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, Best Short Film award at ARPA International Film Festival and Don Quixote special mention award at Avanca Festival. The film was also selected by a number of festivals all over the world, including Sydney, Toronto, Bucharest, Washington DC, Buenos Aires 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 – and planning a few more exciting screenings.
Istanbul-based PAROS magazine were present at our screening and poetry reading session in Istanbul, at Hrant Dink Foundation. Here is their lovely review (in English and Turkish)
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…
Taniel wins Best Short Film award at one of the oldest Hollywood festivals
Garo is returning to Los Angeles’ Arpa festival with Taniel, after winning the Audience Award for this previous film there
A Georgian in Armenia: Mariam Dvalishvili recounts the story of returning to Armenia for yet another film – Taniel.
Photographer Tatev Vardanyan handpicks some of her favourite images from her first day of shooting in Gyumri
The film’s lead actress, the talented Shoghakat Mlké-Galstian talks to us about Araxi – love of Varoujan’s life; what does it mean to be a great artist’s wife and feminist readings of his works
April 24th, Taniel Varoujan, a magnificent poet, aged 31, was arrested at his home in Constantinople, never to return.
We are recounting some happy memories about Varoujan, to celebrate his birthday
The film’s producer, Narè Leone Ter-Gabrielyan talks about how she got involved in the film about a poet she admires so much for his love of life and freedom.