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Radio/TV • Declare Your Independence with Ernest Hancock
Program Date:

2023-02-17 -- Ernest Hancock interviews PETER BAHLAWANIAN (MP3&4)

PETER BAHLAWANIAN (Filmmaker- Documentarian- Producer-Spiceologist) on the video documentary The Desire to Live, documentary film & web series, about the Secret Ethnic Cleansing of the Armenian People
Media Type: Audio • Time: 225 Minutes and 0 Secs

Hour 1 - 3

Media Type: Audio • Time: 225 Minutes and 0 Secs


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PETER BAHLAWANIAN (Filmmaker- Documentarian- Producer-Spiceologist) on the video documentary The Desire to Live, documentary film & web series, about the Secret Ethnic Cleansing of the Armenian People




Peter is an award winning producer/director with over 30 years of experience in almost every aspect of the entertainment industry, notably creator of the Armenian Music Awards, the Human Rights Film Festival of America and Producer of The Desire To Live -documentary film & web series.

Peter is a grand-child of orphans of the Armenian genocide and an active force in protecting the Armenian culture through music, art and film.


1. The Desire to Live

The documentary shows the effects of the war on the civilians of Artsakh and their livelihood.

The Desire to Live: documentary feature wins 136 awards from 72 Film Festivals worldwide in 2022, from Best Documentary Film and Best Original Score to Best Editor & Best Woman Filmmaker. Film Puts Tragedy of  Secret Ethnic Cleansing of the Armenian People on the Radar. Huge Humanitarian Crisis!

The Desire to Live is a devastating documentary of an active, unprovoked attack. With brutal honesty the film captures the beginning of the final stage of the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Christian  Armenian population .

Baroness Caroline Cox, the House of Lords (United Kingdom), said, "If nations are allowed to commit genocide with impunity, to hide their guilt in a camouflage of lies and denials, there is a real danger that other brutal regimes will be encouraged to attempt genocides. Unless we speak today of the Armenian genocide and unless the Government recognizes this historical fact, we shall leave this century of unprecedented genocides with this blot on our consciences


Diaspora Films presents "The Desire to Live", a documentary feature by director/writer/editor Mariam Avetisyan, a brave young filmmaker living in Artsakh Armenia, produced by Peter Bahlawanian. A visually stunning record of the 2020 war's impact on the indigenous people of Artsakh, the film depicts the uncertainty and challenges of a crippled or nonexistent livelihood in a region wracked by war. After so much devastation and ongoing conflict, this award-winning documentary is helping spread the message of the country's many struggles, especially that of its native people. With almost no narrative, audiences are free to focus on the visual storytelling before them, in the faces of children wondering about tomorrow, in the eyes of the elderly who have survived so much conflict. The message is conveyed in the inevitable lines of worry on the faces of mothers and fathers that have lost so much.

The Desire to Live is the recipient of 136 awards from 72 Festivals worldwide. These include Best Director Documentary Feature and Best Indigenous/Native Peoples Film at the Cannes World Film Festival. Other festivals such as the Toronto International Women Film Festival, the ARPA international Film Festival in Los Angeles, the London New Wave Film Festival, Florence Film Awards, Indie Cinema Film Awards in Helsinki, Manila Independent Film Festival in the Philippines, Milan Gold Awards in Italy, Accolade Global Film Competition, Tekka International Film Festival in Singapore, Mykonos International Film Festival in Greece are just a few among those recognizing the film's message and quality. So far, the film has competed in 85 cities and 41 countries around the world, the awards run the gamut from Best Documentary Film and Best Original Score to Best Editor and Best Woman Filmmaker.

Currently, the film is "In Consideration" at 8 more film festivals worldwide, The Desire to Live will undoubtedly gain further accolades. Festival attendees can see and hear first-hand the destruction and devastation in stark relief to the efforts of a population to recover and prosper despite these extreme challenges.

Additionally, award winning The Desire to Live web series, 3 seasons and 40 episodes of short documentary film format, is available to watch on YouTube free of charge, with season 4 set to be released in February 2023.

Current State of the Armenian Catastrophe

Azerbaijani special operations have seized the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) and Armenia, stopping all traffic and threatening to starve the entire local population. thus denying the entire population of Artsakh access to their homeland Armenia and the outside world population .

As in the case of the disruption of the only natural gas supply pipeline from Armenia to Artsakh earlier this year, the goal of this action happening now is the same – to create an unbearable humanitarian crises that force people to flee their homes.

Armenian Christians of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) face the endless threat of pogroms and ethnic cleansing. At the same time, the destruction of ancient Armenian Christian churches, graveyards, and Armenian architecture under areas of Azerbaijan control – since the disaster of the conflict of 2020 – is all too familiar given recent history.

Unless Armenia capitulates to Azerbaijan and NATO Turkey, more military aggression is likely. The leader of Azerbaijan is emboldened by the indifference of the EU, strong ties with NATO Turkey, and increasing ties with Israel in the area of military arms and geopolitics.

The Russian Federation once played an important role in the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis. However, Azerbaijan and Turkey note the preoccupation of the Russian Federation concerning Ukraine. Therefore, the energy weakness of the EU and the preoccupation of the Russian Federation bodes ill for Artsakh and the territorial integrity of Armenia.

The Foreign Ministry of Armenia recently said, "Numerous videos regularly publicized by Azerbaijani users on social media demonstrate the war crimes against and the extrajudicial killings of Armenian prisoners of war, torture of Armenian servicemen, including women, and desecration of corpses committed by the Azerbaijani armed forces."

WHY? It is not publicly discussed often but yes, the Azeris have their eyes on the many mines that have tons of copper and other natural minerals for manufacturing chips 

And Why has Biden so far refused to help?

 It is the million dollar question considering Nancy Pelosi flew into Yerevan to prevent another full out attack by Azerbaijan the day before Armenian Independence Day in September this year. There are many senators asking the Biden administration to cut military aid and impose sanctions on AZ but nothing yet.


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