and governmental affairs, working as Associate Officer in the Film, Video and Photography office of the Ontario Arts Council, and later as the Bilingual Community Heritage Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Communications. Last year, Khanjian was presented with the 2005 Crystal Award for Creative Excellence by Women in Film and Television.

Tickets will be priced at $5 for students and $15 for general admission and are available by phone at (773) 702-8080, by email at or at the Box Office, 5720 S. Woodlawn Ave., Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the event Thursday beginning at 6 p.m.

Additional information is available at
Last modified at 07:20 AM CST on Thursday, November 09, 2006.

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