• Still from theatre production SERSE
  • Art Galleries
  • TV set
  • Performance Ensemble
  • guests and interviewer on Journalism set
  • violin section of orchestra

CSUN Professors's book becomes an award winning documentary

April 20, 2018

flyer announcement of film screen of CROWS OF THE DESERT


Levon Parian (part-time lecturer in the Art Dept.) turned his grandfather's memoirs about the Armenian Genocide into a book.  That book is now the basis for an award winning documentary being featured this coming Wednesday April 25th at 7:30pm at the Alex theater. Admission is free which is great for students! The film is made up of mostly archival footage, some of which has never been seen before. Here is what is being said about the film:

“Crows of the Desert” is the incredible true story of Armenian Genocide survivor Levon Yotnakhparian’s brave struggle to not only stay alive, but to help save thousands of Armenian lives during one of history’s most tragic events.

Based on Yotnakhparian’s meticulously documented memoir published by his grandson, Levon Parian, professor of the arts at CSUN. This film presents a unique perspective on the intersection of hope and the threat of total annihilation, bringing to light the spirit of Armenian resilience in the midst of murderous chaos. Barely escaping death, Yotnakhparian and his fellow survivors form the Armenian Expeditionary Rescue Group. Crossing paths with some of history’s most formidable warriors, such as Lawrence of Arabia and Prince Faisal, Yotnakhparian and his comrades succeed in rescuing thousands of genocide survivors, and recover countless orphaned children. Extraordinarily rare film footage, photographs and documents have been gathered from archives around the world to reveal the terror and heroism in this heart-wrenching and inspirational true story.

“Crows of the Desert-A Hero’s Journey through the Armenian Genocide” is written, directed and produced by Emmy award-winning filmmaker Marta Houske, executive produced by Mr. Paul Turpanjian, with a moving original score by renowned composer John Massari.

To date, “Crows of the Desert” has been recognized by 18 international film festivals as an official selection, winning 8 times with 3 additional nominations.

This documentary inspired Supervisors Janice Hahn and Kathryn Barger to author a motion declaring April as “Armenian History Month” which was approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors last year.