LOS ANGELES—“Armenia Sings On in Our Hearts” will make its U.S. debut at the 2015 ARPA International Film Festival on Sunday, November 15th at 2:00pm at the Egyptian Theater located at 6712 Hollywood Blvd. Shot in five different countries, the documentary tells the story of how Armenians have maintained their culture far away from home, after being forced to flee during the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The documentary, produced by first-time film-maker Isabella Bablumian, is also nominated in the festival’s Best Documentary award category.
This year, millions of Armenians around the world are commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which resulted in more than 1.5 million deaths. Those who survived were forced to flee the country in search of new homes.
Inspired by them, Isabella set out to tell the story of modern Armenians living around the world. “Armenia Sings On in Our Hearts” gives a voice to this unique group of people, while pondering questions of identity and maintaining one’s culture away from home.
“My aim was to make a long-lasting positive contribution to this year´s commemoration, rather than just focus on genocide recognition,” Bablumian said. “I wanted to tell the story of the Armenian people through the lens of the survivors and their descendants, who, despite the distance and separation, revived their livelihood and culture in the most diverse ways in numerous corners of the world.”
Filmed in the U.S., Brazil, Argentina, France and Armenia, the film spans several generations to explain the history of the diaspora and what it means to be Armenian today. Through food, music, and dance, viewers can embark on a unique, cultural journey that includes festive celebrations, insightful interviews, and stories that tell of the challenges and success stories in remaining connected to one´s roots while simultaneously redefining what it means to be Armenian.
The film started as a small project that Isabella set out to create through crowd-funding efforts and volunteer support. However, when she received overwhelming support and rich, unique home footage from various communities, the original 15-minute video turned into a feature documentary film. It was made possible largely through contributions from Armenian community members and non-Armenians alike.
A native Armenian, Bablumian currently resides in Brazil. Her background in international relations and economic development allowed her to prepare for her new role, and a team of international professionals, who volunteered their time and talent, helped make the project possible. Among that group were four different Armenian bands/performers, who generously donated the music that is heard throughout the film. They each reinterpret Armenian music in different styles of jazz, rock, acapella folk and chorale music.
“Armenia Sings On in Our Hearts” will also be screened at the Pomegranate Film Festival in Toronto, Canada on November 16th, as well as other cities in the U.S. and overseas in the near future.
For more information about the film, to view the trailer and to listen to the soundtrack, visit armeniasings.com.