Capacity Crowd Gives Standing Ovation to Powerful Documentary Linking Ankara’s Genocide Denial to Baku’s Ongoing Aggression
WASHINGTON—”Architects of Denial,” a powerful documentary film by executive producers Dean Cain and Montel Williams, drew a capacity crowd at its Washington D.C. premiere, raising awareness about the Armenian Genocide among policymakers and directly linking the denial of this crime to ongoing anti-Armenian discrimination and violence by both Turkey and Azerbaijan, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
The viewing, held at the historic U.S. Navy Memorial, was hosted by PrimoVision, Tanit Productions, and the Montel Media Group, in conjunction with the ANCA, The Armenian Artsakh Fund, and Hope for Children Today, and featured an introduction by ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian and presentations by Cain and Williams. Among the Members of Congress participating in the event were Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-La.) and Congressional Hellenic Caucus Co-Chair Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), who were joined by Notis Mitarachi, a visiting member of the Greek Parliament.
Earlier in the day, Cain and Williams held a series of Congressional meetings across Capitol Hill. Ambassador of Armenia to the U.S. Grigor Hovhannisyan and Republic of Artsakh Representative to the U.S. Robert Avetisyan were present, as was former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, who was featured prominently in the film.
“Architects of Denial forcefully challenges Ankara and its allies—on and off Capitol Hill—who dare to bully, bribe, or barter America into silence on Turkey’s still unpunished genocide and exile of millions of Armenians and fellow Christians,” said Hamparian. “We want to thank Dean Cain and Montel Williams for their remarkable leadership in producing this powerful film, and to express our special appreciation for all they are doing through the media, in Congressional meetings, and in so many different ways to raise awareness of this crime. As they said, so eloquently, this evening: ‘Genocide denied is genocide continued,’” he concluded.
Cain and Williams, who have differing views on a range of issues, explained why they came together to place a spotlight on the Armenian Genocide, the importance of international affirmation, and justice. “A genocide forgotten or not even acknowledged is a genocide that continues, and is a seed for a new one,” explained Williams. Cain, who recently returned from a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland with Rep. Abraham, noted that whether discussing the Holocaust or the Armenian Genocide, these are human rights issues, which should never be politicized.
Both Cain and Williams described their recent trip to Armenia, where they were particularly moved by the plight of Syrian-Armenian refugees, descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, who are now seeking safe haven in their historic homeland after fleeing regional strife.
Video from the Cain and Williams’ opening remarks and question-and-answer session is available on the ANCA Facebook page and online:
Dean Cain and Montel Williams are taking part in a two-day series of Congressional meetings organized by the ANCA to discuss their film, support legislation affirming the Armenian Genocide, challenge Ankara’s Armenian Genocide denial, and explore ways that the arts and advocacy communities can contribute to ending the worldwide cycle of genocide.
“Architects of Denial” will be simultaneously debuting in theaters and on-demand on Oct. 6. To watch a trailer of the film, visit www.architectsofdenial.org.