Aurora’s Sunrise

Inna Sahakyan

Epic reconstruction of the story of Aurora Mardiganian and the Armenian genocide. A beautiful animation shows Mardiganian’s odyssey from surviving the genocide to having her story made into a Hollywood production in 1919. Interspersed with archival interviews with her and scenes from the original movie, which for decades was thought to be lost. 
In 1919, the silent movie Auctions of Souls premiered in New York, about a teenage girl who survived the Armenian genocide. It starred Aurora Mardiganian, on whose story the film was based. Auctions of Souls became a big success, but not long afterward, all copies of the film disappeared. Mardiganian, who shortly was a household name in the US, retired into anonymity. Not long after her death in 1994, 18 minutes of the silent movie resurfaced.  
Aurora’s Sunrise by Inna Sahakyan tells Mardiganian’s incredible story. It is an epic tale of having to flee the genocide and all the hardships and violence – but also kindness and selflessness – that Aurora encountered on her way. A brave film about a subject – the Armenian genocide – that still takes a lot of courage to put the spotlight on. 


Inna Sahakyan
Vardan Hovhonnisyan, Inna Sahakyan
Country of production
Armenia, Germany, Lithuania
96 minutes
Spoken language
Armenian, English, German, Kurdish, Turkish
Production company
Bars Media
World Sales
Cat & Docs
Dutch distributor
Periscoop Film