Los Angeles, CA – April 5, 2018 – Champan University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts often hosts Q&A sessions with their most successful alumni to discuss where the world has taken them since they graduated. Last month, Dodge spotlighted Ela Alyamac (MFA/FTP ’00), the co-director of feature film documentary, ‘LOST BIRDS’.
Alyamac recalled a memory from her time at Chapman University; When editing professor, Harry Cheney, asked the entire class why each enrolled in film school. Illuminated by Alyamac’s response – “Film is my passion” – Cheney responded, “Well if it is not your passion then you will have a very hard time trying to survive in this business”.
Cheney was right – After graduation, Alyamac returned to Turkey, a territory that was very behind in the film industry with only twelve films total being produced independently. Despite the difficulty of surviving in Turkey’s film business, especially as an independent filmmaker, Alyamac’s lifelong became true with her debut as a screenwriter and director for coming of age romantic drama, ‘Fairy Dust’ (2008), which was released in Turkey.
Photo: Chapman University alumna, Ela Alyamac (’00).
Courageously, Alyamac continued the often-treacherous journey as an independent filmmaker in Turkey, despite recently experiencing its adversities. Alongside Aren Perdeci, who shares writing and directing credits, they created the three-time award winning historical drama ‘LOST BIRDS’ – the first film made in Turkey to depict and tackle the 1915 Armenian tragedy.
“It took five years of hard work and perseverance and because of the delicate subject matter we had many roadblocks,” shared Alyamac, adding, “We went around the world to co-production meetings and every producer we met told us that they loved the story but that it was impossible to make a film about the 1915 Armenian tragedy in Turkey. The more people said it was impossible the more determined we became. In the end we succeeded in making a film that we are very proud of and that has touched the hearts of the audience.”
Since the film premiered at the ARPA International Film Festival, winning three awards – the Armin T. Wegner Humanitarian Award, Best Director and Best Feature Film – ‘LOST BIRDS’ has successfully captured the hearts of Hollywood’s film critics and audiences worldwide, including several other successes, including the screenplay’s selection to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Library’s core collection and the film’s feature in American Cinematographer Magazine.
“People don’t really talk about the subject; they keep the story like a bird in a cage. Our film has these metaphors. The central idea of the film is [about preserving] the purity of childhood, even as this war is going on,” said Perdeci to American Cinematographer’s Jon D. Witmer.
Photo: Bedo and Maryam from American Cinematographer.
‘LOST BIRDS’ powerfully and beautifully captures the heartrending history of the well-known 1915 Armenian tragedy through its fairytale-like narrative, told through the eyes of innocent children, siblings Bedo (Heros Agopyan) and Maryam (Dila Uluca). “Summary: Lost Birds is about an Armenian Village in 1915. Redo and Maryam return from their secret dovecote only to find an empty house and a ghost village. The children embark on a journey to search for their mother, along with their bird Bacik.” (Dodge).
Though the innocent children cannot understand the event exactly, their eyes illuminate with fear for their mother and for their previous life, which is evidently now gone forever. ‘LOST BIRDS’ is a bittersweet, intimate drama that brings to light the well-known 1915 Armenian tragedy and its narrative through the innocent siblings help viewers to better understand each other and to look towards future with hope.
“In Lost Birds I learned that the key to success is not to give up,” confessed Alyamac, beautifully advising those in the world “to work hard and be persistent and don’t compare your success with others. Everyone has a different path, a different story, and a different journey. We only see the success part of people’s journeys; we never know what it took to get where they are.”
Alongside stunning cinematography, graceful music and touching performances from the young actors, ‘LOST BIRDS’ is truly a labor of love, allowing world viewers to end the film with new and positive perspectives on the long-lived international conflict.
Streaming now on Amazon Prime and other VOD platforms, ‘LOST BIRDS’ will have a theatrical screening in Los Angeles, hosted by TriCoast Entertainment in Glendale, CA on April 24th, 2018 in respect for Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
For more information about the ‘LOST BIRDS’ screening in Los Angeles and to attend with press passes, please contact email@example.com.
‘LOST BIRDS’ stars several first-time actors, Heros Agopyan as ‘Bedo’ and Dila Uluca as ‘Maryam’. Alongside is Sarkis Acemyan as ‘Grandpa Yetvart’, Arto Arsenyan as ‘Father Mesrop’, and Takuhi Bahar as ‘Kinar’.
LOST BIRDS (2017, 90 min.) Written and directed by Ela Alyamac and Aren Perdeci. Editor: Ela Alyamac, Aren Perdeci. Cinematographer: Aren Perdeci. Sound department: Eli Haligua, Burak Topalakci, Caglar Yesilay. US. English. Kara Kedi Films, TriCoast Entertainment.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Kara Kedi Films.
TriCoast Entertainment: A new home for story-driven American films, TriCoast Entertainment is a full service media company that creates, produces, manages and distributes unique and unusual entertainment. Bringing together filmmakers, distributors, financiers, and technologists, TriCoast Entertainment embraces change by redefining the production and distribution model for indie filmmakers, providing them with low cost tools, financing, and worldwide theatrical and digital distribution, along with market feedback and storytelling opportunities.
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