Celebrating Armenian Culture: "The River Ran Red" by J. Michael Hagopian + Short Films by Emerging Armenian Filmmakers

Wed, April 22, 2015 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all celebrating armenian cultures »)

Alwan for the Arts & 3rd i NY present

Film Screening Program

Documentary Feature
THE RIVER RAN RED by J. Michael Hagopian
Documentary | 2009 | United States | 60 mins

Short Films Program
(04:25)by Anahid Yahjian and Armen Harootun
(03:15) by Anahid Yahjian and Armen Harootun

Suggested Contribution:
$10 General Admission | $5 Students & Seniors

In commemoration of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, Alwan for the Arts and 3rd i NY present a special series showcasing the enduring arts and culture of the Armenians, who share a collective tragedy, and who have become an integral part and active voice in the tapestry of world cultures, specifically that of the Middle East and the Arab world, where distinct and complex Armenian communities have taken root and been nourished over the last century.


by J. Michael Hagopian

Winner of the Best International Historical Documentary of the New York International Film and Video Festival and Second Place (History and Biography) of the U.S. International Film and Video Festival

Part of The Witnesses Trilogy, a series of three films based on nearly 400 professionally filmed interviews taken since 1967, The River Ran Red depicts the search for survivors of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 through the testimony of 30 eyewitnesses. Drawing from the rich texture of these intimate interviews, the film is the crown jewel of the trilogy and is a heart-rendering saga of a people in a long forced journey towards extermination, with the causes of the genocide discussed in the context of Armenian and Turkish history.

From the deportation orders of Armenians, reports by American missionaries and consuls, the treatment of orphaned children and their exile in the desert, forced conversions to Islam, loss of identity and secret telegrams, the viewer is taken from the waters of the legendary Euphrates River to the burning deserts of Syria, the final resting place of the 1,500,000 Armenians who perished.

Official Trailer

About J. Michael Hagopian

In summer of 1915, when the Turkish soldiers rampaged through the town of Kharbert, Michael J. Hagopian's mother hid her baby in a mulberry bush and prayed to God that the Turkish soldiers would not find him. Mother and baby survived, and eventually made it to Fresno, California. Hagopian received an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and after receiving a doctorate in international relations from Harvard University, he went into cinema and founded the Atlantis Films Company, which produced over fifty documentary films on ethnic minorities and foreign lands. He won critical acclaim, including two Emmys for the writing and production of The Forgotten Genocide, the first full-length feature on the Armenian Genocide, that encompassed nearly 400 witness interviews and twenty years of research. In 1979, Hagopian founded the non-profit Armenian Film Foundation dedicated to preserving the visual and personal histories of the witnesses to the first genocide of the 20th century.


Short Film
by Anahid Yahjian and Armen Harootun

As the sun sets, a beastly figure unravels in the highlands. Shot in Shadow Hills, California.This dance was originally performed as part of DEAR ARMEN, an audience-interactive theater experience based on the memoirs of early-20th century Armenian performer and poet, Armen Ohanian.

Short Film
by Anahid Yahjian and Armen Harootun

Set to the original manuscript of Sylvia Plath’s poem of the same name, The Jailor was spontaneously shot over the course of three days as childhood friends Armen Harootun and Anahid Yahjian drove out from their native Los Angeles up the California coast toward San Francisco. With nothing but two cameras, a trunk full of various fabrics and objects, and Plath’s words to guide them, the filmmakers relied on serendipitous shifts in light, weather, environment and their own moods to build an abstract visual narrative about an empathic prisoner and her captor’s ego. No location scouting was done—everything and anything that came across their path is fair game to be filmed.

Writer and filmmaker Anahid Yahjian was born in Bulgaria and raised in Los Angeles. Since graduating with honors from Occidental College with a degree in comparative literature and film studies, she has split her time between Yerevan, Sofia, Los Angeles, and New York City. She served as crowdfunding platform ONEArmenia's media and content manager and creative director from 2012-2014. Her work has been published, screened, and awarded internationally and watched virally online.

Armen Harootun is a director and editor based in Los Angeles. Since graduating from the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, he has been traveling the globe as a tour videographer for major recording artists and as an editor for art films in the fashion, entertainment, commercial and art worlds.


About 3rd i NY

3rd I New York’s
monthly film/video/media salon is designed by local filmmakers and cultural producers to showcase the works of independent media makers of South Asian, Central Asian, and Arab descent. Providing alternative forums for these filmmakers who often have few venues to showcase their work and whose cultures and histories are often demonized or misrepresented in mainstream media, not only increases their visibility, but also provides a social forum for peers and audiences to participate in an ongoing discussion.

3rdi NY Film Programming is made possible in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts, and the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, both in partnership with the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Alwan for the Arts hosts our monthly screenings series. We are thankful to the SINGH Foundation for acting as our fiscal sponsor.


Alwan's programs are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council of the Arts (NYSCA) and New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in Partnership with the City Council.

Last updated: 2015-04-13 06:18:20

This event was made possible with the support of the AGBU Performing Arts Department
This event was made possible with the support of the AGBU Performing Arts Department

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