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.
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
Taniel is in the official selection of the Romanian STTP Film Festival
Taniel is in the official selection of Montecatini International Film Festival 2018
“The great poet Taniel Varoujan and the leading names of the Armenian intellectual life were being dragged into a dark journey in 1915. Taniel felt his future in his poems and he always wished for peace and serenity” – read what our Western Armenian poetry narrator Yegya Acgun thinks about Varoujan and the film
Interview with director Garo Berberian about his short film Taniel (2018) and his travel to Sydney for the screening of the film during the Armenian Film Festival by Vahe Ketab.
Noric Dilanchian hosted a Q&A session with Garo Berberian and The Crows of the Desert director Levon Parian, after the screening of both films. Listen to the podcast here.
The film will be screened at DC Shorts Film Festival in September
Jean Vartan Ekmekjian, who recently revived Hayreniqi Dzayn (Voice of the Homeland), Pan Armenian Writers’ Unions’ official newspaper, visited our screening at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute. Read his review of the film and its backstory here.
A story of a love affair with Varoujan’s poetry, sparked by one of his idyllic poems.
Garo Berberian, the film’s director, explains why he decided to use the Western Armenian spelling of Varoujan’s name after a visit to his hometown.
Garo explains why he wanted to make this film, which needed to show the textural fabric of the individual that is lost in facts and stats and arguments about what word you should call the murder of a race.