Interview with Filmmaker Robert Nazar Arjoyan (I PROMISED HER LIFE)

I PROMISED HER LIFE was the winner of BEST PERFORMANCES at the April 2018 FEEDBACK Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Robert Nazar Arjoyan: First, I just wanted to get out there again and make something new. It had been a while since my previous short film and felt the time was now. Second, the whole ritual of washing hands after a funeral was something I grew up with and wanted to explore further.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

About 8 months, all told.

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Wash away.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

To be honest, the entire process was pretty smooth. The biggest obstacle, as I’m sure is the case with many filmmakers, was raising the money for the budget. With the help and generosity of an angelic handful of folks, we were able to meet our goal.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It’s a mixed bag – everyone takes away what they want to from anything in life, including a short film.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

As I mentioned, the ritual of washing hands post funeral was something I grew up with. Well, one day I came home after a funeral and forgot to wash. After an initial self-reprimand, I thought “what if the dead could actually come back because one doesn’t wash their hands?” That was it.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Either ET, GoodFellas, or Back to the Future. They vie for the top spot always.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

I love FilmFreeway. Simple, intuitive, and straightforward.

9. What song have you listened to the most times in your life?

I don’t have an answer for that one, I don’t think.

10. What is next for you? A new film?

A new short, possibly. Music videos for some wonderful musicians. A feature is still in the distance, but we venture ever closer.



Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 20-50 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every single month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto, and Los Angeles at least 3 times a month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival


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