The special program of the first “Fresco” international festival of religious films and modern art dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide entitled “The Monument of Truth” opened at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI).
A welcome speech was delivered by AGMI director Hayk Demoyan, where he presented the Hollywood film “Auction of Souls”, which is the first movie about the Armenian genocide.
The movie was produced by Oscar Apfel and first screened on 16 February 1919 in “Plaza Hotel”, New York. The film is based on the book “Ravished Armenia”, a documentary memories of Arshaluys Martikanyan who is an eyewitness of the Armenian Genocide from Chmshkatsag. The actress in the leading role is Arshaluys Martikanyan herself. A tape about 24 minutes long preserved from this film was provided for the festival by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.
A meeting-discussion with Fr. Hovhannes (Giovanni Guayta), one of the special guests of the festival, took place after the film screening. The Italian priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, who is also a historian, theologian and a writer has three works about the Armenians; one of them is “A Scream from Ararat; Armin Wegner and the Armenian Genocide” published in Moscow in 2005. During the meeting Giovanni Guayta talked about his published works about the Armenians and also about the one he is working these days on. After the meeting the 52-minutes-long Italian film “Auschwitz is my Teacher” was shown.
Note that within the framework of the special program 7 tapes about the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust will be shown from Israel, Armenia and Italy. Only two of these movies are included in the competition program.