By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijani documentary "Endless Corridor" has been screened at the Center for Youth Employment in Druskininkai, Lithuania.
The film was awarded with the highest prize of the International Eurasia Press Fund (IEPF), “Karabakh”, Azertag reported.
Producer and film director Alexander Brokas, the film’s main character Richardas Lapaitis, journalist and students attended the ceremony.
The event was organized by IEPF, the Druskininkai Police Commissariat and The Center for Youth Employment in Druskininkai.
The IEPF representative in Lithuania, military journalist Richardas Lapaitis announced a minute of silence as a sign of respect for all the victims of the bloody Khojaly tragedy, which documentary film "Endless Corridor" is dedicated to.
"Today we have gathered for a special event. The film “Endless Corridor” is well known throughout the world and at the international film festivals, but in the South of Lithuania, the film is being shown for the first time," said Lapaitis.
"The Khojaly genocide is one of the biggest tragedies of the last century. All Khojaly residents lost their property, lost their home, and the city is still under the occupation. However, none of the perpetrators has been punished, and they are responsible only to their own conscience," he added.
In his speech, the main producer and director of the film Alexander Brokas said that the documentary tells about the ethnic cleansing carried out by Armenia, about killing innocents.
"The main goal of the entire film is the testimony of the survivors, the stories of the military men, eyewitnesses of events. The film had been made for more than four years with the participation of cameramen from more than 14 countries," said Brokas.
He stressed that "Endless Corridor” in English was voiced by the famous British actor, Oscar winner Jeremy Irons.
"Believe me, for him it was a very difficult job and even every comma had great importance. I am glad that today there is an opportunity to show "Endless Corridor" in Druskininkai," he concluded.
After that, Zingsniai ensemble of accordionists and saxophone players of the Lazdija School, the winners of many republican competitions, performed a musical composition.
The film then was shown, which left no one indifferent. Many viewers had tears in their eyes while watching the bitter torment of innocent Azerbaijani people who became victims of the Armenian and Soviet armed forces.
In his speech, IEPF President Umud Mirzayev told how much it is hard for an eyewitness to rewatch everything that he had experienced.
"The film "Endless Corridor" largely covers the situation about the committed acts of vandalism. When I look at these shots, I relive the pain that I felt when I saw the atrocity with which civilians were killed only because they were ethnic Azerbaijanis," said Mirzayev.
He thanked all the participants, all those who supported the organization of the event and said that screening the film is an invaluable contribution to the idea of promoting peace in which the dissemination of objective information plays a significant role.
At the end of the event, “Karabakh” award was presented to Alexandras Brokas and Richardas Lapaitis for their courage and personal contribution to the dissemination of objective information about the realities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and to peacebuilding process.
Also, honorary Diplomas were presented to Gintaras Krasnickas, Head of the Druskininkai Police Commissariat, and Ausra Nedzinskiene, Director of the Center for Youth Employment in Druskininkai.
Produced at the initiative of the Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva, the film covers the events and the aftermath of the massacre of 613 people that took place in February 1992 during the Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan. It follows two journalists, Lithuanian Ricardas Lapaitis and Russian Victoria Ivleva, as they return to Azerbaijan to discover what had happened to survivors they had met at the time.
The presentation of documentary was held by Leyla Aliyeva within the framework of the promotional campaign "Justice for Khojaly!" in Istanbul, Ankara, Rome, Vilnius, London, Paris, Dublin, Berlin, Bern and Luxembourg.
The film was first screened on July 1, 2015, at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). "Endless Corridor" won the "Humanitarian Award" in the "Outstanding Achievement" nomination at the Global Film Awards 2015. The Global Film Awards is presented by the influential American publication Accolade Global Film Competition.
The film was also recognized as the best documentary and best work of the director of the year at the international film festivals in Madrid and Tenerife.
The International Eurasia Press Fund is a non-governmental and non-profit organization, established in Azerbaijan in 1992 at the height of the Nagorno-Karabakh War. It operates in four key areas: Media Development, Conflict Resolution, Refugee/IDP Issues, and Community Development. Today the IEPF employs over 90 staff, with offices in Baku and a vocational training center in Terter region for victims of the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including land mine survivors, IDPs and refugees.
Ongoing work with IDP vocational trainings, legal assistance, and mine risk education (MRE) serve as a benchmark of regional operations. Partners include UN agencies, US State Department Bureaus, embassies, World Bank, and Azerbaijan Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA).
Since January 2014, the IEPF maintains General Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC. The IEPF is a member of the European Council on Refugees and Exile and has representation on the boards of both the International Peace Bureau and International Press Institute.
Since 2007, the IEPF has also been a member of the State Department’s Public-Private Partnership Program of the Military-Political affairs office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA).
IEPF works in collaboration with various UN Agencies, World Bank, European Commission, European Union, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Foreign Diplomatic Missions in Azerbaijan, and with local and international NGOs functioning in the region.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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