The Zoryan Institute, in Partnership with Bars Media, Announces Toronto Community Screening of Award-Winning Film, Aurora’s Sunrise
Aurora’s Sunrise tells the brave story of survival of a 14-year-old girl who lost everything during the Armenian Genocide. Her family was murdered before her eyes, she was sold into sexual slavery and harems, and yet she always managed to escape, survive, and maintain her humanity by telling her story to the world.
This film seamlessly blends footage from the Zoryan Institute’s original 1984 interview of Aurora Mardiganian with the brilliant animation of Bars Media and their German and Lithuanian co-producers, along with scenes from the 1919 silent film “Auction of Souls”, the very first film on genocide in Hollywood starring Aurora Mardiganian as herself.
The Zoryan Institute signed a partnership agreement with Bars Media in 2015 to bring Zoryan Institute’s oral history testimonies to life on the big screen through animation, to relay stories of genocide survivors to younger generations, and more importantly to help empower young women and girls around the world to follow in Aurora’s footsteps and represent their own communities in the face of persecution, violence and trauma.
Aurora’s Sunrise was made possible with the academic contribution of the Zoryan Institute Armenia and is based on its oral history archives. The film is directed by Inna Sahakyan, who was skillfully able to fuse together this emotional, historical, educational and creative work of art. The film is produced by Bars Media, Gebrueder Beetz Film produktion & Artbox Laisvalaikio Klubas, with the financial partnership of Eurimages, the Zoryan Institute Armenia & the National Cinema Center of Armenia, and with the contributions of the Lithuanian Film Center, ZDF/ARTE, Public TV Armenia, and LRT.
Since entering the international film festival circuit in June 2022, Aurora Sunrise has been selected as the Armenian submission for the 2023 Oscars and has premiered at 20 different internationally renowned festivals around the world, with more to come. It has won nearly a dozen awards, including perhaps the most notable recognition, the Grand Prize at the International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) of Switzerland. The film is also highly ranked by some of the most influential film critics around the world, and has been used by the Zoryan Institute as an educational tool across Canada and the United States.
To purchase tickets for these screenings, please click on the button below:
Doors will open 30 mins prior to the screenings. Please see the Zoryan Institute ticket table upon arrival.
For more information about Aurora’s Sunrise and the Zoryan Institute’s Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection, please visit here. To make a donation towards digitizing, transcribing, and translating our Armenian Genocide Oral History Collection, please visit here.
Zoryan Institute, a non-profit organization, serves the cause of scholarship and public awareness relating to issues of universal human rights, genocide, and diaspora-homeland relations. This is done through the systematic continued efforts of scholars and specialists using a comparative and multidisciplinary approach and in accordance with the highest academic standards.