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Synopsis: ROBERT STERNVALL (50), a German journalist, returns to Artsakh in 2016 to cover the war which has been reignited after a 22-year ceasefire. In the result of his journalistic investigation, Robert meets SOPHIA MARTI (35), a young opera singer, who happens to be the daughter of missing photojournalist Edgar Martirosyan, whom Robert abandoned in captivity during the fall of the village of Talish in 1992. Robert and Sophia’s frequent rendezvouses ignite a passionate romance…




Armenian, English, French, German

Run Time

91 Mins minutes

Directed by

Jivan Avetisyan

Written by

Artavazd Yeghiazaryan

Produced by

Kestutis Drazdauskas
Masis Baghdasaryan


Rytis Kurkulis

Director's Statement

“Gate to Heaven” tells the truth about God’s mighty power and how each and every one of us is led to our unique paths. It is on that path that we become good or evil, kind or cruel, a liar or a thief. One of the crucial themes of this film is thievery, which is a universally condemned phenomenon around the world. At first sight the film may seem a mere love story, a melodrama, where a successful young woman falls in love with a man of similar success her father’s age. As usual there is a love triangle, with a third person who is hopelessly in love with the woman and jealous of her. But during the course of the film, we can see that the script diverts from a melodrama to a serious human drama revealing the horrible truth. I would like to take the path of reflecting the truths in life via art through “Gate to Heaven”. It’s a path of peace, bliss, and regaining honesty which leads to eternity.

Director's Bio

Jivan Avetisyan is a film director from Armenia and Berlinale Talent 2020. Jivan was born in Gyumri, raised in Artsakh and lives in capital city of Yerevan. Currently Jivan serves as the CEO of “Fish eye Art” Cultural Foundation. Jivan’s filmography includes about two dozen documentary and short movies, along with three feature films: “Tevanik”, “The Last Inhabitant”, and “Gate to Heaven”.

“Tevanik” received over 20 awards from various international film festivals. “The Last Inhabitant” was also considered at the 2017 Golden Globe Awards for “Best Foreign Language Film” and “Best Original Score” by Serj Tankian, world famous “System of a down” rock group soloist. The film was also included in the 20th Shanghai International Film Festival in the “Panorama” program and was screened at the 74th Venice International Film Festival in “Venice Production Bridge” program. Furthermore, “The Last Inhabitant” won “Best Film” and “Best Actor” awards at the Scandinavian International Film Festival 2017 in Helsinki, Finland, later to be licensed by HBO Eastern Europe.

Part of the Berlinale Talents 2020, Jivan was selected amongst 255 attendants by the editors of Deutsche Welle for a special documentary on his filmmaking career.

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