The Promise (2016) Poster

(II) (2016)


All the proceeds from the film's theatrical run will be given to nonprofit organizations, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation and other human rights and humanitarian groups.
The London premiere was attended by international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and her husband, George Clooney, who has been an outspoken advocate of the movie, which seeks to educate audiences about human atrocities and the dangers of denialist narratives. [Hollywood Reporter, April 2017]
This feature film was fully financed by billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who was of Armenian extraction and whose family had lived through these events. When he owned MGM in the early 1980s, he couldn't even persuade his own studio chief, Frank Yablans, to greenlight this picture in part because of Turkey's pressure on U.S., which has military bases in Turkey. Because political tension dated back to the early 20th century and one of the roles was originally intended for Clark Gable.
Shot in 72 days across 20 locations throughout Spain, Malta, Portugal and New York, USA.
According to director and co-writer Terry George he introduced the fictitious character of American journalist Chris Meyers (Christian Bale) to the screenplay of The Promise (2016), because by doing so he could highlight the importance of independent reporting during wartime. He could show what information was being sent across the world around this period of time. The presence of Chris Meyers also allowed for the introduction of real historical figures to the story, such as Henry Morgenthau, who was the American Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and published memoirs about his experiences. While there was no American journalist named Chris Myers during the Armenian Genocide, his character and reporting is inspired by Armin T. Wegner, Johannes Lepsius and many other historical witnesses.
The priest on the set of film was a real Armenian priest from Armenia that happened to live in Spain. Etchmiadzin, one of the oldest cities in Armenia, has three sister churches and this is where he was ordained. He actually married Oscar and Angela on set, with the true Armenian prayer they would do at any traditional Armenian wedding. Those prayers were true in 1915 and remain the same to this day. He said in the end, "I need to divorce you, because you are technically married in the eyes of God."
Angela Sarafyan (Maral) was born in Yerevan, Armenia. Despite appearing in almost 30 feature film roles to-date, this is her first where she actually portrays an ethnic Armenian.
The scene between US Ambassador Henry Morgenthau and Turkish Interior Minister Talaat Pasha is taken entirely from Ambassador Morgenthau's memoirs. When Talaat seeks the insurance money for the Armenians he had ordered killed, it is almost verbatim. The memoirs read: "I wish," Talaat now said, "that you would get the American life insurance companies to send us a complete list of their Armenian policy holders. They are practically all dead now and have left no heirs to collect the money. It of course all escheats to the State. The Government is the beneficiary now. Will you do so?" [Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, New York: Doubleday, 1918, page 339]
The Promise (2016) was screened in May 2017 in war-torn Aleppo, Syria, at the initiative of the Armenian National Committee of Syria. Present at the event were Syrian lawmakers, leaders of the Aleppo State University, Armenia's Consul General to Aleppo Tigran Gevorgyan, state officials, journalists and representatives of the Christian and Arab communities.
The first official trailer for the film went viral with over one million views within one day of its release.
Sylvester Stallone wrote on Facebook: "This extraordinary film is opening April 21... It is a subject that I have been fascinated with for decades and it has taken many years for it to finally have the guts to make it and finally bring it to the screen all to see... It is true and an incredibly important historical drama that has all the extraordinary ingredients that can make a movie Oscar quality. Its amazing lead actors Christian Bale, and Oscar Isaac, play their parts to perfection! And a special shout out to its legendary producer, Mike Medavoy, who finally brought this epic story to the screen. Also, I owe Mike Medavoy A great deal because he's the one who gave Rocky (1976) the greenlight, and that's why am here today. This film has it all...!!! I'm jealous." [April 1, 2017]
The Promise (2016) premiered in Armenia at a screening attended by president Serzh Sargsyan.
In advance of its U.S. opening, the movie has also screened internationally for Armenian, Greek and Assyrian community groups - "These were the three communities who were repressed during this time, and they've been waiting almost 100 years for this film to be made," said director Terry George - as well as for members of Congress in Washington, D.C., who have repeatedly pushed a bill asking the U.S. government to recognize the genocide. [2017]
In the film, ethnic Armenians attempt to flee to safety in Aleppo, Syria to survive the genocide in Turkey. Tragically, 100 years after the events portrayed in the film, the reverse is true - Aleppo has been ravaged by genocide with many survivors attempting to flee to safety in Turkey.
Other notable feature films that deal with the Armenian Genocide include 1915 (2015), France's Une histoire de fou (2015) (premiered at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival), Germany's The Cut (2014) (premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival), Italy's La masseria delle allodole (2007) (premiered at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival), Canada's Ararat (2002) (premiered at the 56th Cannes International Film Festival) and France's Mother (1991) with Omar Sharif and Claudia Cardinale.
This is the most expensive feature film about the Armenian Genocide yet and the first one to involve major stars like Christian Bale and Oscar Isaac.
Open Road Films released the film wide in 2,251 U.S. theaters on April 21, 2017. The release was timed to coincide with the date of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day - April 24.
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Academy Award-winning composer Gabriel Yared wrote the original soundtrack. Yared is a French-Lebanese composer and was born in Beirut, Lebanon, where a huge Armenian community exists, because most of their ancestors fled from the genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Yared also collaborated during his career with legendary French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour. Yared also scored a film for Jean-Luc Godard.
Leonardo DiCaprio wrote the following in April 2017 about The Promise: "Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale and Charlotte Le Bon, under the direction of Terry George, provide extraordinary performances in the upcoming film The Promise. I applaud the entire team..."
The international cast features 1 Academy Award winner (Christian Bale), 2 Academy Award nominees (Shohreh Aghdashloo, James Cromwell), 1 Golden Globe winner (Oscar Isaac), 2 César Award nominees (Charlotte Le Bon, Jean Reno), 1 BAFTA TV Award nominee (Tom Hollander), 1 Genie Award nominee (Rade Serbedzija), 1 Golden Calf Award winner (Marwan Kenzari) and 1 Ariel Award winner (Daniel Giménez Cacho).
On June 5, 2017, a special screening of The Promise (2016) took place in the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Organized by the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group and the Armenian National Committee of Canada, it was attended by a significant number of members, senators, parliamentary staffers and civil servants, and also the ambassador of Armenia to Canada, Mr. Armen Yeganian.
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Shortly after the premiere of the film, rock musician Chris Cornell, who performed the ending song "The Promise" passed away.
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The Los Angeles premiere for The Promise (2016) was held on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood with the cast, crew and producers in attendance. Celebrity guests included Cher, Kim Kardashian West, Kourtney Kardashian, Orlando Bloom, Nina Dobrev, Sylvester Stallone, Leonardo DiCaprio and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.
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Received an "A-" CinemaScore.
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The first New York screening was presented in partnership with ambassador Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, permanent representative of Armenia to the United Nations. [2017]
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On May 9, 2017, an exclusive pre-screening of The Promise (2016) was organized at Stockholm's historical "Grand Cinema" by the Embassy of Armenia in Sweden. The event was attended by dozens of parliamentarians and ambassadors accredited in Stockholm, numerous public and political figures, intellectuals, diplomats, genocide scholars, representatives of Armenian, Assyrian and Kurdish communities of Sweden. Film director Per-Åke Holmquist, whose documentary film Tillbaka till Ararat (1988) won the Swedish Film Academy's Guldbagge award for the 'Best Film' in 1989, addressed the audience with opening remarks.
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The Capitol Hill premiere of the The Promise (2016) on March 22nd 2017 included the participation of Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Jackie Speier, David Trott, Frank Pallone, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-NY), and Representatives Judy Chu, Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), and Paul Tonko (D-NY).
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Christian Bale and Rade Serbedzija previously worked together in Batman Begins (2005).
Christian Bale and Andrew Tarbet previously worked together on Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).
The exterior shots for the party scene at Emre's Father's home are of the Palace of Monserrate near Sintra, Portugal.
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