Prime Minister comments on government’s funding of Mel
YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 8, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has commented on the government’s funding of Mel, a film documenting the life of retired Armenian weightlifter Meline Daluzyan, a female-to-male transgender athlete. The prime minister said the government is funding only the part of the film which refers to Daluzyan’s championship.
Meline Daluzyan was a member of the Armenian National Women’s Weightlifting Team until 2012. After retiring from sports and after a female-to-male transition, she changed her name to Mel and identifies herself as male. Daluzyan had denounced Armenian citizenship and was granted asylum in Netherlands.
“The person whom you are talking about is a two-time European champion thanks to whom Armenia’s flag was raised and the anthem was played three times,” the PM told protesters demonstrating in demand of Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports Arayik Harutyunyan’s resignation outside the ministry headquarters.
“In my understanding the film is about the person and the champion, we are funding the film’s part which is about our champion,” Pashinyan said.
The National Film Center of Armenia has received more than 160 million drams in grants from the government for film projects. It allocated 20 million from these grants for the film Mel.
Daluzyan twice won gold at European Championships and twice bronze at World Championships.
Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan