For Immediate Release
Friday, September 24, 2021
Media Contact: Vic Gerami
Famed Criminal-Defense Attorney, Mark Geragos Named ‘Motherland’ Executive Producer
Documentary Feature in Post Production Highlights Snowballing Potential for 2nd Armenian Genocide—Opportunity for Public to Support Landmark Human Rights Film Project
Film aims to build life-saving awareness about civilians under military attack in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh)
“I’ve spent my life facing down Goliaths and governments to protect individuals’ basic rights. Executive producing ‘Motherland’ is the latest adventure in that effort. ”— Mark Geragos
LOS ANGELES—Legendary criminal-defense attorney and leading Armenian American, Mark Geragos has agreed to accept an appointment as executive producer of Vic Gerami’s ‘Motherland.’
“It’s an honor to be part of the team making Motherland a reality,” Geragos said shortly after accepting his appointment. Geragos added that he sees his role as an opportunity to break through the sheer volume of stories competing for public attention these days.
“The current media cycle ranges, day-to-day, from stories of insurrection to the recent chaotic evacuations out of Afghanistan and everything in between,” said, Geragos, the man sometimes called, “America’s defense attorney.”
“You can’t blame people for being totally unaware of the deadly crisis that has innocent girls, boys, women and men being brutally murdered in Artsakh, also called ‘Nagorno-Karabakh,” he added. “But we also can’t let that lack of awareness continue.”
Geragos’ addition to ‘Motherland’ follows the recent securing of a generous and symbolically important City of Los Angeles arts grant.
“I could not be more humbled, nor more grateful that America’s best-known and most effective advocate for the wrongfully prosecuted and politically persecuted has agreed to join the team producing the feature-length documentary film penetrating the crimes now being committed by Turkey and Azerbaijan against Armenians of Artsakh,” Gerami said. “
“We could not ask for a better executive producer,” he continued.
Geragos is famous around the world for prevailing in “un-winnable” cases. He represents countless clients whose household names and “A-list” celebrity status carry as much potential to convict as to exonerate. Geragos’s decades of experience standing up for the underdog make his role executive producing ‘Motherland’ familiar territory.
“Standing up to bullies and finding allies along the way has been a big part of ‘Motherland’s’ development and production,” Gerami said. “Doing likewise is exactly what Mark Geragos and his associates at Geragos & Geragos, Mark’s law firm in Los Angeles, do each and every day,”
Geragos was one of the lead lawyers in two groundbreaking federal class action lawsuits against New York Life Insurance Co. and AXA, for insurance policies issued in the early 20th century during the time of the Armenian Genocide, which saw the inhuman slaughter of more than 1.5 million Armenians. The two cases his firm argued settled for over $37.5 million, in 2004 and 2005.
A short list naming just a few of Geragos’s myriad superstar and famous clients includes Michael Jackson, Winona Ryder, Gary Condit, Susan McDougal, Scott Peterson, Scott Barney, and Jussie Smollett.
In his hit podcast, Reasonable Doubt, Geragos brings to the forefront significant details from past and present experiences as he examines the finer and larger points of current law and how those impact society and shape current events.
“The law is a window and vector into modern life,” Geragos says. “Societies built on law demand equal application of the laws that bind them. The law is a set of agreements we can think of as the foundations of civilization. When those foundations break, when bullies go unchecked, transgressions ranging from petty corruption to all-out genocide can result.”
L.A. City Council’s O’Farrell Secures Grant for ‘Motherland’
Joining Mark Geragos as a newly minted supporter of ‘Motherland’ is Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell.
O’Farrell recently spearheaded the Little Armenia Gateway Project. Currently under construction, the Gateway will establish a meaningful and substantive Armenian American cultural place marker that will be unmistakable to anyone entering Hollywood’s historically Armenian quarter.
The councilman’s advocacy for his district’s diverse 250,000-plus residents, including ethnic minorities like Hollywood’s Armenian American community, is well known. Securing a $2500 City of Los Angeles grant to assist with ‘Motherland’s’ post-production costs is just the latest example of his commitment to honoring and supporting his constituents.
“I’m gratified that we are able to join the dedicated members of the Armenian American community and other allies of human dignity to help this important film make it to the production finish line.”
The councilman expressed excitement when asked about his other most recent efforts to shine a light on communities of Armenian heritage.
“We are on track to create a cultural landmark that will serve as a point of pride for the Little Armenia community,” said O’Farrell. “I want to congratulate the talented artists who were chosen as finalists, as well as the Department of Cultural Affairs for collaborating with my office and the community on this project.”
The permanent gateway, designed by artists Gor Atanian and Armen Kazanchyan from Atanian Art Center, will serve to acknowledge the contributions of one of the largest Armenian populations in the entire country, and to celebrate the cultural heritage and diversity of the Armenian people in the City of Los Angeles.
Funding for the project is provided by the City of Los Angeles and the Arts Development Fee Trust Fund, which O’Farrell and his colleagues revived.
‘Motherland’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 September 27, 2020 by Azerbaijan and Turkey. The 90-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.
The release of a moving new preview trailer whose urgency is as palpable as the production’s just-launched Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and is inspiring people everywhere to help fund the film. Individual contributors are jumping in to help raise the remaining $50,000 needed to complete film’s post-production work—at the same time increasing worldwide awareness of families caught in the crosshairs of an unrelenting military onslaught.
“We are racing against time to bring much-needed attention to this humanitarian catastrophe and the imminent threat it poses to millions of innocent people,” says Gerami.
“Armenian and Artsakh people 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 ever occurring again.
Yet tragically, history is repeating itself. Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s ongoing genocidal attack and ethnic cleansing against Armenians, as we’ve witnessed recently in Artsakh, is 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 WarfareAzerbaijan, 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.”
Contributions will be used to edit the film and prepare it for wide-scale distribution.
“This a rare chance for individual people to make a real difference and to be a part of history,” Gerami says.
To contribute to Motherland’s Kickstarter campaign, please click here or visit, https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/motherland/motherland-1?ref=project_build. For more information, please visit the film’s website, MotherlandDoc.com. High-resolution photos and headshots can be found here.
Vic Gerami is available for interviews. You can contact him at 310.880.8563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mark Geragos
As the Principal with the internationally known trial lawyer firm of Geragos & Geragos, Mark Geragos cemented his national reputation as a trial lawyer a dozen years ago with back-to-back State and Federal Court jury trial acquittals for renowned Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, later securing a presidential pardon for Ms. McDougal for a conviction sustained prior to his representation of her.
During the last decade, Geragos has won two consecutive dismissals of murder charges against clients by proving flawed eyewitness identification. One of those clients later won a $1.7 million settlement when the Geragos firm sued the City of Glendale for their false arrest of that client. In another twelve-week murder trial where the victim was the defendant’s four-year-old daughter, Geragos was the lead lawyer where the jury did not convict his client. He was the attorney who successfully represented Chris Brown last year.
Geragos won dismissal of prostitution charges against James Bond movie director Lee Tamahori; dismissal of all felony charges – including kidnapping and torture – for Hung Bao Zhong, the recognized exiled leader of China’s shadow government with an estimated 38 million followers worldwide; dismissal of murder charges for the third time for a USC co-ed charged with murder in the death of her fetus; and dismissal of a decades-old murder charge against Japanese national Kazuyoshi Miura, a case christened the “Japanese O.J. Case” by Japanese media.
Geragos was one of the lead lawyers in a pair of groundbreaking Federal Class Action Lawsuits against New York Life Insurance and AXA Corporation for insurance policies issued in the early 20th century during the genocide of over 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turk Regime, eventually settling these two cases for more than $37.5 million. He is currently suing the Government of Turkey for reparations arising out of the Armenian Genocide.
Geragos is the only lawyer besides Johnnie Cochran ever named “Lawyer of the Year” in both Criminal and Civil arenas. California Law Business Magazine named Geragos “One of the 100 Most Influential Attorneys in California” three years in a row, and Geragos has repeatedly been voted by his peers as one of Los Angeles’ SuperLawyers. His $59 million jury verdict in a trade secrets case against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Corporation was voted both “Top Ten Verdicts in 2008 in California” by the Daily Journal, as well as “Top Fifty Verdicts in the United States” by the National Law Journal.
Mark Geragos has represented some of the most prominent figures in the world. His client list has included former Congressman Gary Condit, former first brother Roger Clinton, Academy Award-nominated actress Winona Ryder, pop star Michael Jackson, Nicole Ritchie, singer Chris Brown, hip hop stars Nathaniel “Nate Dogg” Hale and Sean “Diddy” Combs (aka Puff Daddy), international arms dealer Sarkis Soghanalian, and the Sarkisyan family, whose seventeen-year-old daughter died when Cigna Corporation refused to authorize a liver transplant. For the last several years, Geragos has represented Barry Bonds’ personal trainer, Greg Anderson, in his matter relating to the Federal Investigation into steroid use in professional sports.
Geragos has regularly appeared as both guest and legal commentator on the “Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Dateline NBC,” “Larry King Live,” “Greta Van Susteren’s On the Record,” “60 minutes,” and “48 hours,” and has lectured extensively and authored numerous articles and Law Review publications on the subject of Media and the Law.
Mark Geragos attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania as an undergraduate, and later earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. He was born in Los Angeles.
About Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell
The Councilmember's district is the most diverse in the city, including the neighborhoods Atwater Village, East Hollywood, Echo Park, Elysian Valley, Glassell Park, Historic Filipinotown, Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire/Koreatown, Rampart Village, and Silver Lake.
Mitch began his public service in 2002 under the leadership of then Councilmember Eric Garcetti. Mitch’s experience as a field deputy, district director, and senior advisor to the former City Council President have provided valuable insight on how to make government work better for people across the 13th District.
Mitch was elected to office on May 21, 2013 to succeed now Mayor Eric Garcetti as the Councilmember of the 13th district. The newly elected councilmember held a ceremonial swearing-in event at Marsh Street Park on Saturday June 29, 2013, and started his term on July 1.
Councilmember O’Farrell is Chair of the Energy, Climate Change, Environmental Justice and River Committee; Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics; and a committee member of the Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 Recovery and Neighborhood Investment; Immigrant, Civil Rights, and Equity; Public Works; and Board of Referred Powers.
As a member of the Wyandotte Nation Native American tribe, Mitch was sworn into office by Chief Billy Friend along the Los Angeles River on June 29th, 2013, and officially with the Mayor and his newly elected Council colleagues on June 30, 2013.
In addition to the rest of the 13th Council District, Mitch understands the importance of Hollywood, its history, and its brand as a unique one-of-a-kind destination place for the rest of the world. Mitch is working to enhance Hollywood’s reputation as a world class neighborhood to live, do business, and visit, as evidenced by his new HEART of Hollywood initiative. It is an economic driver for the rest of Los Angeles as the entertainment capital of the world and a worldwide destination for tourists.
Mitch and his partner, George Brauckman, live together in Glassell Park with their dog, Speedy. As an avid animal lover, Mitch has made animal welfare one of his priorities during his time in office. Leading the way on the Elephant bullhook ban, and the Coyote snare ban, are two of his proud accomplishments. He sponsors pet adoptions on a regular basis and has always fought for additional funding for spay and neuter programs. His great respect and passion for animals has always been a significant aspect of his life. Mitch strongly believes that the humane treatment of animals makes us better human beings.
As an openly gay councilmember, Mitch has established strong ties within the LGBT community, including the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Bienestar, Equality California, Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention and Treatment, and other advocacy organizations. It is of tremendous importance to Mitch that no one regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious belief be marginalized in any way. Mitch is determined to work with the organizations to provide services to those in the LGBT community, promote advocacy at the local and national level, and to pay tribute to the great and long history of the LGBT community in the 13th District. Mitch has steadily maintained the visibility of all our diverse communities and is working for a more inclusive Los Angeles.
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, international audiences, Gerami first built a foundation of knowledge and skills by learning 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, and Congresswoman Judy Chu, LA District Attorney George Gascon, among many others. You can listen to all the interviews here.
Gerami is also a contributor for 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.