‘They Shall Not Perish’ Screening and Panel at Jacob Burns Film Center


PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. — A screening of “They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief,” followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmakers and experts will take place on

Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m., at the Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Road.

Although this event is free, organizers are asking for registration as seating is limited.

The one-hour documentary film features the stories of individuals who witnessed the Armenian Genocide and of the American people who rallied their country to provide the largest non-governmental humanitarian response undertaken up until that time. Motivated by nothing but a moral sense of duty, these men and women — among them industrialists, ambassadors, missionaries, teachers, nurses, admen, and Presidents — helped bring care and comfort to millions of suffering Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian refugees in extremely harrowing environments.

Narrated by six-time Emmy-nominated actor Victor Garber, the film is set against a mix of historical footage and archival photographs, and utilizes contemporary interviews from leading academic experts such as Taner Akçam, Peter Balakian, Susan Harper, John Cooper, Dr. Martin Deranian, and Keith David Watenpaugh. In addition, the letters of American officials, relief workers, and orphans are brought to life through the voices of leading actors — Michael Aronov, Kathleen Chalfant, Dariush Kashani, Andrea Martin, Ron Rifkin, Tony Shalhoub, and Kara Vedder — taking the audience on a journey from the depths of cruelty to the triumphs of survival.

Executive Producer Shant Mardirossian, inspired by his grandparents’ escape and survival during the genocide, says he produced this film “not just to remember those we lost in the genocide, but to shed light on an important chapter of American history when ordinary citizens stood together against a great injustice and saved the lives of 132,000 orphans.”

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These historic rescue efforts led to the formation of what is known today as the Near East Foundation. The work that started over a century ago continues to be reflected in NEF’s work today, particularly, current programs that focus on improving the lives of Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

For more information and to watch the trailer, visit: www.theyshallnotperish.com

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