May 11, 2012 - 13:14 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - The story of the Armenians of Jerusalem, a
fascinating tale of courage, hope and endurance, sprinkled with the
inevitable grains of turmoil and tragedy, is planned to be told,
for the first time in a feature film, The Armenian Reporter says.

While there have been previous attempts to tell part of the story in
a book or a film, the focus has always been too narrow to encompass
the whole gamut of the Armenian presence in this city regarded by
many as the centre of the world.

Australian-Armenian journalist/foreign correspondent Arthur Hagopian,
the former Press Officer of the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem,
who has been acting as consultant on a 3D IMAX film currently being
shot in Jerusalem, is heading the project to bring the story of the
Armenians of Jerusalem to the big screen.

"I have already had talks with leading film production companies and
key players in the motion pictures industry, and they are ready to
jump on board," Hagopian says. "They have the chutzpah, connections
and expertise necessary to bring this project to life."

A few years ago, Hagopian launched a website project
( aimed at
preserving and maintaining the history, culture and traditions of the
"Kaghakatzi" (native/city dweller) Armenians of Jerusalem, one of
the three groupings of Armenians in the city. The "Kaghakatzi" bear
the distinction of being the first Armenians to settle in Jerusalem,
staking out the Armenian Quarter of the OId City as their choice of
domicile. The other major grouping are known as the "Vanketzi". They
are mainly genocide survivors or their descendants and live within
the confines of the convent ("vank") of St James, seat of the Armenian

The "Kaghakatzi" project is also tracing and cataloging the ancestry
of the denizens of the Armenian Quarter, a community that is a
genealogist's dream: every single "Kaghakatzi" is related to every
other "Kaghakatzi," either directly or indirectly, in an unbroken
chain that goes back centuries, according to Hagopian.

The "Kaghakatzi" enterprise has so far netted over 3,000 names, culled
from the official "domar"s (records) of the Armenian Patriarchate,
personal recollections, and the odd document or two: but at its
peak, the whole Armenian contingent in Jerusalem, the "Kaghakatzi",
"Vanketzi" and the small number of Catholic converts, totaled more
than 15,000.

"Armenians have left an indelible mark on the annals of the golden city
of Jerusalem," Hagopian remarks. "Their history is one of unbridled
vigor and depthless vitality as manifested, for example, in the
monuments they erected and the art they produced. The Cathedral of St
James is unarguably the most magnificent Christian edifice in Jerusalem
while their ceramics and pottery are incomparable in their artistry."

"We are planning to tell our story through the medium of a feature
film that will delve deep into the soul of this unique segment
of humanity and answer the question: what makes the Armenians of
Jerusalem tick?" Hagopian says.

Hagopian will be writing the script and is thinking of directing
the film.

From: Baghdasarian