Yakov’s Ark

France – VFX Project – 2015

Lévon Minasian (writer-director)

LEVON MINASIAN, VFX participant, Cross Channel Film Lab 2015 Training Workshop 1,

Born in Armenia, Lévon Minasian started his theatre studies at the Institute of Fine Arts and Theatre in Yerevan.  He studied film at the University of Paris-8 (France) and received his Master’s Diploma with the congratulations of the jury.  An awarded scriptwriter, he has worked on theatrical performances and has also directed award-winning short films, mainly produced by French production companies.  Lévon’s drama films include The Sandwich Island Man (2015), a 26-minute short shot in HD, and The Piano, also 26 minutes and HD.  His films have been selected for more than 80 festivals and have won 30 awards.

Cross Channel Film Lab 2015 Training Workshop 1,


Yakov, a Soviet Jew, has just received a final refusal from the Soviet authorities in response to his emigration application for Israel.  He becomes a refusenik, like so many of the USSR’s other Jews.  It is because of his old disabled father, who wishes at all costs to die in Jerusalem, that Yakov has undertaken this pursuit.  Painted as a “dangerous Zionist”, he is dismissed from his job.  When his father, along with some other refusenik friends, makes the insane decision to hijack a plane and fly to Israel, Yakov is drawn into the plan and asked to direct operations.  However, the KGB has been surveying them closely from the beginning and has its own diabolical plan to shoot them down and blame it on the Zionists.  With the humour inherent in the Soviet people, the film is a moving story about characters who dream of a life other than one decided by the political system.  People who are not heroic, but who are forced into heroism by circumstances.  A story that will remind us once again that freedom is priceless.