For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Media Contact: Vic Gerami
Armenian American Community Leaders, Dr. Armen Vartany and Oshin Harootoonian, are the Newest Members of Motherland Production Team
Dr. Armen Vartany M.D., FACS, and Oshin Harootoonian, CEO of Primex Clinical Laboratories, Inc., are now on board with Motherland's select group of filmmakers and human rights leaders that includes Mark Geragos, Sam Kbushyan, Dr. Nishan Odabashian, Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian, Judy Saryan, Jacob Bournazian, and John Dennem
LOS ANGELES—Two prominent leaders in the Armenian American community, Dr. Armen Vartany and Oshin Harootoonian, 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.
Dr. Armen Vartany, who, in addition to his new role as a development producer, is a board-certified plastic surgeon and the founder of the Plastic Surgery and Laser Center in Burbank, CA, is 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. '
The 44-day war was an attempt by a corrupt dictator to squash the desire of a people to live free from oppression, persecution, and ethnic cleansing,' says Dr. Vartany. 'A corrupt and wealthy dictator with the direct assistance of Turkey and tacit approval of Russia was intent on destroying the tiny self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh. The imbalance of power and injustice was overwhelming.'
Like many Armenians glued to the TV for news and advocating on social media, Dr. Vartany and his wife Alina mobilized during the 44-day attack. In addition to donating money to various humanitarian causes, they sponsored several refugee families who'd been left unhoused after Azerbaijan's invasion and occupation of Artsakh.
He added, 'This attack was waged against the Armenians when the world was preoccupied with a pandemic and the US presidential elections. The world must know about this grave injustice, and that's why my wife and I decided to join Vic Gerami and the team behind 'Motherland,' an important documentary film that will educate people who are still in the dark.'
Dr. Vartany shares positive feelings about doing his part to help the current situation in Artsakh. Newly minted Motherland associate producer, Oshin Harootoonian, is similarly enthused about the cinematic education effort.
Oshin Harootoonian, who is the CEO of Primex Clinical Laboratories, Inc., a leading clinical diagnostic testing services, will assume the role of associate producer for the film. Mr. Harootoonian's legacy of philanthropy and community service, especially his emphasis on education, makes him a uniquely qualified and energetic new member of the Motherland team.
"Motherland is in the last stages of post-production, and we can't wait for the world to see it. We are racing with time as Azerbaijan's campaign of ethnic cleansing Armenians from their ancestral Motherland continues. With daily indiscriminate shelling of Armenian villages, depriving water supplies, and cutting off gas (heat) and power (electricity) to Artsakh's 110,000 population, Aliyev's brutal regime is determined to kill or drive out Artsakh's Armenian population,' says the director and producer, Vic Gerami.
'I'm excited for Dr. Armen Vartany and Oshin Harootoonian joining our team. The involvement of two more changemakers makes Motherland even more meaningful and impactful.'
According to Motherland's producers, front-and-center and even more compelling than the film's list of high-profile supporters, participants, and willing interviewees – among them Congressman Adam Schiff (D–California), Sen. Bob Mendez (D–New Jersey), and Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (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.
'Education can play a key role in preventing genocide by providing a forum to address past violence while promoting the knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes that can help prevent current group-targeted violence,' said Harootoonian.
He added, 'Motherland' challenges stakeholders to learn the facts, probe disinformation and propaganda, become responsible and active global citizens who value human dignity and respect for all, reject Armenophobia, racism, and other forms of prejudice that can lead to violence and genocide.'
'The importance of teaching about this most recent chapter in Azerbaijan and Turkey's ongoing massacres and campaigns to ethnically cleanse Armenians from the historic homeland of millennia is crucial in preventing another genocide. Education is a means to raise awareness about the causes, dynamics, and consequences of atrocity crimes,' continued Harootoonian.
A Southern California 'Who's Who' List of Filmmakers Goes National with New Producers
Adding national visibility, Dr. Armen Vartany and Oshin Harootoonian are now in league with the renowned criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos, California State Commissioner Sam Kbushyan, Dr. Nishan Odabashian, Lilit Dolkarian Odabashian, Judy Saryan, Jacob Bournazian, and Professor John Dennem 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 feature-length documentary film about the genocidal assault and the violent ethnic cleansing that was unleashed on 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 from 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 Dr. Armen Vartany, M.D., FACS
During a career spanning nearly 25 years, Dr. Armen Vartany has established a reputation for both his expertise and compassion as a plastic surgeon. Serving patients from Glendale, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, and throughout the Los Angeles area, Dr. Vartany specializes in facial rejuvenation and body sculpting procedures. The double board-certified plastic surgeon is highly regarded internationally as a rhinoplasty expert.
Education & Training Dr. Vartany grew up in Boston, MA, and earned his undergraduate and medical degrees from Tufts University in his hometown. He then traveled across the country to complete 5 years of general surgery training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, CA. He trained exclusively in plastic and reconstructive plastic surgery at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center before spending an additional year at the University of California, San Francisco, training in Hand and Microvascular Surgery. The delicate surgical skill required for this work further enhanced his technique in all areas of plastic surgery, especially rhinoplasty procedures.
Professional Distinctions Dr. Vartany is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only plastic surgery board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, and the American Board of Surgery. Additionally, he's a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
Throughout his career, Dr. Vartany has remained dedicated to offering patients the most advanced techniques and technology available in the aesthetics field. He has authored several scientific papers and regularly attends professional conferences, where surgical advances are discussed and demonstrated.
Dr. Vartany opened a state-of-the-art surgery center in 2013, where he performs outpatient cosmetic surgery procedures supported by his carefully selected anesthesiologists and nurses. He also is a member of the medical staff at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Burbank.
About Oshin Harootoonian
Oshin Harootoonian is the founder and CEO of Primex Clinical Laboratories, Inc., a clinical diagnostic laboratory based in Van Nuys. Since its founding in 1996, Primex has grown from a small business of five employees into a global company with over 200 employees.
Before founding Primex, Harootoonian worked for the City of Beverly Hills as a Senior Plan Review Engineer. Prior to this, he served as a Plan Check Engineer for the City of Los Angeles, where he was responsible for issuing permits for construction projects and reviewed all building plans for structural safety and compliance with city zoning requirements. He helped establish the West Valley Permit Office during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake to accommodate the reconstruction permit needs of residents.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Oshin Harootoonian to serve on the North Valley Area Planning Commission.
'An engineer and Valley entrepreneur, Oshin brings years of management experience and a wealth of knowledge on construction projects within the City,’ Mayor Villaraigosa said. 'His strong business acumen and technical expertise will be important assets to the North Valley Area Planning Commission.'
Harootoonian maintains strong ties with the Armenian community. He has served on the board of several community organizations.
Harootoonian is a Registered and Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of California. He received a B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from the University of Southern California.
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.