Asbarez – “The Promise,” the Armenian Genocide-themed feature produced by Kirk Kerkorian’s Survival Pictures will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The festival also announced on Tuesday that “The Promise” will be featured as one of the event’s coveted opening weekend galas on September 11.
The film, which hails from award-winning director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, stars Golden Globe winner Oscar Issac, Academy Award winning actor Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon in the lead.
“Michael, a humble Armenian apothecary, leaves his village to study medicine in cosmopolitan Constantinople. Chris, an American photojournalist who has come to the country to partly cover the geopolitics, is in a relationship with the talented Ana, a Paris-educated, Armenian artist. When Michael meets Ana, their shared heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between the two men. After the Turks join the war on the German side, the Ottoman Empire turns violently against its own ethnic minorities. Despite their conflicts, everyone must find a way to survive — even as monumental events envelope their lives,” reads the film synopsis on the TIIF website.
Sources told Asbarez in June that “The Promise” is eyeing to hit theaters as early as December.
George, who was nominated for a best director Oscar for “Hotel Rwanda,” co-wrote “The Promise” with another Academy Award nominated screenwriter Robin Swicord. In March 2013, George was a guest of the Armenian State Pedagogical University, where the Irish filmmaker compared the Armenian Genocide to the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
The film, which also stars, Charlotte Le Bon, James Cromwell, Marwan Kenzari, Jean Reno, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Angela Sarafyan, among others, completed shooting in Europe last fall and is in post-production.
After shooting was completed on the film, Survival Pictures co-manager and a producer of the film, Eric Esrailian told Asbarez in an email that “Kirk will be proud,” referring to Kerkorian. “That makes all of the hard work even more special.”
The entertainment blog, The Playlist, gave an early prediction that “The Promise” will be on a short list for Academy Award consideration in 2017.