LOS ANGELES—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region on September 14 hosted the premiere screening of Vruir Tadevosian’s documentary film, “The Tales of the Blue Sky,” at the El Portal Theater in North Hollywood. The film delves into the experiences of the children of Artsakh who witnessed the 2020 Artsakh War firsthand, highlighting their resilience and amplifying their oft-neglected narratives.
“The Tales of the Blue Sky” offers a heartrending glimpse into the lives of these children who, in addition to grappling with the loss of family members during the conflict, find themselves trapped within the confines of a devastating nine-month illegal blockade instituted by the tyrannical regime of Azerbaijan. An estimated 30,000 innocent children in Artsakh are ensnared in this crisis, deprived of adequate access to essential resources such as food, water, and medical supplies– an appalling situation that has rightly been labeled as a “genocide.”
The event was presided over by Araksya Karapetyan, an Emmy Award winning TV personality from “Good Day L.A.” on Fox 11, as Mistress of Ceremonies and Moderator. The audience of over 150 attendees was first welcomed by ANCA-WR Chair, Nora Hovsepian, Esq., who called on attendees to play a role in the fight for justice for the Armenians of Artsakh by replacing hopelessness and despair with an unyielding resolve and commitment toward a peaceful and brighter future for the Armenian People.
Immediately following the screening, an insightful panel discussion and Q&A session ensued. In addition to Vruir Tadevosian and Araksya Karapetyan, the panel’s contributors were Sarkis Balkhian, Executive Director of ANCA-WR, and Professor Hannah R. Garry, Executive Director of the UCLA Promise Institute for Human Rights, who provided valuable insights into the pressing need for advocacy and support for the children and all people of Artsakh through legal avenues and decisive adjustments to U.S. foreign policy.
Vruir Tadevosian, the talented filmmaker behind “The Tales of the Blue Sky,” shared his creative journey and the significant challenges encountered while capturing these stories on film. Speaking to the importance of the endeavor, Tadevosian said “Currently, there are 450 million children in the world plagued by war […] it is our duty to be their voice, to highlight their stories and advocate for justice on their behalf, especially for the 30,000 Armenian children within Artsakh, and especially to foreign audiences.”
Elected officials, recognizing the gravity of the situation, also lent their support to the event, underscoring their commitment to raising awareness and advocating especially for the rights of the children of Artsakh who have endured unforgivable hardship during the 2020 Artsakh War and the nine-month ongoing illegal blockade by Azerbaijan. President of Los Angeles City Council Paul Krekorian reiterated that “[…] our activism seems to fall on the government’s deaf ears. I hope that a documentary like this […] can help people see the eyes of the children facing genocide– facing torment [at the hands of] the dictator Aliyev, […] and that looking them in the eye will cause our government officials to take action.”
“If we turn a blind eye to Artsakh, we are absolutely inviting not only genocide there, but continued atrocities and genocides throughout the world,” Krekorian added.
Professor Hannah R. Garry, a scholar who has dedicated her career to studying and preventing the act of genocide and other atrocities and crimes against humanity, said “I think the movie is a wonderful vehicle for helping put the conflict in Artsakh in context, and helping us understand the experience of the children there – which is [the experience] of children in every conflict in the world […] especially from the perspective of Vruir, someone who grew up in it.”
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.