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Terry George and Eric Esrailian hold masterclass in Yerevan

Finalists of the Oscar-winning director’s filmmaking challenge honored

September 24, 2017  |  by Creative Armenia

Terry George and Eric Esrailian mastercl

 From left to right - Garin Hovannisian, Terry George, and Eric Esrailian

Creative Armenia and the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) hosted this afternoon a multi-media masterclass by Oscar-winning filmmaker Terry George (Hotel Rwanda, The Promise) and producer Eric Esrailian (The Promise, Intent to Destroy). More than 150 guests, including filmmakers, journalists, and Armenia’s diplomatic corps, took part in the two-hour immersive program moderated by Creative Armenia founder Garin Hovannisian and hosted at AGBU Armenia headquarters.  


The Promise isn’t just a movie,” Dr. Esrailian said. “It’s a movement.” And he spoke at length about the film’s educational, social, and political ambitions beyond its running time. The film’s non-profit partners, including AGBUHuman Rights Watch, and Creative Armenia - which was founded in partnership with The Promise - continue to #keepthepromise, as the film’s viral hashtag has suggested. And all returns from the film are going to charity.


Meantime, Mr. George took on many creative questions, discussing his strategies on writing, editing, and filmmaking - and the secret connection between the Armenian and Irish peoples. He also screened several short excerpts from his films The Promise, In the Name of the Father, Hotel Rwanda, using them as an opportunity to discuss both technical and creative decisions that go into making a film.

A special segment of the masterclass was devoted to honoring the finalists of Terry George’s filmmaking challenge in which the director asked filmmakers across the world to tell vital human rights stories in 60 seconds. These mini-visions confronted subjects from privacy to poverty, genocide to civil disobedience. And in the words of George “they demonstrate the power of the medium as an effective champion for human rights.”


Creative Armenia is a non-profit organization with a global mandate to discover talent and empower stories of impact in the digital age.

The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world's largest non-profit Armenian organization. Established in 1906 and headquartered in New York City, AGBU preserves and promotes the Armenian identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs, annually touching the lives of 500,000 Armenians around the world.

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