A transmedia documentary about silence around the Armenian genocide

PARIS – For the past two years, Anna Benjamin and Guillaume Clere are driven by the desire of giving voice to the descendants of the Armenian genocide survivors. In February 2015, the two French journalists are close to reach their goal: achieving a documentary and a web-series relating the story of four Turks who discovered their Armenian origins… and who decide to break silence. To achieve their project, they launched a crowdfunding campaign during two months.

Through the portraits of Nazli, Armen, Dogukan and Yasar, Turkey, the Legacy of Silence reveals the weight of silence, still burdened by thousands of Armenian descendant families in Turkey. Indeed, after 1915, the price of survival was high: assimilation in Turkish and Kurdish families, conversion to Islam, and above all, stay quiet. Since then, the secret has been kept. After a century of silence, History is reappearing: multiple families are now proclaiming the Armenian heritage of their ancestors. By giving a face to the million of descendants of these Islamized Armenians, Turkey, the Legacy of Silence is a worldwide call to the duty of remembrance. Today, despite risks, fear and shame, Nazli, Armen, Dogukan and Yasar have the courage to break the taboo on their Armenian roots and show their faces. https://vimeo.com/114534321

Turkey, the Legacy of Silence will be released internationally for the Commemoration of the Armenian genocide in April 2015: on TV as a 52′ documentary film, and on Internet as a multi episode web-series. Additionally, the public will be invited to offer testimony on the website. The documentary arouses interest : during April it will be broadcasted in France (Paris, Valence, Vienne) and in United States (starting in Glendale…)

Yet, to reach these goals, the authors still need to raise funds. In order to reach an international audience, the film must be translated in English and in Armenian in a first phase. In a second phase, the web-series must be edited and embedded in an interactive web site. https://vimeo.com/116566232

For the project, Anna & Guillaume went four times in Turkey: scouting Anatolia finding Armenian descendants and shooting the images of the film. The documentary is actually being edited. It still has to be standardized, translated, developed, and illustrated…

With the help of their producer, Découpages, they obtained several guarantees such as the broadcast of French channel Toute l’Histoire and a writing and production help allowed by the CNC (Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée). They also obtained the agreement of famous medias such as France Info and Mediapart to host the web-series.

Today, Anna & Guillaume relay on public’s generosity to honor the memory of Armenian History, to mark the genocide century and to reveal the silence.

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