Hamlet Sarkissian was born in the former USSR into the family of prominent Soviet novelist-dissident Vache Sarkissian. After 18 years in KGB prisons and Gulag camps his father committed suicide in 1987. Hamlet studied Directing at the Leningrad Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography (1986-89). In 1989 the International Institute of Human Rights sponsored 25-year-old Hamlet and his family to immigrate to the Unites States for permanent residency.
Hamlet continued his education, first at Columbia College Hollywood where his thesis film “Concrete Dream” was selected as part of the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum. He was awarded the foundation’s “Best Newcomer” award. Hamlet is an AFI graduate where he studied under Leslie Stevens (creator of “Outer Limits”). While in AFI, he directed Sam Shepard’s rock’n’roll play “Cowboy Mouth” starring David Boreanaz. Hamlet wrote and directed his first feature film: “Camera Obscura” in year 2000, starring Spain’s Ariadna Gil (“Belle Epoque”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”) and Adam Trese (“Laws of Gravity”). “Camera Obscura” was featured in more than 20 film festivals worldwide (SXSW, Tokyo, Valladolid, Sao Paolo, Cognac-France, Raindance-London and more). It has won best feature and best director awards at AFFMA. In addition, the film landed a prestigious spot on “Cahier du Cinemas” film-magazine’s top 10 best film noirs list by Francois Gueriff.
Hamlet has written a film about the current Iraq war, titled “Hearts In the Sand”, thriller “Vacant Desert”, comedy series “Deep Research”. He was also commissioned by Hercules Bellville of RPC (Recorded Picture Company) in London to write a book about Soviet dissidents. “The Approaching Storm” – novella and the subsequent adaptation of the screenplay were completed recently.