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Aurora’s Sunrise Revives the Story of Genocide Survivor Turned Hollywood Star

In 1919, a silent film epic,  ‘Auction of Souls’, was produced starring Armenian-American genocide survivor, Aurora Mardiganian about her life story.

Still from “Aurora’s Sunrise”.

At only 14 years old, Aurora was forced to march towards the Syrian desert witnessing the loss of her entire family before being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery.

Four years later, through luck and extraordinary courage, she escaped to New York City, where her story became a media sensation through a memoir titled ‘Ravished in Armenia.’ The memoir was adapted into a film where Aurora starred as herself in the silent epic “Auction of Souls,” an early Hollywood blockbuster.

Still from “Aurora’s Sunrise”.

“Aurora’s Sunrise”, a new feature film via Bars Media Films premiering August 11th in New York City, melds vivid animation, interviews with Aurora herself, and rediscovered footage from her lost silent epic to revive a forgotten story of survival, hope, and the endurance of the human spirit.

“The Armenian genocide is the enduring pain of my nation,” says director Inna Sahakyan. “I was afraid of telling stories that only confirmed Armenians as a nation of victims with no historical agency and nothing but tragedy running through our veins. That is, until I stumbled upon an interview with Aurora Mardiganian while going through archival interviews with Armenian Genocide survivors at the Zoryan Institute. Through her words and expressions, an incredible but ordinary heroism shone: this woman survived a genocide but refused to be a victim. This is the character I wanted to build in ‘Aurora’s Sunrise,’ resilient, powerful and heartwarming all at once.”

Upcoming Theatrical Openings for Aurora’s Sunrise:

Aug. 11 in New York City at Village East by Angelika and New Plaza Cinema

Aug. 18 in Los Angeles at Laemmle Glendale

Sept. 1 in Toronto at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema

Director Inna Sahakyan In-Person for Q&As at all three locations above.

Opening in more cities across the U.S. and Canada throughout August and the fall.

For tickets, visit documentarystudio.barsmedia.am.

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