FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – It’s a film about an Armenian-American in Armenia during the period of Soviet rule.

“Amerikatsi” is a film written, directed, and co-produced by Emmy winner Michael Goorjian, who also plays the leading role.

Goorjian spoke to as he promotes his film on the East Coast. He says what sets “Amerikatsi” apart from other movies about Armenia is that its focus is not the 1915 Genocide, but rather hope.

“But it’s really about the fact that we as Armenians despite everything that has happened and taking place — we keep going,” said Goorjian.

“Amerikatsi” was shot on location in Armenia with an Armenian crew and many local actors. Filming started in early 2020 just as the covid pandemic began.

“Slowly over time we were able to shoot the film kind of piecemeal, bit by bit, and then we eventually finished it. We wrapped approximately two months before the war in Artsakh began,” Goorjian said referencing the war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In the film, the lead character “Charlie” is accused of being a spy. His only connection to the outside world is through his small prison cell window. While the storyline is fictional, Goorjian says there are details based on actual stories and it’s his hope the mainstream audience will relate.

“I think this is an opportunity for us to allow other people in and expand their understanding of what Armenian is, what Armenians are,” Goorjian said.

“Amerikatsi” opens on Friday, Sept. 15 at the Maya Cinemas in Fresno.