115 minutes – Drama
Release date: November 12, 2002
DVD release date: August 12, 2003
Canadian distributor: Alliance Films
Ararat uses the device of a film-within-a-film to tell its story. In this case, while supposedly showing the story of the production of an epic film about the Armenian Genocide of 1915, Ararat remains a contemporary story that explores the quest for personal, sexual and cultural identity through the intimate moments shared by lovers, strangers and families. Ararat interweaves scenes of history in the making with scenes depicting the effects of history on modern culture. The story line follows how making the film transforms the life of an 18-year-old man, Raffi, played by new comer, David Alpay, after he is hired as a driver on the production. Shooting began in Toronto on Monday, May 21, 2001. In addition to some sound stage work, the production essentially shot the film on location for the first eight weeks of the schedule. The final week of filming took place in and around the Drumheller, Alberta area, where over 500 local extras were recruited to help re-create the disturbing desert death marches. At the 2003 Genie Awards, Ararat picked up a total of five awards, including Best Picture.
Also see: Atom Egoyan Returns Home with Ararat.