LOS ANGELES — The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) will hold a special event, by invitation only, featuring best-selling author Chris Bohjalian and acclaimed filmmaker Eric Nazarian on Saturday, February 27, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. at the UCLA Faculty Center, California Room, 480 Charles Young Drive East, Los Angeles, CA.

The event, which is an expression of thanks to the members of NAASR’s Leadership Circle, will include a dinner reception followed by Bohjalian and Nazarian in a dialogue on the screen adaptation of Bohjalian’s novel The Sandcastle Girls, as well as the introduction of newly appointed NAASR Executive Director Sarah B. Ignatius to give an update on NAASR initiatives.

In addition to members of NAASR’s Board of Directors and Leadership Circle and their guests, the event is open, by invitation only, at a cost of $100 per person, which includes dinner and one-year of membership in NAASR. To receive an invitation, please contact NAASR Board Member Dr. Gregory Ketabgian at [email protected].

Chris Bohjalian is the author of eighteen books, including his new novel, The Guest Room. His work has been translated into over thirty languages and adapted three times as movies. His books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Hartford Courant, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Bookpage, and Salon. His awards include the ANCA Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian Genocide; the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for The Sandcastle Girls, as well as the Saint Mesrob Mashdots Medal; the New England Society Book Award for The Night Strangers; the New England Book Award; Russia’s Soglasie (Concord) Award for The Sandcastle Girls; a Boston Public Library Literary Light; a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Trans-Sister Radio and the Anahid Literary Award. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller, a selection of Oprah’s Book Club, and a New England Booksellers Association Discovery pick.

Eric Nazarian is an acclaimed screenwriter, director, and producer. Born in Armenia and raised in Los Angeles, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The Blue Hour, his first feature film, premiered at the 55th San Sebastian International Film Festival, receiving several awards on the international film festival circuit. In 2008 Nazarian received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting for his screenplay, Giants. In 2010 Nazarian made Bolis, a short film about a descendent of a Genocide survivor in Istanbul, as part of the European Union’s Capital of Culture program. Nazarian is currently working on the film adaptation of The Sandcastle Girls, Chris Bohjalian’s critically acclaimed bestselling novel. He has lectured on the origins of cinema and on the Armenian Genocide on campuses across the U.S. and Europe. He is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America West and a Fellow of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies.

Sarah B. Ignatius is NAASR’s first Executive Director, effective January 1, 2016. She earned a J.D. from Georgetown University and B.A. from Stanford University. She has served on NAASR’s Board of Directors since 2014 and on its Executive Committee as Treasurer. Her interest in Armenian Studies deepened after she went on the 2006 NAASR tour to Armenia and Historic Armenia, and upon returning drafted a young adult manuscript, The Devil’s Kaleidoscope, about a 14-year-old Armenian boy caught up in the Genocide. Her manuscript has received recognition from the New England Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators, the National League of American Pen Women, and the Somerville Arts Council. She has worked for more than 25 years as a lawyer and executive director, primarily with the Political Asylum Immigration Representation Project in Boston, defending people fleeing from persecution worldwide. She taught immigration and asylum law at Boston College Law School for ten years, co-authored Immigration Law and the Family, and authored a National Asylum Study for Harvard Law School.

The NAASR Leadership Circle was established to develop an elevated level of membership to join the association in facing the new challenges and demands of the 21st century. NAASR, established in 1955 and to mark its 60th anniversary during 2016, has led the movement to create, maintain, strengthen, and perpetuate Armenian Studies in the United States, including pioneering initiatives to establish the first two chairs in Armenian Studies in the U.S. at Harvard University and UCLA.

For more information about NAASR please contact the organization’s headquarters at [email protected] or 617-489-1610.

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