Women of 1915

Posted on 25/09/2014

An Overview

The approaching 100th anniversary of W.W.I and the Armenian Genocide of 1915, offers an ample opportunity to celebrate the contributions of the Armenian women while recognizing the humanitarian assistance extended by American and European women activists who flocked to war-ravaged Ottoman Empire to empower the surviving women to become the pillars of war-torn, post-Genocide societies.

Although countless film projects have explored the topic of the Armenian Genocide none have primarily focused on unveiling the role of the Armenian women of the era. Women of 1915 will be the first such documentary to highlight the integral role the Armenian women played in their respective communities and the heroism of humanitarian activists who came to their aid and even died for their cause.

Women of 1915 documentary will shed light on the plight of the women surviving through the horrors of a Genocide, war, religious and cultural discriminations, physical and moral abuse. It will honor and rejoice the rise of these survivors as phoenix inspiring and galvanizing future generations of women worldwide. It will furthermore, highlight the integral role of the women survivors of war and the heroic endeavors during the darkest era of our history’s first ethnic cleansing campaign. Immortalizing the women through their stories of struggle, anguish and triumph will hopefully offer a beacon of hope to inspire women caught in modern-day, war-torn countries struggling through similar atrocities.

Production Notes

Women of 1915 – in HDTV – will be scored with custom soundtrack and narrated. The one-hour documentary will be filmed and edited in 1080P. The graphic motion designs will depict distinguishably Armenian colors and aesthetic emotions created in 3D using digital virtual cameras.

The documentary will weave historic images with interviews with today’s top public officials, WWI experts and scholars, and family members of such notable women as:

  • Karen Yeppe – Danish humanitarian, instrumental in saving thousands of enslaved Armenian women from forced Turkification.
  • Zabel Yessayan – political activist, writer and poet, blacklisted by the Ottomans, miraculously spared from execution only to land at a Siberian concentration camp. She was the first Armenian woman to deliver speeches calling for humanitarian intervention, galvanizing worldwide support for Armenia.
  • Clara Barton – American Red Cross founder whose fundraising efforts internationalized the plight of the Armenians, following the Genocide.
  • Today’s “hidden Armenians” living in Turkey and influential Turkish women revealing their Armenian roots — and other women who devoted a lifetime, and some even gave their lives, to the advancement of their fellow women.

Target Audience

The target audience for the Women of 1915 documentary is the global community of women as well as W.W.I and women’s studies scholars. Additionally, the subject matter should be of interest and inspiration for women currently living in oppressed, war-torn countries, and researchers and scholars examining the intense psychological impact of war and atrocities of systematic and annihilation and the stages of survival and renewal.

The documentary is an ideal educational tool for schools and higher education institutions on the value of humanitarian aid (both in monetary and physical/personnel) in shaping and expediting the recovery stages and survival of a nation or peoples beyond tragic and catastrophic experiences. It’s a study on rebuilding of a nation from the ashes of near-annihilation, and the power of women in reinstating a post-war/Genocide society to thrive and sustain existence.

In addition to exploring the plight of the Armenian women of the era, Women of 1915 will celebrate the lost and vanished ancient Armenian cultural traditions through music, dance, literature and other venues instrumental in shaping the core essence of the Armenian identity.

Award-Winning Production Team

The production of Women of 1915 will be spearheaded by Bared Maronian and the Armenoid Team. A four time regional Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Maronian’s credits include a number of national PBS documentaries, concerts and shows including:

Women of 1915 will follow Maronian’s recently completed award-winning Orphans of the Genocide documentary which in the past year has been screened worldwide in a number of prestigious national and international film festivals, as well as in such venues as U.S. PBS stations, universities (NYU, Berkeley, National University of Cordoba, Argentina), community centers throughout Canada, US, and the Middle East gaining such prestigious awards as:

  • Nominated: regional EMMY Award by National Academy of Arts and Sciences Suncoast Chapter.
  • Audience Choice Award – 2013 POM Film Festival -Toronto Canada.
  • Selected for screening as part of:
    • Unspoken Human Rights Film Festival
    • Socially Rated Film Festival
    • 2014 Cannes Film Festival – documentary division
    • Apricot Film Festival
    • Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights (FIFDH) as part of their 2015 lineup of films.

Previous productions by the Armenoid Team, screened in numerous film festivals and competitions, have garnered such national and international accolades for:

  • Komitas Hayrig — 18 minute documentary selected by ARPA Film Festival of Hollywood, California.
  • Wall of The Genocide – winner, Telly Award, in Historical Communicator category – screened in the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival and ARPA Film Festival, Hollywood, CA.