The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region announced that the filmmakers of the newly-completed Armenian Genocide-era film, “The Promise,” will attend and be recognized at the organization’s 2016 annual gala banquet to be held on Sunday, October 16 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
As a part of the program, a special presentation will be made which will include a short clip from the film with behind-the-scenes footage compiled especially for this event.
Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, “The Promise” is an epic human drama about a love triangle between Michael Boghosian, a brilliant medical student played by Golden Globe winning actor Oscar Isaac, the beautiful and sophisticated Armenian artist Ana played by Charlotte le Bon, and Chris Myers, a renowned American photo-journalist covering the war played by Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale. The film is also supported by an impressive cast of international actors. Their relationships unfold amidst the start of the Armenian Genocide, causing major upheaval of their lives and a struggle just to survive.
“It has long been the dream of every survivor and descendant of survivors to tell our story” said Kevin Matossian, production executive. “This is not only an important film for Armenians, but for every nation who has been unjustly persecuted. This is a human-rights story, that if untold, will simply repeat itself. We look forward to showing a special film clip to attendees of the ANCA-WR Gala, as this organization has consistently been at the forefront of the struggle for justice for the Armenian people.”
“The Promise” was directed by Academy Award-winner Terry George (Hotel Rwanda) and was written by Terry George and Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).
Survival Pictures premiered the ground-breaking film at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 11, winning audience acclaim and accolades, mounting great anticipation and enthusiasm for potential viewers all over the world, and creating an expectation that upon wide release, the Armenian Genocide will finally be memorialized for a mainstream audience of both Armenians and non-Armenians. This international spotlight has already begun to shine.
Even before its festival premiere, “The Promise” has already become the international target of Genocide denialists and proponents of censorship who have initiated an online campaign to vote in droves to bring its iMDb rating down. Many celebrities, from Tyra Banks to Cher to Pharrell Williams and others have posted online tweets and comments generating excitement about the film to tens of millions of their followers. The sheer act of seeing the film through to completion has already been overwhelmingly successful in raising awareness, but much work remains to prevent the ongoing censorship efforts.
The ANCA has also called upon its grassroots activists to affirm the truth by breaking down walls of denial and opening the path to justice through this cinematic work of art by countering the efforts of Turkish propagandists, voting to maintain the film’s high stature and rating, and raising awareness among elected officials and circles of influence. Unlike the past when the Turkish government successfully blocked the production of an MGM epic film in 1934 based on Franz Werfel’s critically acclaimed novel, “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” Armenians of today are well-equipped and have gained enough experience and insight to overcome even the most well-funded Turkish lobbyists and denialist campaigns.
“The production of this unprecedented film was certainly a long journey filled with many challenges and obstacles, but with the late Kirk Kerkorian’s unflailing vision, resources and philanthropy, and the persistent dedication, commitment and sacrifice led by producer Eric Esrailian and his team to bring it to fruition, Armenians finally have the ability to reach millions with a message of truth and survival even from the ashes of Genocide. We are truly grateful to the filmmakers for standing strong in the face of a well-funded denialist campaign which has only just begun, and we pledge to stand together with them to ensure that this film fulfills its goal of engaging the public in our national story. After decades of work to secure recognition and justice for the Armenian Genocide, we are confident that an epic film of this stature will result in great strides for our Cause,” stated ANCA-WR Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq.
The 2016 ANCA WR Annual Gala Banquet will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The main event will begin at 4:30p.m.with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a silent auction. A three-course dinner will follow at 6:00 p.m. with a powerful program and presentation of the awards.
In the last month, the organization also announced that it will honor California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson with the Man of the Year Award, Varoujan Koundkajian posthumously with the Legacy Award, California State Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian with the Legislator of the Year Award, Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr and the Kerr family with the Humanitarian Award, and German Parliament Member Cem Ozdemir and the German Bundestag with the Freedom Award.
Individuals interested in attending and sponsoring the Annual Gala Banquet are encouraged to purchase tickets online at www.ancawrgala.org or call (818) 839-1918. To obtain corporate sponsorship information visit ancawr.org/gala/sponsorship or call (818) 500-1919. For up to the minute updates on the event follow ANCA Western Region on social media: facebook.com/ANCAWesternRegion, Twitter and Instagram: ANCA_WR
The ANCA-WR Gala Banquet represents the single largest annual gathering of Armenian American public policy leaders throughout the western United States, and is attended by over 1,000 prominent Members of Congress, state legislators and officials, community leaders, and many of the organization’s strongest activists and generous donors from California, Nevada, Arizona, and throughout the western United States.