Aurora’s Sunrise

25th TiDF: Greek Premiere

1919 saw the premiere in New York of Auction of Souls, a silent film about a teenage girl who survived the Armenian genocide and fled to the US. The main role was played by the survivor herself, Aurora Mardiganian. The film was a box office hit, and Mardiganian became world-famous. The massacres in Armenia continued, however, and Mardiganian was engulfed by the waves of relived trauma whipped up by the callous Hollywood publicity machine. Νow, more than a century later, a historical documentary reconstructs the life story of this hero, who died in 1994. Mardiganian’s memoir Ravished Armenia lies at the heart of this chronological animated film. The animated sections are interspersed with rare scenes from the original Hollywood film, most of which has been lost, as well as archive footage of an elderly Mardiganian recalling her remarkable, hellish odyssey. She, like the film’s director Sahakyan, wanted to ensure that the Armenian genocide will never be forgotten.

Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Inna Sahakyan
Script: Inna Sahakyan, Kerstin Meyer-Beetz, Peter Liakhov
Editing: Ruben Ghazaryan
Sound: Tigran Kuzikyan
Music: Christine Aufderhaar
Production: Bars Media, Artbox Laisvalaikio Klubas, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion
Producers: Vardan Hovhannisyan, Christian Beetz, Justė Michailinaitė, Kęstutis Drazdauskas, Eric Esrailian
Co-production: ZDF
Format: DCP
Production Country: Armenia, Lithuania, Germany
Production Year: 2022
Duration: 96'
Contact: CAT&Docs
Awards/Distinctions: Best Baltic Producer for Co-production Award – Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival 2022, Silver Apricot Award – Golden Apricot Yerevan IFF 2022 Audience Award for Best Film – Asian World Film Festival (2022), Audience Award – Animation Is Film 2022

Lead Illustrator: Gediminas Skyrius
Lead Animators: Šarūnas Vyštartas, Tigran Arakelyan, Ruben Ghazaryan
Animators: Lusine Chergeshtyan, Rimantas Laskauskas, Sigitas Mikūta, Žiedė Matonytė, Richard Derteano

Inna Sahakyan


2010 The Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia (co-direction)
2022 Mel
2022 Aurora's Sunrise