Los Angeles, CA – March 21, 2018 – Films have often explored and re-created historical events to allow for the ability to experience, gain international perspective, and become educated on worldwide topics that have impacted hundreds to millions. Illuminating the significance of historical events – genocides, crimes against humanities, forced migration – in several movies, the non-fiction film world is lacking films addressing the 1915 Armenian tragedy, depicting one of the world history’s largest and most documented tragedies.
Citing that the subject and sentiment of grief experienced during the 1915 Armenian tragedy lacks tangibility as a medium in the film world. It’s been nearly a century since the event occurred, “leaving almost no direct witnesses who can relate their experiences, and no extensive audiovisual archive of the massacres, many of the victims’ tales have disappeared with them; the survivors’ narratives, if ever uttered, often remained inside the family,” wrote Melis Behlil, an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Chair of Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey.
Photo: Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Chair of Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey – Melis Behlil.
Shedding light on the world’s most documented tragedies is difficult for eyes, but significant, allowing worldwide audiences with the ability to experience, learn, and understand its negative impact upon millions worldwide. Behlil cites one of the few large productions set during the massacre, ‘THE CUT’ (2014), directed by Turkish-German filmmaker, Fatih Aki.
As Aki’s ‘THE CUT’ gained popularity, emerging filmmakers, Ela Alyamac (‘Fairy Dust’) and Aren Perdeci created a revolutionary film both worldwide and especially in Turkey as their historical film, ‘LOST BIRDS’, became the first-ever Turkish production to display the 1915 Armenian tragedy on the big screen.
Emotional yet heartwarming, ‘LOST BIRDS’ is uniquely cinematic for its approach to the 1915 Armenian tragedy, as the story is told through the authentic and innocent eyes of two young siblings who were left behind during the mass deportations of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire of 1915.
Set against backdrop of World War l in the small Armenian village of Anatolia, ‘LOST BIRDS’ is a historical fairytale following two young siblings, Bedo and Maryam, and the destruction of their happy lives at home when their grandfather is apprehended and taken away by soldiers. Fearing for their lives, Bedo and Maryam’s mother forbids them to go outside.
On the day before Easter, Bedo and Maryam decide to sneak out of the house to play in their secret cave and check-in on the bird they’ve been nursing back to health, ‘Bacik’. But, when they return, they discover their house to be empty, and their village of Anatolia to be completely desolate.
Along with Bacik, Bedo and Maryam embark on a perilous journey to find their mother and to search for their previous lives, which had just been destroyed. The narrative within ‘LOST BIRDS’ reveals the displacement and transformation in Turkey during this historical era, and “works by the descendants of the survivors emerge as a way of remembering the previous generations’ stories, as well as of attempting to make sense of the atrocities that they suffered,” wrote Behlil.
‘LOST BIRDS’ found instant success as a three-time winner at the Arpa International Film Festival, acquiring the Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, Best Director, and Best Feature Film awards. With stunning visuals, beautiful music and powerful performances by the young actors, Alyamac and Perdeci’s film is a labor of love resonates with all audiences, highlighting new perspectives on a long-lived international conflict.
To honor those impacted by the 1915 Armenian tragedy and to send the message of harmony and peace between conflicting countries universally, TriCoast Entertainment invites family and friends of all ages to watch the emotional, yet heartwarming historical film, ‘LOST BIRDS’, screening in Glendale, CA on April 24th, 2018 in respect for Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
For more information about the ‘LOST BIRDS’ screening in Glendale, CA and to attend with press passes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘LOST BIRDS’ stars several first-time actors, Heros Agopyan as ‘Bedo’ and Dila Uluca as ‘Maryam’. Alongside is Sarkis Acemyan as ‘Grandpa Yetvart’, Arto Arsenyan as ‘Father Mesrop’, and Takuhi Bahar as ‘Kinar’.
About Melis Behlil:
Melis Behlil is an Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Chair of Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. She has been a visiting scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Research Associate at Stockholm University, and a member of the Global Women’s Cinema Network. Her book, Hollywood is Everywhere: Global Directors in the Blockbuster Eracame out from Amsterdam University Press in 2016. She writes film reviews for various publications, co-hosts a weekly radio show, and is a member of the Turkish Film Critics Association, of which she has served as president in 2014-15.
LOST BIRDS (2017, 90 min.) Written and directed by Ela Alyamac and Aren Perdeci. Editor: Ela Alyamac, Aren Perdeci. Cinematographer: Aren Perdeci. Sound department: Eli Haligua, Burak Topalakci, Caglar Yesilay. US. English. Kara Kedi Films, TriCoast Entertainment.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Kara Kedi Films.
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