December 5, 2023, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Outside the Box [Office], USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies,
and Variance Films, invite you and a guest to attend

A Special Theatrical Screening of


Armenia's Official Oscar© Submission
for Best International Film

Written & Directed by Michael A. Goorjian
Produced by Michael A. Goorjian, R. Patrick Malkassian,
Arman Nshanian, and Sol Tryon

Followed by a Q&A with Michael A. Goorjian and Patrick Malkassian,
in conversation with
Luis Moreno Ocampo, Founding Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court,
Ted Braun, SCA Professor and Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics,
and Dr. Shushan Karapetian, Director, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies

7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007



About Amerikatsi

In 1948, decades after fleeing Armenia to the US as a child, Charlie returns in the hopes of finding a connection to his roots, but what he finds instead is a country crushed under Soviet rule. After being unjustly imprisoned, Charlie falls into despair, until he discovers that he can see into a nearby apartment from his cell window - the home of a prison guard. As his life unexpectedly becomes entwined with the man's, he begins to see that the true spirit of his homeland is alive in its passionate people. Filled with warmth and humor, Amerikatsi celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the bonds that unite us all.

Provided courtesy of Variance Films. Running time: 117 minutes. In Armenian, English, and Russian, with English subtitles.

About the Guests

MICHAEL GOORJIAN (Writer, Director, Actor)

Michael Goorjian is an Emmy Award winning actor, writer, and filmmaker of Armenian decent, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Michael won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in David’s Mother alongside Kirstie Alley. He is also well known for playing Neve Campbell’s love interest, Justin, on the Golden Globe winning series Party of Five, as well as Heroin Bob in the cult classic SLC Punk. Recently he starred alongside Robert De Niro in HBO’s The Wizard of Lies. Other film & television credits include: Newsies, Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr., Forever Young with Mel Gibson, Leaving Las Vegas, Hard Rain with Morgan Freeman, Broken with Heather Graham, Lincoln Lawyer, Lucifer, Covert Affairs, Lie to Me, House, Alias, Monk, CSI, Without a Trace to name a few.

On stage, Michael has won numerous awards, including; an L.A. Weekly Theater Award for Best Lead Actor in Modigliani, and a LA Critics Choice Award for choreographing the world premiere of Reefer Madness the Musical. Most recently Michael appeared at Berkeley Repertory Theater World premiere of Imaginary Comforts by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). As director, Michael achieved international acclaim for his award-winning feature film debut, Illusion, in which he starred along side Hollywood-legend Kirk Douglas (and some other guy named Bryan Cranston). Soon after, Michael began collaborating with the publishing company Hay House to helm a number of productions, including; The Shift starring Wayne Dyer. Michael’s debut novel, What Lies Beyond the Star was released world-wide in 2016.

LUIS MORENO OCAMPO (Founding Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court)

Luis Moreno Ocampo was the Founding Chief Prosecutor of the new and permanent International Criminal Court (2003-12). There are seven documentaries presenting parts of his work at the ICC, including Darfur Now and Kony 2012. Previously, he had a critical role during the transition to Democracy in Argentina. He was Deputy Prosecutor in the trial against the "Military Junta," a case depicted in the Amazon production, Argentina 1985, a 2023 Academy Award nominee for Best International Feature Film, and 2023 Golden Globe winner.

Currently, he lectures at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts on films and war, crimes, and justice. Previously he was a Visiting Professor at Stanford, and Harvard University, Law School. In November 2022 Oxford University Press published his book “War and Justice in the 21st Century,” describing his nine years of practice as the ICC’s Chief Prosecutor. He is presently involved in private practice assisting Armenian people suffering a genocide in 2023.

TED BRAUN (SCA Professor, Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics)

Writer-Director Ted Braun’s feature documentary, ¡Viva Maestro!, about conductor Gustavo Dudamel, premiered theatrically in 2022, was nominated for the WGA award for best feature documentary of 2022, and is currently streaming on MAX. Set against unfolding violence and social unrest in Dudamel’s home of Venezuela the film is an exploration of art in a time of political crisis. It’s his second film with Participant which co-financed his feature debut Darfur Now. Darfur Now was named one of 2007’s top five documentaries by the National Board of Review, won the International Documentary Association’s Emerging Filmmaker Award and the NAACP Image Award. His docu-thriller Betting On Zero received a WGA nomination for best feature documentary of 2017, and a special jury mention for investigative work at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. Braun teaches screenwriting at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and is the Joseph Campbell Endowed Chair in Cinematic Ethics. In 2018 Variety named him one of the world’s Top Ten Teachers in Film and TV.

DR. SHUSHAN KARAPETIAN (Director, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies)

Dr. Karapetian sets the Institute’s vision and leads the research and scholarship initiatives, deepening integration with entities both on and off campus and expanding the scope of academic programming. She researches, teaches, and writes about the Armenian experience, particularly focusing on competing ideologies at the intersection of language and the construction of transnational identity. Dr. Karapetian received a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA in 2014, where she taught Armenian Studies courses for over ten years. Her dissertation, “‘How Do I Teach My Kids My Broken Armenian?’: A Study of Eastern Armenian Heritage Language Speakers in Los Angeles,” received the Society for Armenian Studies Distinguished Dissertation Award in 2015. In 2018, she was the recipient of the Russ Campbell Young Scholar Award in recognition of outstanding scholarship in heritage language research. She is the host of the podcast Language Therapy with Dr. K and the IG/YouTube Word of the Day.

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. The series draws from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain.

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Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the public. A reservation confirmation will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


On-campus parking at the University of Southern California is limited, and it is best to visit the USC Transportation Website for the most up-to-date information if you plan to drive and park on campus:

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago