Half-way through a cocktail reception set at UCLA last night, Terry George – the Oscar-winning director of Hotel Rwanda and The Promise – issued a $5,000 video challenge to filmmakers across the world – to tell, in under 60 seconds and without dialogue, a human rights story important to them.
“For me film is the greatest medium to confront catastrophe and expose the conscience,” the impact filmmaker says in the video making its rounds on social media today. “The medium itself is the struggle of light against shadow.”
The challenge was unveiled during an evening celebrating the launch of Creative Armenia – co-hosted by Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and Dr. Eric Esrailian, producer of The Promise, the epic drama about the Armenian Genocide starring Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac.
“To have something like this come out of a dark chapter of our history, moving into the light, is extraordinary,” said Eric Esrailian, who is also a member of Creative Armenia’s advisory board. “And it is heart-warming to see it all coming together at UCLA.”
Dean Schwartz added: “We look forward to the exciting work that Creative Armenia will be doing, as it plays a leading cultural role at the cross-section of human rights, entertainment, and creative technologies.”
Also attending were members of Creative Armenia’s advisory board – Grammy Award winning musician Serj Tankian (System of a Down) and social impact filmmaker Carla Garapedian – as well as the leadership of the Promise Institute for Human Rights, USC Shoah Foundation, Jewish World Watch, Mgrublian Center for Human Rights, Armenian Bar Association, Aurora Prize, Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA, and the Richard Hovannisian Chair in Modern Armenian History at UCLA.
“We are at the beginning of a new cultural coalition,” said Garin Hovannisian, the founder of Creative Armenia. “And we are proud to be building together a dynamic cultural infrastructure that will discover talent and empower stories of impact in the digital age.”
Launched in partnership with a major anonymous benefactor, the Gulbenkian Foundation, and The Promise, Creative Armenia reflects the Armenian community’s increasing interest in the realm of human rights and entertainment. The Promise, which in recent weeks catapulted the saga of the Armenian Genocide onto the big screen, has been accompanied by a storm of human rights activity off screen – including the establishment at UCLA of a 20 million dollar The Promise Institute for Human Rights. All proceeds of the film will be going to charitable causes.
Creative Armenia is a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles and Yerevan, Armenia – although its online platform remains its hub of activities, with fellowships, productions, a magazine, and future challenges issued in music, literature, new media, and across the pure and social impact arts.
For more information, visit www.creativearmenia.org
For press queries, e-mail:
Communications, Creative Armenia
Company Name: Creative Armenia
Contact Person: Anna Abrahamyan
Country: United States