In Istanbul, Producer Sona Tatoyan Is Ready for Her Close-Up

April 21, 2015 9:36 PM

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Some thirteen years ago, Armenian-American actor and producer Sona Tatoyan embarked on a veritable odyssey to produce a feature film adaptation of Micheline Aharonian Marcom's contemporary masterpiece, Three Apples Fell From Heaven. As the colloquial expression goes, this was easier said than done. This wonderful novel, with its somewhat experimental, elliptical prose describes the events that took place in the town of Kharpert in Eastern Anatolia during the Armenian Genocide of 1915 with a rare beauty and almost cinematic imagery. Tatoyan's artistic partner Jose Rivera, an Academy Award nominee best known for having scripted the 2004 The Motorcycle Diaries, adapted the novel for the screen: his script is as enticing and heart-rending as the original it is based on. Yet it wasn't exactly the type of film that Hollywood studios and financiers were ready to embrace with open arms.

So for purposes of research and fundraising both, Tatoyan's journey has taken her all over the world, including the Der Zor desert of Syria (the Auschwitz of the Armenian Genocide) where she held the bones of Armenian Genocide victims in the palms of her hands. She travelled throughout Western Armen...

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