“When we set out on this project, we wanted people to learn who Armenians are, where we are from, and more about us, sure.
She quickly realized that so many of the films that have been made in the past are about the history of the genocide. Artsakh Defense Minister injured as Armenian forces repel Azeri attacks, Diaspora Armenians train to protect Artsakh, Azeri War Crimes Mount as Forces Bomb Maternity Hospital in Stepanakert, The Most Consequential Election of a US Citizen’s Life. Jon emphatically states what he believes the problem is – and makes sure we all get it – there is a ‘dropout rate’ of Armenians leaving their culture behind that must be arrested. How did everyone find out about it to donate. “What Will Become of Us” is a deeply personal film, which follows the lives of 10 Armenian-Americans, all of whom have been impacted by the Armenian Genocide. Karine’s story also focused on teaching Armenian dance to youth in her community at the Armenian Sisters Academy in Radnor, PA. And Jon Simonian’s story also focused on his role at Holy Cross Church in Washington Heights, New York City, where he is working to save his church and rebuild it with new membership. We filmed with Armenian Americans of various ages who embraced their culture in different ways during the 100. And the Kassabian family story illustrates the unique, transformational program in Glendale Public Schools where children learn all subjects in Armenian and English. ‘What Will Become of Us’: Doc about Armenian-Americans asks candid questions and tells remarkable stories, Stephanie speaking to university students at the Feb. 2020 ARS Norian Youth Connect program at Columbia University (Photo: Knar Bedian; The Armenian Weekly), Karine Shamlian sits with her grandmother, Armenian Genocide survivor Asdghig Tetezian Alemian (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ayanian), Famous oud player Richard Hagopian teaches his grandson, Andrew how to play an Armenian folk song (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Ayanian), Crew Members Joseph Myers and Stephanie Ayanian film in Armenia with John Sweers. She previously produced Kinderwald, an Official Selection of Munich International, Seattle International, Napa Valley, and Slamdance film festivals. She said, “When you are born in the Diaspora, from the moment you are born you have to perform your Armenian-ness. At the time, the film was titled, While money slowly trickled in, Joseph Myers and I traveled throughout the US and Armenia to film our stories. Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America. In 2003, I stood up in front of my graduate school cohort and revealed something that felt like a burden I was getting off my chest, “If I cannot save my people through my bloodline, then I must save them through my work.” At the time, I was a Master of Fine Arts student at Temple University in Film and Media Arts.
I invite you to watch the film and to share it with your community. A pop star discovers more about his past. But I also carried with me the judgments from other Armenians that I had felt since my youth. Her grandparents survived the Armenian Genocide as children. And my grandmother used to tell my father that they should have taught me Armenian,” she goes on.
You have to prove your Armenian-ness.
Congratulations Stephanie! They concluded that the story needed to be about who Armenians are today, a century after the genocide. Some of those stories are further along in editing than others,” she explains. Fr. Merci! The three of us, having worked for a public television (PBS) station, had previously produced feature documentaries for national distribution. But, most importantly, he does not rest while helping refugees from Syria find their place in America. Hard to imagine, when he has had such an illustrious and prolific career producing and directing television programs: well over 250 of them, in fact, mostly for public broadcasters in Canada. We spent months reviewing footage, more months writing scripts, and more months editing a thoughtful 90-minute version of the film with each of the characters included. We filmed enough for a 10-part series, but we only had funding to make a feature film. At the time, the films being produced were based on the history of the Genocide. It was only after speaking to hundreds of people that Stephanie and her collaborators were able to narrow it down. She holds an MFA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Film and Video from the Pennsylvania State University. You have been logged out of the system. I knew, early on, that I had the choice of what I wanted to become. She and her husband are raising their children in an Armenian-American home where Armenian music, cuisine, art, and language are intermixed with American culture. Sadly, we weren’t able to include beautiful, meaningful stories with Fr. Richard, an 81 year-old world-famous musician and National Endowment for the Arts fellow, is one of the last great oud players. How can Armenian Americans honor their past, while unshackling themselves from its trauma? “What Will Become of Us” follows six Armenian Americans — famous and otherwise — as they navigate the 100th anniversary of the Genocide, forging identities for the next 100 years. Stephanie and her colleagues will not limit the film to just public broadcasters, though, and will also be submitting to a number of, film festivals. Ayanian enrolled in a film course and was instantly hooked: “I was in love,” she recalls. Privacy & Cookies Policy (as of Aug. 15, 2019).
What film could address these concerns? season, the Festival touts itself as the "largest of its kind in the Armenian Diaspora" and will feature 50 films this year. This is amazing Stephanie! While I was being filmed in the process of creating a genocide memorial, I learned painful facts about my family history through newly discovered letters and documents that had been lying in my grandmother’s attic. I will buy the first copy. While the story focuses on Armenians in the U.S., it also tells a more global story that is relatable to all immigrant communities who have faced trauma. At the time, the film was titled A New Armenia. “I love hearing how the film is resonating with people in so many different ways.”, Stephanie foresees the broadcast release to go strong for another year.
Can Armenian Americans create a new future – honoring their past, while unshackling themselves from its trauma? “I’ve only really heard positive things, which is lovely,” Stephanie says about the film, which has screened on public broadcasting services in several major cities, including Fresno, Philadelphia, Boston, and Denver, as well as cities across Rhode Island and Southern California. Can we do both? “I wasn’t interested in retelling the history. But when you’re in Armenia, you just are Armenian. Andrew, his 15 year-old grandson, wants to take up his ‘old’ music. John and Annie Sweers, Volunteers in Armenia (For a full list of past and future broadcast dates/regions, check out the film's official website). I didn’t go to Armenian church. I spoke about wanting my children to thrive in their Armenian-ness in America. Can we do both?” she asks. Part of the beauty of the final product is how uniquely different each story is, but also how the narratives develop and complete each other to make one cohesive story of survival, perseverance, and thriving. While pursuing her undergraduate degree at Penn State, Ayanian (née Garoian) was unsure what she wanted to major in. Those who would like to view the film online before the presentation, between October 2-9, can contact Prof. Barlow Der Mugrdechian, firstname.lastname@example.org, to receive a screening code. Richard Hagopian and Andrew Hagopian, Oud master and his grandson Stephanie Ayanian is a film producer, director and educator. If you would like to coordinate a broadcast or screening in your area, please contact me through the website. “What Will Become of Us” is a deeply personal film, which follows the lives of 10 Armenian-Americans, all of whom have been impacted by the Armenian Genocide. So, I contacted my filmmaking partners Joseph Myers and Tom Keiter at Storyshop Films, and we decided to produce something different. I was young and had no plans of being an artist, but things change, we change, and so I decided to become a filmmaker. We need to create the Armenian “ STORYCORE”. “My filmmaking partners are awesome, and they’re the ones who really got me into storytelling. You don’t have to perform. Not all of the stories Stephanie and her team filmed and developed made it into the final cut, however, she does want them to see the light of day. While the story focuses on Armenians in the U.S., it also tells a more global story that is relatable to all immigrant communities who have faced trauma.
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