Constantinople, April 24 1915. As the British prepared their landings in nearby Gallipoli, hundreds of arrest warrants are issued across the city. The arrival of police at poet Taniel Varoujan’s door would shatter his home, destroy his work and his family would never see him again.
Film Noir in style, “Taniel” pays homage to the era of dramatic filmmaking with extreme lighting and camera angles. The narrative is mostly heard through poetry, with Varoujan poems in Armenian expressing the emotions in each of the scenes; and narrative poetry in English delivered with an emotive depth of feeling by Sean Bean.
Taniel is currently taking part in the film festival circuit. It won two awards at the Bermuda International Film Festival and and Best Short Film award at ARPA International Film Festival. The film was also selected by a number of festivals all over the world, including Sydney, Toronto, Bucharest, Washington DC etc, as well as by the Golden Apricot International Film Festival, Shetland’s Screenplay Festival, curated by Mark Kermode; and one of the oldest festivals in Europe in Montecatini. Taniel also had some very special screenings at The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan and at the iconic Lincoln Center in New York.
The team is just back from two very emotional screenings, tracing the poet’s footsteps in Istanbul, at Hrant Dink Foundation; and at Ghent University in Belgium where he studied.
Garo was in Istanbul on 24 April, and here are some of his thoughts about our visit…
Details of two exciting upcoming screenings
We loved going back to New York for our screening at the wonderful SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York run by the talented Nora Armani. SRFF looks to film makers from across the world raising important social issues in society and it was really...
SR New York Festival Official Selection and a new review
Warm memories from cold Toronto…
Yeğya Akgün on being the voice of Taniel Varoujan reading his poetry for the short film Taniel.
The film’s director Garo Berberian discusses his rationale in picking the soundtrack, featuring music by Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Tigran Hamasyan amongst others.
՛I had to become Varoujan, feel like Varoujan’ – Tigran Gaboyan talks about his experience of playing the poet and expressing his emotions in silence
Meet ‘You, Lalage’, one of Varoujan’s most sensual and emotionally charged poems.
Read Indelible, a poem by English writer Ben Hodgson, which is used in the film
A Georgian in Armenia: Mariam Dvalishvili recounts the story of returning to Armenia for yet another film – Taniel.