Farmington Hills musician’s documentary wins Telly Award

Artist in Residence Ara Topouzian
2015 Artist in Residence Ara Topouzian

Farmington Hills resident Ara Topouzian’s 2015 documentary, “Guardians of Music,” has been named a Bronze winner in the 37th Annual Telly Awards.

The locally produced project was selected from more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.

“Guardians of Music” is a one-hour film documentary produced and narrated by Topouzian, a Detroit Armenian musician who benefited from the history of the Armenian music masters. The film features visits to local metro Detroit locations where Armenian music was once prominent, as well as rare interviews with some of the musicians and nightclub patrons of that era. Topouzian shares rare photographs, film archives and newspaper clippings that promoted music in the clubs and dance halls, showcasing the diversity and vibrancy of the Detroit multicultural music scene during that time period.

On March, 16, 2015, Guardians of Music made its premiere on Detroit Public Television (DPTV). As part of Armenian Heritage Night, the documentary helped raise over $70,000 for DPTV in one evening.

“I am honored that my film won a Telly Award, especially under the category of Best Use of Music – seems very appropriate,” Topouzian said in a press release.

Founded in 1979, the Telly Awards honor outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, the finest video and film productions, and online commercials, video and films. The panel of more than 500 accomplished industry professionals, each a past winner of a Silver Telly and a member of The Silver Telly Council, judged the competition. The Silver Council evaluated entries to recognize distinction in creative work. Entries do not compete against each other, but are judged against a high standard of merit.

“The Telly Awards has a mission to honor the very best in film and video,” said Linda Day, Executive Director of the Telly Awards. “Ara Topouzian’s accomplishment illustrates his creativity, skill, and dedication to his craft and serves as a testament to great film and video production.”

Topouzian is a 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow and is the 2015 Farmington Area Artist in Residence.

For more information about Guardians of Music: A History of Armenian Music in Detroit, visit