The Hakawati Project: Armenia

WHO HOLDS THE STORY, HOLDS THE POWER.

The Syrian War has impacted the lives of millions of people: Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, Turks, Iraqis, Armenians and the Europeans who have opened their doors to refugees. The media around the crisis rests largely in the hands of those who view it from the outside. As a result the narratives are theirs. We hear the word “refugee” constantly and perhaps forget that we are talking about human beings who have lost homes, dreams, lives, dignity. Human beings who have been lost and confused amidst the stories their lives have become and have much to say and express in creative ways. Human beings who stayed in their country and live today under ferocious economic sanctions, crumbling buildings and futures.

The Hakawati Project (THP) is a 2 month comprehensive filmmaking lab in various disciplines of cinema that work in concert to produce 5 short films made under the mentorship and in collaboration with A-list international talent. In collaboration with The Sundance Institute, we aim to foster the creative expression and sharpen the filmmaking tools of those impacted by the Syrian crisis, showcase their talent and offer alternative narratives to the ones mainstream media amplifies. This process will be healing and educating for both the talent involved and the receiving audience among the international community.

At this very moment Armenia has become a beacon of democracy for the world. In the spring of 2018 a corrupt government, tied to and deeply influenced by Russia, was overthrown by a peaceful, non-violent Velvet Revolution. This is why we believe that the country makes it possible to inspire and create the platform for other nations like the Syrians who must now deal with their own calamity and overcome the impacts of war and injustice. Armenia has turned poison into medicine, darkness into light.