Foreigners talking about Genocide

Foreigners talking about Genocide

The works of “Map of Salvation” full-length featured episodes documentary film will be ended if the financial matter are resolved a day before. Since 2012, the “Mann Pictures” studio has initiated the creation of the “Map of Salvation”, a full-length featured episodes documentary film. The original language is English, the film will be translated into Armenian, French, German, Russian and other languages. The film with conventional name of the “Map of Salvation” is dedicated to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide. It is included in 2014-15 Armenia’s Film production state-share support program (by 30% share of the total budget).

“Mann Pictures” studio director and film producer Manvel Saribekyan, in the conversation with “Aravot”, presenting the film, said that it is built on true facts. The film heroes are real people – five European humanist women: Karen Effe (Denmark) and missioners Maria Jakobsen (Denmark), Bodil Bjorn (Norway), Alma Johanson (Sweden) and Hedvig Byul (Estonia). They were the eyewitnesses of the Armenian Genocide and the founders of shelters for massacre-escaped Armenian children and women. Leaving the comfortable lives and homes in Europe, they devoted themselves to the Armenian people. The film is presented by the Finnish historian Svante Lundgren, who passing the road of the mission of the characters in the movie, draws a new map, the “Map of Salvation”. The film was directed by Aram Shahbazyan, scriptwriter Anna Sargsyan and stage cameraman Arthur Gharayan.

Manvel Saribekyan notes that often, documentary films are shot in the world cinema, which have feature episodes. As said by our interlocutor, it makes the film even more spectacular. “In our film, we are not talking about the genocide with emphasis, we present the fate of the five foreign humanists, who rush from different sides of the world to help. Our goal was to present a documentation verifying the reality of the genocide, which we have done through the stories of the heroes and the foreign historian’s interpretations. Even if a documentary about the genocide were not reserved, only women’s blogs were enough to prove that there was a genocide,” says the General film producer. He proves that thanks to their supporters of the Diaspora and the professionalism of the group, in a very short period of time, they managed make the film in 26 days in 14 cities of 5 countries without resting, and they will continue to work with the same enthusiasm, if appropriate support and funding be available. His concern is logical, because the interruptions in the film industry have also negative aspects, ultimately, the members of the creative team cannot leave their other projects aside and wait.

Manvel Saribekyan emphasizes at least small but important financial support by Armenia’s National Cinematography. The major part of the state support is expected the next year. Now, the creative group is expecting the government’s response to be able to finish filming by the end of the year and to screen the film in April of 2015. At the same time, they are also trying to seek for other support. “There are opinions that it is not necessarily for the film to be ready by April because the entire year of 2015 is dedicated to the Centennial of the Genocide. But our local and diaspora compatriots have already incorporated their support in our project and in their overall programs. And I, as a film producer, think that if the film is screened by April or on April, it would have greater success. April is a unique month for all Armenians and many Diaspora Armenians will arrive on April,” adds the film producer.

Note that as a science film, so far 14 professional organizations from 7 countries participated in the works of  the “Map of Salvation”, we have already a material filmed more than 25 hours, episodes were already filmed in royal libraries, in government and other organizations’ archives, museums, private archives storages and other topic-related locations. Given the interesting idea of shooting such a film, the form of delivering the theme and the professionalism of the creative staff of the “Map of Salvation”, you are tend to think that this is undoubtedly a success having project.

Gohar HAKOBYAN

Photo from One Shot movie

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