Last week UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) hosted the launch of Creative Armenia, a non-profit cultural organisation born of the Armenian community's increasing interest in championing human rights through entertainment.
Creative Armenia opens in the wake of the US release of feature film The Promise (dir. Terry George), which tackles the subject of the Armenian Genocide, and takes the success of this film as a starting point for the organisation's mission to foster talent and empower stories of impact.
“Creative Armenia is not just for Armenians. It's for all talented artists who rise to the challenge of what Armenia means: a confrontation with history, a commitment to human rights,” says Dr. Eric Esrailian, producer of The Promise and a founding member of Creative Armenia's advisory board.
The Promise's director, Oscar-winning Terry George, has issued Creative Armenia’s first “challenge” — an initiative that invites filmmakers to submit a short film on any human rights issue, with a top prize of $5,000 and the opportunity for screenings at a number of film festivals.
“We look forward to the exciting work that Creative Armenia will be doing, as it plays a leading role at the cross-section of human rights, entertainment, and creative technologies,” said Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television, at the opening ceremony.