For Immediate Release
Friday, December 10, 2021
Media Contact: Vic Gerami
Entrepreneur Couple – Creators of BuyArmenian.com – Join
Washington D.C. Attorney & Genocide-Prevention Advocate as Newest Members of Motherland Production Team
Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian, Dr. Nishan Odabashian and Jacob Bournazian, Esq., member of the Knights of Vartan genocide-education and prevention organization, now on board with Motherland’s select group of filmmakers and human rights leaders that includes Mark Geragos and Sam Kbushyan
‘Because there’s painfully little coverage of last year’s events in Artsakh and the current situation facing the Armenian people, helping to produce a rare and globally important documentary film such as Motherland is more than a privilege—for myself and my husband, Nishan, it is a moral imperative.’
— Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian
LOS ANGELES—Three prominent leaders in the Armenian American community, Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian, Dr. Nishan Odabashian, and Attorney Jacob Bournazian, have teamed up with the acclaimed producers of Motherland, a much-anticipated, feature-length documentary film that’s expected to blow the lid off of Azerbaijan’s concerted campaign of violence, deception and burgeoning genocide against the Armenian civilians of Artsakh.
Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian and Dr. Nishan Odabashian, who in addition to their new roles as film producers, are founders of the popular marketplace, BuyArmenian.com, are supporting the production of filmmaker-journalist and Los Angeles-based national radio host, Vic Gerami’s penetrating investigation into the global community’s impotent response to war crimes being committed on a daily basis by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s military as enabled and augmented by a cadre of regional allies led by Turkish forces under the control of Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Attorney Jacob Bournazian will assume the role of contributing producer for the film. Mr. Bournazian’s work with Knights of Vartan as an indefatigable defender of human rights and communities under threat of genocide make him a uniquely qualified and energetic new member of the Motherland team.
“Motherland is now in post-production, and without giving away our story, I can confidently say this film is turning out to be a chilling, visual human drama that pierces an opaque and terrifying situation in Artsakh,” says director and executive producer, Vic Gerami.
“The additions of Lilit and Dr. Odabashian as executive producers plus Jacob Bournazian also joining our stellar group of film producers, I’m more confident than ever that we’ll be releasing an important work of documentary journalism that could change lives by helping to grow the number of ordinary people around the world who understand that genocide is happening today in Artsakh.”
Following Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s attack on the independent Republic of Artsakh during the COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of profoundly negative impacts to the economies of Artsakh and Armenia, the Odabashians set out to help their motherland by creating an online marketplace for goods made in Armenia. Among the unique, quality-made wares available at the couple’s buyarmenian.com marketplace are gorgeous Armenian-made wearable fashions, striking works of art, irresistible and authentic Armenian foods, home goods, and much more. The couple’s primary aim is to help improve the local economy by opening new markets for Armenian products—while also creating jobs in Armenia and enriching economic activity in importing countries, such as the U.S.
“At the same time, we’re giving the world a taste of authentic Armenian culture,” says Dr. Odabashian. “The result is a vast and comprehensive online department store which has over one-thousand Armenian vendors and close to ten-thousand unique products from various industries. When my wife and business partner, Lilit and I learned that, in a similar spirit to what prompted us to establish buyarmenian.com, there was a film project underway to help shine a light on and to alleviate the existential challenges facing Armenian families in Artsakh and Armenia, we knew we wanted to be a part of Motherland, the film.”
Lilit Odabashian added that it’s “important and noteworthy” that Motherland has the support of many prominent elected officials, dignitaries, and organizations in the U.S. and beyond.
The couple explains that far from being a hard decision to make, joining the team producing a film to which none other than the city of Los Angeles has seen fit to grant support felt intuitively right. Likewise, multiple leading members of Congress have granted interviews that will feature prominently in Motherland.
Lilit and Dr. Nishan Odabashian say they’re privileged and blessed to have the opportunity and resources to be part of making this important film.
According to Motherland’s producers, front-and-center and even more compellingly than the film’s list of high-profile supporters, participants and willing interviewees – among them Congressman Adam Schiff (D–California) and Sen. Bob Mendez (D–New Jersey) – the real attraction that draws to it passionate support is the desperate need for sunlight to reveal the scale and the savagery of murders being committed in Artsakh by oil- and gas-wealthy Azerbaijan, as well as ever-present Turkey and both countries' regional and strategic allies.
Lilit and Dr. Odabashian share positive feelings about doing their part to help the current situation in Artsakh. Newly minted Motherland contributing producer, Jacob Bournazian, is similarly enthused about the cinematic human rights effort.
“This film contributes to America’s awareness of the ongoing genocidal government actions by Turkey and Azerbaijan in their October, 2020 war against the Armenians in Artsakh,” Bournazian says. “The facts need to be reported to the American public and this film provides the facts Americans need to know.
Motherland, he says, will turn on floodlights to reveal a terrifying new technological innovation for those who see genocide as a legitimate foreign policy.
“For the first time in human history we saw the massacre of humans by machines. Genocide by machines, if left unchecked, is a growing threat facing humanity today. We need to break the silence and cover-up of Azerbaijan’s October 2020 war against Artsakh if we hope to end the crime of genocide in the 21st century. We are fortunate to have a courageous and dedicated film producer like Vic Gerami to document these war crimes so that Americans know what has already happened and speak out to end the ongoing genocide against the indigenous population in Artsakh.”
A Southern California ‘Who’s Who’ List of Filmmakers Goes National with New Producers
Adding national visibility, genocide education and prevention champion, Jacob Bournazian, an attorney in Washington D.C. along with the entrepreneurial Odabashians are now in league with renowned criminal-defense attorney, Mark Geragos and California State Commissioner Sam Kbushyan as Motherland producers.
Previously, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who secured a symbolically important grant from the City of Los Angeles for the film, congratulated Gerami, Geragos, and Motherland’s entire production team on recruiting Commissioner Kbushyan.
“With the addition of Sam, this team continues to impress,’ said Councilman O'Farrell. ‘This film will help give much-needed attention to the injustices in Artsakh.”
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.
‘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 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.’
Vic Gerami is available for interviews. You can contact him at 310.880.8563 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian
Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian was born in Aleppo, Syria. She immigrated to Los Angeles in 2002 before the war in Syria broke out. Her background is in computers and online network marketing. She started a Facebook group called Buy Armenian, which later developed an online marketplace. In less than a year, the marketplace has grown to showcase more than a 1000 local small and medium sized vendors in Armenia and the diaspora. On can find over 8000 unique items and number keeps growing. This past month, Lilit was recognized as Ambassador for Armenian Women Entrepreneurs along with select others from among more than a 100 highly qualified women entrepreneurs from around the world. More Recently, the Buy Armenian model was chosen to be presented at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe as a platform model to help small and medium sized businesses around the world. She is married to Nishan Odabashian and has three children, Galia, Serge and Noah. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her family.
About Dr. Nishan Odabashian
Dr. Nishan Odabashian was born in Damascus, Syria. He immigrated to the US in 1977. He did his undergraduate training at UCLA, received his DMD degree from Tufts University and an MS degree in endodontics from Loma Linda University. Dr. Odabashian lectures locally, nationally and internationally in his field of specialty in Endodontics. During the 44 day war, his wife Lilit asked him to join her to manage the fast growing Facebook group Buy Armenian. Dr. Odabashian soon found himself spending as much time advancing and developing Buy Armenian with his wife Lilit as he was in practicing endodontics. Nishan enjoys playing bridge and watching his son Serge play goalkeeper for Glendale FC. He loves spending time with his family and friends.
The most recent war in Artsakh inspired and prompted our founders Lilit and Nishan Odabashian to create the Facebook page BUY ARMENIAN which propelled into a strong community of 40k members within a short period of time. Subsequently, that very same page inspired this online marketplace. The notion of helping and supporting our motherland, Armenia, in any way possible is not something new for the Odabashian couple. However, it became a priority agenda when they grasped the dire current economic situation in Armenia due to the war and the Covid pandemic. They focused all their time, energy and resources in creating the project and making it into a reality. It may have been the unfortunate war that started this venture, but the Odabashians, along with their Buy Armenian Marketplace team, firmly believe that it is an absolute necessity for the diaspora and the motherland to work hand in hand to secure the survival and prosperity of Armenia.
About Jacob Bournazian
Jacob Bournazian – Attorney and human rights activist in Washington D.C. He is known for his civic participation on genocide education and civil rights issues in the District of Columbia. Jake wrote the 2019 resolution passed by the city council that recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915. He organized the Community United For Education and Equality concert at Freedom Plaza in Washington DC in June, 2019 which featured hip hop singers that performed music focusing on issues of social equality and racism in America. Jake has over 35 years of experience as a civil litigation attorney and is licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. He is admitted to practice in several federal courts including the Supreme Court. His litigation practice involves civil rights and Freedom of Information Act requests. He is a strong advocate and member of United Nations Association of the USA, Human Rights Watch, and Native American Legal Defense Fund. He has sponsored several economic development projects over the past three years in the border regions of the Martuni province of Artsakh and led several re-construction projects this year after the war in Artsakh.
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.