For Immediate Release
Monday, August 15, 2022
‘MOTHERLAND,’ The Film That HuffPost’s Thom Senzee Called ‘Most Anticipated Documentary Of 2022,’ Gets A Congressional Screening, Presented By The Knights Of Vartan
The Cast of ‘Motherland’ includes seven (7) leading members of Congress, which makes this a unique film and the screening in the nation’s capital a vital milestone
WASHINGTON— ‘Motherland’ documentary feature film is set for a special Congressional screening and includes seven (7) leading members of Congress. The event is on Thursday, September 15, at the Alexandria History Museum at the Lyceum. The doors open at 6:00 p.m., the screening starts at 7:00 p.m., and there will be a Q&A with the filmmaker at 9:00 p.m.
Knights of Vartan, one of the leading and most respected Armenian-American advocacy organizations, will host the evening for members of Congress, dignitaries, and other stakeholders.
Knights and Daughters of Vartan have a legacy of service and advocacy going back to 1916. They are involved in numerous programs for the Armenian community at local, national, and international levels, including building and school renovations in Armenia and The Diaspora for Frontline Family Fund (DFFF) through CASP. The DFFF is committed to providing ongoing financial assistance to the children of soldiers whose lives were lost defending Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh).
Since 2019, Jake Bournazian from Ani Lodge in Washington DC, provided funding to support the Martuni Vocational School in Artsakh. In 2021, Bournazian launched a new economic initiative in the Martuni province of the Republic of Artsakh for economic re-development in the remaining villages along the new border with the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Director Vic Gerami’s feature-length documentary film blows the lid off Azerbaijan’s concerted campaign of violence, deception, and burgeoning genocide against the Armenian civilians of Artsakh.
Following the premiere of ‘Motherland’ on July 7, at the Raleigh Studios Hollywood, Glendale Mayor Ardy Kassakhian championed a special Motherland screening in Glendale, with Senator Anthony Portantino and Assemblymember Laura Friedman as co-sponsors of the one-night-only event on August 4.
‘Motherland’ has been a darling of film festivals around the globe, chosen as an ‘Official Selection’ at the Cannes World Film Festival, International Activism Film Festival, and the Docs Without Borders International Film Festival. It has also won Best International Documentary and Best First Time Feature Filmmaker awards from the Toronto Independent Film Festival.
View’ Motherland’s’ trailer.
The film’s cast includes Congressman Adam Schiff (D–CA), Sen. Bob Mendez (D–NJ), Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA), Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Baroness Caroline Cox, among others.
Produced and directed by Los Angeles-based Armenian American journalist and activist Vic Gerami, ‘Motherland’ is a new feature-length documentary film about the genocidal assault and the violent ethnic cleansing unleashed on September 27, 2020, by Azerbaijan and Turkey on the Republic of Artsakh. The 120-minute documentary film focuses unwavering attention on the coordinated, systematic, and wholly unprovoked genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing against the Armenians of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
‘I’m thrilled to have members of Congress watch ‘Motherland,’ as many of them have been advocating for the Armenians of Artsakh,’ said Gerami. He added, ‘I am also honored and humbled that Knights of Vartan, an organization I’ve admire, is hosting the screening.’
‘Motherland exposes the unprovoked genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing that nations of Azerbaijan and Turkey unleashed on the independent Republic of Artsakh in 2020 and massacred more than 5,000 indigenous Armenians while world leaders watched in deafening silence,’ said Vic Gerami. He added, ‘This largely ignored crime against humanity against Russia’s neighbor was partly Putin’s dry-run and a precursor to his brutal invasion of Ukraine.’
‘Today we are witnessing Azerbaijan commit a genocide against the Armenians in Artsakh and once again the first genocide in the 21st century starts with an Armenian Genocide,’ said Bournazian. He continued, ‘Azerbaijan is following a deliberate plan to physically destroy in whole or in part the Armenians remaining in Artsakh by imposing cruel and inhuman living conditions. This is a calculated government plan to bring about the gradual and steady destruction of the indigenous Armenian population. No person should be subjected to sniper shooting, torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and no one should arbitrarily be deprived of their nationality.’
Watch the film’s trailer, visit the film’s website and IMDB page, and download the complete Press Kit. Vic Gerami is available for interviews. You can contact him at 310.880.8563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
High-resolution photos and headshots can be found here.
Produced and directed by Los Angeles-based Armenian American journalist and activist Vic Gerami, ‘Motherland’ is a new documentary feature-length film about the genocidal assault and the violent ethnic cleansing that was unleashed on September 27, 2020, by Azerbaijan and Turkey. The 120-minute documentary film focuses unwavering attention on the coordinated, systematic, and wholly unprovoked genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing against the Armenians of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
“We are racing against time to bring much-needed attention to this humanitarian catastrophe and its imminent threat to millions of innocent people,” says Gerami.
“Armenia and Artsakh have a combined population of about three million, but Azerbaijan and Turkey have ninety million,” he continues. “It’s a genuine David versus Goliath nightmare.”
21st Century Armenian Genocide in the Making
“We are trying to prevent another Armenian Genocide,” Gerami explains.
It took 106 years before the United States formally recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915, which was committed by Ottoman Turks.
On April 24, 2021, President Joe Biden became the first US president to recognize the Armenian genocide officially — and to recommit America to its promise to prevent such an atrocity against humanity from ever occurring again.
Yet tragically, history is repeating itself. As we’ve witnessed recently in Artsakh, Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s ongoing genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing against Armenians are unrelenting.
Motherland tells the story of this ongoing and tragic chapter of human history as it was recently witnessed in Armenia and surrounding areas when Producer-Director Vic Gerami and his film crew capped a yearlong reporting and advocacy project by taking cameras on riveting location shoots near the scenes of what many are calling war crimes.
New Chapter in Regional Warfare
Azerbaijan, with declared assistance from Turkey, has launched a large-scale offensive against Artsakh. Employing thousands of Turkish-paid jihadist mercenaries airlifted from terrorist camps in Syria, Libya, and Pakistan, Azerbaijan’s war effort has been empowered by Erdogan to magnify the violence already being perpetrated by the Azerbaijani Army against innocent children, women, and men who, previously, had lived peacefully for generations in Artsakh.
The 2020 invasion opened a new chapter in the history of regional warfare. The travesty has been marked by unmatched suffering anywhere on the planet today, which Artsakh’s civilian population currently endures on a daily basis. For 44 days, the world stood by, largely in silence, as more than 4,000 Armenians were massacred.
Motherland, currently entering post-production, has received broad support from some of America’s leading elected officials, including influential United States Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ). A part of Sen. Menendez’s interview with Gerami is featured in the Motherland’s “sizzle,” also known as a preview trailer.
In that segment of the film, Sen. Menendez tells Gerami, “The [Trump] Administration turned a blind eye to what was happening.”
Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) granted Gerami an on-camera interview for the film. A part of Rep. Schiff’s interview is featured in the sizzle. In it, he explains, “Turkey’s role in importing mercenaries from Syria, and terrorists to join the mayhem demonstrate how Turkey’s actions are incompatible with being a NATO ally.”
About Knights of Vartan
The Knights of Vartan (Vartanantz Asbedner) is an Armenian fraternal service organization established by twelve visionary men to encourage its members to assume leadership roles in cultural, educational, religious, and charitable organizations and activities on the local, national and international level for the betterment of the Armenian nation worldwide.
On May 27, 1916, a small group of Armenian community leaders in the United States knelt at an altar in a room at Bingham House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and took the solemn oath of the Knights of Vartan, thus officially establishing the Brotherhood. The founding fathers included a bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church (later Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia), five ministers of the Armenian Protestant Church, three professors, and three lay leaders of the Armenian community in America.
Today there are 24 chapters of the Knights of Vartan and 23 chapters of the Daughters of Vartan throughout the United States.
The Knights of Vartan, Inc. was founded during the Armenian genocide and massacre of the religious and intellectual leaders of the Armenian people. After appeals to prominent political personalities in the United States, Germany and Russia, the realization dawned on the Founders that Armenians in America, and worldwide, not only lacked political and financial influence with the Great Powers (including the U.S.) to obtain political independence one day in historic Armenia, but in fact, were facing cultural and physical annihilation there. The primary aims of the organization were: to champion the Armenian cause, to alleviate the suffering of the Armenian people, to ensure the safety of displaced Armenians by interceding with the leaders of the Christian world, and to train leaders to serve the religious, cultural, educational, and charitable needs of the Armenian people.
The Knights of Vartan is an international fraternal leadership and service organization of Armenian men dedicated to safeguarding and perpetuating the Armenian heritage and cultural traditions. Its membership represents the spectrum of the Armenian community.
It accomplishes its mission by (1) providing significant support to the Armenian community through national and international projects, as well as local lodge activities; (2) individual Knights assuming leadership roles in other Armenian organizations; and (3) brothers mentoring and networking with one another to strengthen the Armenian community.
About Vic Gerami
Vic Gerami is an award-winning journalist, columnist, media commentator, and the host of his prime-time headline news + politics radio program THE BLUNT POST with VIC (TBPV) on Independent + Progressive Radio KPFK 90.7 FM (Pacifica Network). Vic is also the editor + publisher of The Blunt Post.
Today reaching national and international audiences, Gerami first built a foundation of knowledge and skills by learning about the media industry during his years at Frontiers Magazine, followed by positions at LA Weekly and Voice Media Group.
Gerami’s radio program, TBPV covers national, regional, and local headline news, politics, and current events, and Gerami offers analysis and commentary. He also interviews a high-profile member of Congress or other high-profile public figures on each show. His recent guests include Congressman Adam Schiff, Senator Bob Menendez, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Governor Howard Dean, Congresswoman Katie Porter, Congressman Brad Sherman, Congressman Mike Levin, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congresswoman Judy Chu, LA District Attorney George Gascon, among many others. You can listen to all the interviews here.
Gerami is also a contributor to some of the most prominent publications in the nation, including Windy City Times, Bay Area Reporter, Armenian Mirror-Spectator, The Advocate, The Immigrant Magazine, GoWeHo, Destination Luxury, OUT Traveler, The Fight, and among others.
Gerami founded the Truth And Accountability League (TAAL), a 501©3 non-profit organization that advocates for Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Armenia. TAAL monitors & addresses Armenophobia, extremism & bigotry around the globe on the level of media, including social media, public policy, academia, and intelligentsia.
The Wall Street Journal featured Gerami as a “leading gay activist” in its landmark 2008 coverage of opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that for years denied same-sex couples in California the freedom to marry. In addition to his years of volunteer work as a leading advocate for marriage equality, Gerami served as a Planning Committee member for the historic Resist March in 2017.
In 2015, Gerami was referenced in the landmark Supreme Court civil rights case, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Please click here for more information about Vic Gerami.