PASADENA–As Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day approaches–State Senator Adam B. Schiff announced today that he has requested a budget augmentation to the Armenian Film Foundation for a documentary film on the Armenian Genocide. The $463,785 augmentation–to be funded through the Cultural Institutions Museum Grant program within the California Arts Council–will be used to complete the landmark documentary film–"The Witnesses".
This feature length documentary film will be used by educational institutions and public television. The Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 was the first genocide of the 20th century–in which 1.5 million men–women–and children lost their lives at the hands of the ruling Ottoman Turks. Many of the survivors eventually found their way to the United States–including the State of California–which is home to more than 300,000 Armenian-Americans.
"Recognition of these instances of man’s inhumanity to man is crucial to ensuring against the repetition of genocide and provides the American public with a greater understanding of its multicultural heritage," said Senator Schiff. "As we approach April 24th–Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day–it is fitting that we rededicate ourselves to better public education about the Genocide."
The non-profit–Southern California-based Armenian Film Foundation is a vital resource in the preservation of Armenian heritage–having already produced numerous award-winning films depicting Armenian ancestry and promoting Armenian cultural values–which have been widely distributed as educational tools. In addition–the Foundation has been hard at work for over 14 years acquiring film footage and interviews of 350 survivors and witnesses–which will culminate in the 3-part film–"The Witnesses". It is the goal of the Foundation to have the film completed by the year 2000–the 85th commemorative year of the Armenian Genocide.
Joining Senator Schiff in the budget augmentation request are Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton–Senator Charles Poochigian and Assemblymember Jack Scott.
Senator Schiff represents the 21st State Senate District–which includes Burbank–Glendale–Pasadena–South Pasadena–Temple City–La Caada-Flintridge–San Marino–Altadena–Sunland-Tujunga–La Crescenta–Los Feliz–Sun Valley–Silver Lake–Atwater Village–Eagle Rock–Toluca Lake and the unincorporated area of San Gabriel.