AFFMA Presents Foundation Award to Author Edward Minasian for MUSA DAGH

GLENDALE–The Arpa Foundation for Film, Music and Art (AFFMA) last month presented author Edward Minasian with the Arpa Foundation Award for “Outstanding Contribution to the History of Motion Pictures” for his book, Musa Dagh (Cold Tree Press, 2007). The event took place at Luna Playhouse, which hosted a full house crowd during Minasian’s book signing and reception for Musa Dagh.

A native of Lawrence, Mass., Eward Minasian holds a Master’s Degree in history from UC Berkeley. Minasian is extensively involved in his community and in the study of Armenian history, specifically Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. A meticulous researcher, Minasian brings his skills to his latest book, Musa Dagh. which traces the trials and tribulations of Franz Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh in Hollywood. Minasian’s original work is the first book to deal with the historic controversy that Werfel’s masterpiece stirred in the United States in 1934. It considers the Armenian Genocide factor in the suppression by the United States government of numerous studio attempts to make Fran Werfel’s The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. The as-of-yet unproduced film is the longest on-again, off-again project in Hollywood history. Several major Hollywood players have been attached to the film since the 1930s, including Louis B. Mayer, Frank Capra, Elia Kazan, Clark Cable, Stanely Kubrick, Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn, Omar Shariff ‘s and more recently Sylvester Stallone.

AFFMA organizers recognized Minasian for this major achievement. Sylvia Minassian, AFFMA Founder, presented the award to Edward Minasian. During her presentation, she said, "Mr. Minasian has left an indellible mark on the worlds of literature and cinema by uncovering the truth behind the shared history of Hollywood and the epic story of Musa Dagh." Alex Kalognomos, the director of AFFMA’s annual Arpa International Film Festival said, "Future filmmakers will owe Mr. Minasian a major debt of gratitude for showing us how tenacious we’ll have to be to produce a film version worthy of Franz Werfe’s original text. Mr. Minasian’s Musa Dagh ensures that this epic film will be made, and that it will have the power to inspire and change lives."

AFFMA annually stages the Arpa International Film Festival in Los Angeles. Its mission is to cultivate understanding and global empathy by presenting works that explore such issues as diaspora, war, genocide, dual-identity, exile, and multiculturalism. Through film screenings ‘s as well as concerts, and art exhibits – AFFMA bridges the cultural divide by fostering dialogue among people of diverse ethnicities and lifestyles. Each year, the festival recognizes individuals in the film industry with a career or lifetime achievement award. Past recipients include Academy Award-nominated director Atom Egoyan (“The Sweet Hereafter”); film producers Jim Hirsh, Robert Papazian, and Dr. Michel J. Hagopian; Academy Award-nominated actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (“House of Sand and Fog”); and screenwriter Mardik Martin (“Raging Bull”).

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