Philanthropist and former physician Dr. Aramais Paronyan has a history of supporting and promoting Armenian artists. Aside from sponsoring various relevant symposia, Dr. Aramais Paronyan co-produced the Armenian film, If Only Everyone, which was released in 2012.
A story of friendship between Gurgen, an Armenian veteran of the Artsakh War, and his fallen comrade’s daughter, Sasha, If Only Everyone was Armenia’s official entry to Best Foreign Language Film in the 2013 Academy Awards. The film centers around the late 1980s and early 1990s conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a disputed region between them, Nagomo-Karabakh. The story follows along as the two protagonists search out the final resting place of Sasha’s father so that she may plant a birch tree atop it to gain closure and peace.
Armenia’s president, Serzh Sargsyan, supported the film, expressing hope that it would offer a means of reconciliation. If Only Everyone was nominated for the Nika Award for Best Film of the CIS and Baltics.
Diocesan Grand Benefactor Dr. Aramais Paronyan, a philanthropist and former physician, helped to raise funds for and develop St. Leon Cathedral in Burbank, California. Aramais Paronyan, MD also helped build another cathedral in the country of Georgia by donating funds, as well as financially supporting other projects of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.
St. Leon Cathedral was named for a priest who lived in the fifth century A.D. and was martyred during the Battle of Avarayr. Leon and his companions were travelling with the army, encouraging them in the faith, exhorting them in bravery and giving their lives in the service of Christ.
Leon and his companions were taken captive and brought to Persia, where they were eventually martyred. According to tradition, the companions refused to deny Christ when compelled, and their steadfastness impressed the king of Persia so much that he finally converted as well. The king himself was later martyred.
St. Leon Cathedral was consecrated on September 11, 2010.