Blog Archives

Watch ‘The Hidden Map’ on PBS in Florida This Weekend

Florida Armenians is pleased to announce that PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) will air the Armenian story THE HIDDEN MAP, giving all of us the rare opportunity not only to journey into the forbidden past, but to bring the continuing story to life for millions of viewers.

The film will premiere in Florida (Jacksonville, Ft. Myers-Naples, Miami, Tampa, and West Palm Beach) beginning on Saturday, June 11, 2022 and Sunday, June 12, 2022. See local listings below for viewing in your area.

THE HIDDEN MAP takes viewers beneath the surface of modern-day Turkey, where the forbidden Armenian past has been awaiting discovery for more than a century. The story comes to life as Ani Hovannisian, an American-Armenian granddaughter of genocide survivors, ventures to their lost ancestral homeland in search of long-buried truths. A chance encounter with a Scottish explorer, Steven Sim, leads to a joint odyssey unearthing sacred relics, silenced voices, daring resilience and the hidden map. The result is a story of discovery, heartbreak and hope that belongs to all of humanity.

Produced by Storydoc Productions, THE HIDDEN MAP is directed, produced, written and edited by Ani Hovannisian.

PBS TAMPA CHANELS

PBS made the historic decision to distribute this independent film to more than 300 stations nationwide both because it recognizes the power of the film and because during its Southern California debut viewers responded with an outpouring of support.

With its national release, viewers who pledge even a nominal amount in support of PBS’s broadcasts of THE HIDDEN MAP will not only help secure additional airings on a national stage, but will receive unique gifts, including exclusive hand-crocheted dolls made by women in Goris, Armenia– some of them displaced citizens of Artsakh who are supported each time a viewer requests a doll.

This is an unprecedented moment in history when we can all easily help to bring this human story of heartbreak, discovery and hope into the homes and consciousness of millions of Americans, while touching the lives of Armenians today.

ABOUT

An American-Armenian granddaughter of exiled genocide survivors dares to venture to their lost ancestral homeland to uncover long-buried truths. During her travels, she meets a lone Scottish explorer who had stumbled upon this mysterious land of secrets years earlier. Together the duo digs beneath the surface of modern-day Turkey, discovering sacred relics, silenced voices, fearless resilience, and the hidden map.

The documentary premiered nationwide on NBCLX in April 2021, coinciding with the U.S.’ official recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Overwhelming audience and critical response prompted nine encore broadcasts. It was also the top broadcast on PBS SoCal and KCET in December, ushering in more screenings in 2022. THE HIDDEN MAP has earned more than a dozen honors at international film festivals and was considered for three 2021 Primetime Emmys.

More information is available at thehiddenmap.com and pbs.org.

Armenian Genocide Documentary to Air on WPBT-2 on June 11, 2015

Florida Armenians is pleased to inform you that Andrew Goldberg’s 2007 documentary The Armenian Genocide will air on South Florida’s WPBT-2 PBS channel on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 8:00 PM. Florida Armenians Public Affairs Director Arsine Kaloustian and Boca Raton philanthropist Marta Batmasian will co-host the broadcast.

Please be sure to tune in and help support educational public broadcasting.

PBS WPBT2 Flyer_AG Goldberg

Emmy Winner Pays Tribute to Women During Genocide

Both Victims and Rescuers to Be Subject of Documentary

By Alin K. Gregorian
Armenian Mirror-Spectator Staff

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. — For many years now, writer, director and producer Bared Maronian has used his talents in a variety of outlets, especially in Florida public television. However, in the past few years, he has decided to bring his skills in putting together documentaries to a subject close to his heart, the Armenian Genocide.

Bared Maronian

Maronian emigrated from Lebanon during that country’s civil war. He was always interested in the arts — folk dance, music, and theater — and with film, he was able to unite all the subjects that interested him, especially as they concerned his heritage.

After graduating from Haigazian University in Beirut and working for a time as a photojournalist, he found his way to the US.

“When I came here, it was hard for me. Eventually I went to the Broadcast Career Institute in Florida,” he said. Not long after that, he landed a job at the local PBS station. He was with PBS for 21 years.

For his PBS work, he has won four regional Emmy awards. “I have been blessed or lucky to get these awards. It gives you confidence,” Maronian said. “That is why I thought with was time for me to do this.”

When he started, he recalled, he worked on local programs, working his way up to regional and national programs. He also worked on the Nightly Business Report and did post-production on various programs, including in the Spanish language. Slowly, he realized that what appealed to him most was making documentaries and telling a story from start to finish.

Maronian said that he worked on some short documentaries, anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, on Armenian subjects and showed them in local settings and some community gatherings. “People approached me and said I should expand them,” he recalled. “For the last five years, I’ve been doing that. The most serious one is ‘Orphans of the Genocide,’” which was released last year.

He works on the Armenian-themed productions such as “Orphans of the Genocide” with the independent Armenoid Team, a subsidiary of Armenoid Productions. Among the other shorts he has done on Armenian subjects are “Komitas Hayrig,” selected by ARP Film Festival in Hollywood and “Wall of the Genocide,” winner of a Telly Award in Historical Communicator category and screened in the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival and ARPA.

Maronian said that the starting point for “Orphans” was a particularly disturbing column by British journalist Robert Fisk on an Armenian orphanage in Antoura, Lebanon, which once housed 1,000 orphans who were forced by punishment to lose their heritage.

He worked on the film for more than three years and eventually it was broadcast on four PBS stations, invited by various communities, universities and clubs for viewing both in the US and around the world, and finally it was shown at various film festivals, including the Apricot Film Festival in Yerevan, Socially Rated Film Festival in New York, Toronto’s Pomegranate Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival’s documentary division. In addition, it will be shown at the 2015 Geneva International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights. “They are very interested in making ‘Orphans of the Genocide’ part of the 2015 festival. It is the most important step that the film could take,” Maronian said proudly.

Now, Maronian is focusing on the women who were either victimized during the Genocide but also many American and European women who came to the rescue of the Genocide victims.

Work on “Women of 1915” is “going very well,” Maronian said. Maronian is in the process of fundraising to complete it.

“I am very hopeful that we will realize our financial needs,” he said. “Our initial goal was to finish the film by April 2015, but I did not think that was a realistic deadline. I did not want to jeopardize the quality,” he said. The film will be finished in 1915, but possibly closer to the fall.

“We are filming and still doing some research. It is in the second phase, where we have lined up some interviews with people whose families have experienced the Genocide,” he added.

The film, he explained, would be about “the plight of the Armenian women and all the non-Armenian women who came to the rescue of their sisters. Girls who were 19, 20, 21 left their plush homes in Scandinavia, the US or Canada and volunteered to travel to Western Armenia and the killing fields of the Genocide and met their Armenian sisters,” he said.

He added, “Despite the cultural differences, a sisterhood was created between these two types of women. It was a phenomenal friendship that eventually saved thousands of lives.”

Among the women who will be featured will be writer and activist Zabel Yessayan, Danish humanitarian Karen Yeppe and American Red Cross founder Clara Barton.

As many know, he explained, the “men were taken care of” by the authorities and killing separately, leaving the women, children and elderly at the mercy of the killers.

“The women were tortured, used and abused and besides that, they had to take care of their kids and make a living,” he said. “That is why Armenian needle work and rug weaving are so cultivated.”

Another aspect of the film will be dedicated to Islamized or hidden Armenians. “Turkish women on their death beds would confess that they were Armenian,” Maronian said. Now he said, the topic is being more and more exposed.

The recent attacks in Iraq against the Christians but more so against the Yezidi minority, brought to mind the very same situation of the Armenians early this century. “As soon as I saw the images, on the same type of terrain, Mosul, it’s the stories that we hear, how they walked for miles and miles, the women were raped, the children killed, exactly what happened to the Armenians.” One difference, he stressed, was in the case of the Armenians, the mass murders were ordered by a government, “not a group of thugs.”

Sadly, the events of 2014 also confirm for those who may still not believe that such depravity and murder could take place openly that “what happened to the Armenians is real and not a myth; it really happened. It was the same mentality and the same MO.”

“The ultimate goal of what I am doing is that we need to produce film on the Armenian Genocide and spread awareness of the Genocide and ultimately, hopefully, by educational entertainment, to put an end to genocide,” Maronian said.

He and his wife and daughter live in Florida. “I call on people to check their drawers, shoe boxes from their grandfathers, grandmothers, to tell their stories,” he said. “We would love to hear their stories and in the process gather photos and film.”

This article originally appeared in the Armenian Mirror-Spectator. It is republished with the expressed written consent of the author.