HOLLYWOOD–The Los Angeles premiere of the film ‘Ararat’ was held Tuesday night at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood with many of the film’s stars on hand to celebrate.
With hundreds of people streaming into the cinema–stars giving lengthy interviews and relentless reporters–there was an extraordinary force in the air. David Alpay–who plays 18 year-old Raffi in the film–summed it up well: "It dawned on me that we are going to be showing Ararat to a predominantly Armenian audience for the first time. The vibe is that much more intense and present; I can feel that–though it’s really hard to describe how it feels to be here… The people here are excited to see the movie; I’m excited for them to see the movie…"
Alpay is in his early twenties and is extremely articulate and charismatic. He’s a Human Biology and Zoology major at the University of Toronto who ‘just happened to stumble’ on the part of Raffi in ‘Ararat.’ Although ‘Ararat’ is his first film–his performance is captivating and sincere.
Also on hand was Producer Robert Lantos who Egoyan calls his "Angel." Lantos explained that on a plane trip back from his homeland Hungary–having just made a film about Hungarian Jews–he decided that it was time a film be made about the Armenian Genocide: "I put Atom in a position where I made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse. He was being honored one night in Toronto–and I was introducing him in front of 800 Armenia’s. Quite accidentally–by chance–I gave him no choice–by saying that when he was ready make a story of the events of 1915–the Armenia’s Genocide–I was ready to stand by his side; from that moment on–Ararat began…"
Being coaxed into the cinema by a Miramax representative–Egoyan–thoroughly out of energy from speaking to an endless line of reporters–nevertheless–apprehensively stopped (the movie was going to begin) to answer yet another question. Two seconds into his response–Egoyan suddenly became revitalized when answering whether Ararat will help Armenia’s to recognize who they are thus be able to better present the truth to the world? "I hope so. I think it can; I think it’s a part of a process. First of all Armenia’s have been waiting to see these images for so long… That’s what the movie is about; what happens next. When you have these images–what is the next step. . . It’s going to open doors. . ."
Earlier during a dialogue session–Egoyan had stated that the most important factor in any human being–is to know who they are. It is then that one can present themselves sincerely to the world. Egoyan explained that growing up–he did not live around Armenia’s; he did not grow up with a stream of emotions on Armenian issues. When he did decide to make the film–it was a straightforward approach for him. Nothing–he believed–could be overwhelming–too drenched by truth.
During that interview session–as well as earlier that morning during an interview with KROQ 106.7 FM–Serj Tankian of System of A Down accompanied Egoyan.
During the K-Rock interview–when the host of the show stated that the Genocide is just unbelievably far from we’re going through today–Tankian answered: "The truth of the matter is that a lot of things are going on today similar to that; the fact that he [Egoyan] created the setting [of Ararat] in. . . today’s setting is important–because the denial of the genocide is current… the genocide itself was 85 year ago–but the denial and the after affects of that and the pain that comes from that."
With these two artists on our side–the future of Armenian Genocide recognition has become brighter.