Council of Europe's Eurimages Fund will provide €140 000 to Aurora's Sunrise – a joint Armenian German documentary directed by Inna Sahakyan.
At its 154th meeting held in Bucharest, the Board of Management of Eurimages Fund agreed to support 15 fiction films, 2 documentaries and 1 animation project for a total amount of €4,397,000.
Aurora's Sunrise tells the story of Aurora Mardiganian - a best-selling author, a Hollywood sensation, a teenage survivor of Armenian genocide, the girl who brought her people’s tragedy to the world.
Born in the Turkish province of Tunceli, Aurora lost her family and her homeland as a teenage girl, when in 1915 the young Turkish regime began to get rid of “treacherous nationalities”. Millions of Christian Armenians were killed, among them Aurora’s father and brother in front of her eyes.
She herself was kidnapped by slave traders during the death march in the Syrian desert, then sold to a Turkish harem. Only her fighting spirit saved her from death. She escaped to St. Petersburg in Revolutionary Russia and immigrated to the United States later.
Aurora’s Sunrise will be composed of three different visual elements: documentary footage (interviews, archive material), animation and exclusive excerpts from Auction of Souls. The film is considered lost. Only several years ago, a 20-minute cut was discovered in an old Russian archive.
The film tells the story of a refugee, a survivor and an activist in Hollywood whose life ended in 1994 in Los Angeles where she is buried with dozens of others in a pauper’s grave. This work is the rediscovery of the patroness of the international Aurora Prize for outstanding humanitarian work, co-chaired by George Clooney, whose wife Amal Alamuddin represented Armenia to fight for the recognition of genocide at the European Court of Human Rights in 2015.