New Armenian Film Foundation Documentary in the Making

THOUSAND OAKS–Caravans Along the Euphrates; Anatomy of the Secret Genocide is expected to be the "crown jewel" of the Armenian Film Foundation’s "The Witnesses" trilogy project. It will be the culmination of a massive continuation of the 25th Anniversary of the foundation.

Lead creative production staff met with award-winning director/producer Dr. J. Michael Hagopian in Thousand Oaks this week to critique the film-in-process. Those present included co-producer Glenn Farr–an Oscar-winning master feature film editor and director; and Carla Garapedian–narrator and co-writer of the first two Witnesses films–who is a former BBC anchor about to enter production on her own film later this fall. Associate producer and assistant editor Barbara Gilmore–whose experience includes working as project director and associate producer on five Armenian genocide documentaries–also was at hand.

After the initial screening–Garapedian said–"Caravans Along the Euphrates–more than ever–has particularly powerful eyewitness testimony." Farr stated–"even the brightest–most rational mind cannot cast aside the history that is portrayed in this last film of The Witnesses trilogy."

Several other screenings will be held to solicit input from scholars–survivors and people from other walks of life before the final production phase.

Incorporated will be a penetrating storyline of survivor accounts selected from a collection of over 400 interviews. The interviews were professionally photographed by Dr. Hagopian over a span of 40 years in Europe–Australia and North America.

Himself a survivor of the genocide–Dr. Hagopian has devoted much of his life to documenting the legacy of other survivors and those whose lives were brutally extinguished.

His works have to date amassed over 160 prestigious film awards and prizes from around the world.

The Armenian Film Foundation now endeavors to raise funds in the Armenian community to help finance the remaining work on Caravans Along the Euphrates: Anatomy of the Secret genocide. Completion of the film is targeted for 2005–the 90th commemorative year of the genocide. Support for the first two films of The Witnesses project–totaling $800,000–was garnered primarily from the California State Legislature–as well as from foundations and some individual sources through the efforts of ardent supporter and executive producer Walter Karabian–Esq. Those who make generous donations to help finance this project will receive recognition in the credits at the end of Caravans Along the Euphrates.

For further information on this and other Armenian Film Foundation films and projects–visit the foundation’s website at www.armenianfilmfoundation.org–or call its Southern California office at (805) 495-0717.

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