Harry Peck Bolles
Anne Newman Bacal
OLD FRIENDS is a bittersweet portrayal of trauma, depression, falling in love, getting older, and finding happiness. With no additional crew, Peter Odabashian visits sixteen of his longtime friends who reveal surprising truths to his camera about the paths they chose in life. As we hear their stories, we begin to understand how they helped make Odabashian, the child of Armenian genocide survivors, the “happiest depressed person in the world.” OLD FRIENDS is a film of unusual intimacy. It is a loving portrait of kindred spirits, their pain, their joy, and what matters in life.
Peter Odabashian has worked in film for over 45 years. He was a sound editor on over 17 feature films from REDS to Carlito’s Way and he's edited more than 23 documentaries. In 1984, he won a Golden Reel Award for best feature sound editing for the film Places In The Heart. In 1987, he cut his first feature-length documentary, The Beat Generation, an official selection of the Berlin Film Festival. From 1988 to 1992 he edited five films for producer Irv Drasnin that were broadcast on Frontline, Nova, and American Experience on PBS. He worked with Andy Kolker and Louis Alvarez for the first time in 1996 on the Peabody and Columbia-DuPont winning documentary, Vote for Me, and won a national editing Emmy for his efforts. In 1997, he cut America in the 40’s, the first non-fiction musical documentary, for Tom Spain and in 1998 he returned to The Center for New American Media to work on four more documentaries, MOMS, People Like Us, Sex: Female, and Small Ball.
Peter became a producer/director in 2004 and went on to share credits with Andy and Louis on The Anti-Americans and You Got To Swing. In 2013 he completed Getting Back To Abnormal with them and Paul Stekler, and that film became an official selection of SXSW and was featured on the PBS series, POV.
Old Friends was Peter’s first solo effort after 40 years of collaborative filmmaking, and it had a joyous premiere at DOC NYC in 2015. He followed that with Somewhere To Be which also opened at DOC NYC and went on to play at film festivals and theaters all over the country. His new film, MY 2020, is a personal chronicle of what turned out to be a difficult, surprising, and memorable year.