Join Us for the Film Premiere of They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief

Feb 8, 2017

They Shall Not Perish_Hero Banner_Website

This long-awaited documentary details the historic events that led to the Armenian Genocide and the rescue and unprecedented humanitarianism that followed, providing assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced men, women, and children. The documentary makes extensive use of newly discovered film footage and archival photographs of orphans who were in Near East Relief’s care.

Disclaimer: This film contains graphic images. For more information about the film, please visit

April 8th Screenings at The Times Center in New York:

    Matinee (2pm): $20/pp – Includes film and Q&A with the filmmakers (group rates available for ten or more)

    Evening/Reception (5pm): $50/pp – Includes film, Q&A with the filmmakers, and cocktail reception

Confirmed Panelists:

     George Billard – Writer & Director

     Shant Mardirossian – Executive Producer & NEF Board Member

     Peter Balakian – Expert Historian

     Susan Harper – Expert Historian

*There are more panelists to be announced, so stay tuned! You can read more about the panelists below.


The Near East Foundation, known initially as Near East Relief, spearheaded this first great mobilization of international humanitarian assistance in the United States, in September 1915, in response to the Armenian Genocide. Driven by the conviction that ordinary citizens had the collective power to save the lives of people coping with adversity, the organization’s efforts helped save more than one million lives.

As the first organization to provide direct relief to refugees, Near East Foundation’s work continues to be necessary and relevant today. All proceeds generated by this screening will go toward our current work improving lives in the Middle East.

For media inquiries, sponsorships, groups over 10, or other questions about the event please contact Communications and Development Officer Andrea Crowley at Follow updates on the event on Facebook and Twitter.



Presenting Sponsor


Morgenthau Sponsors

  Armenian General Benevolent Union







Dodge Sponsors


 CU Armenia Center Logo

The Armenian Center at Columbia University









Barton Sponsors




                    Golden State Bank

   AMAA100 Logo new

   Armenian Missionary  Association of America










Friends of Near East Foundation




Shant Mardirossian                           Executive Producer



Shant Mardirossian is the Executive Producer of They Shall Not Perish: The Story of Near East Relief. In his professional life, Mr. Mardirossian is a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer at a leading U.S. middle-market private equity firm. He is a graduate of the Lubin School of Business at Pace University and holds a B.B.A. in Public Accounting and an M.B.A. with dual concentration in Investment Management and Strategic Management. His grandparents were all survivors of the Armenian Genocide and his paternal grandmother sought refuge in an American orphanage. They were the inspiration for the film.

George Billard
Writer, Director & Producer



George Billard is an award-winning producer, writer, director and cinematographer. To date he has helmed productions in over forty countries. His work includes commercials, television, documentaries and film. In addition to They Shall Not Perish, he is currently in production on Amateur, a documentary film about amateur cagefighters in New York, and They Call Me Killer, a documentary about an unusual state executioner. His original screenplay, Dispossessed, was awarded the Grand Prize for Best Screenplay at the 2015 Rhode Island International Film Festival.

peter balakian





Peter Balakian










Peter Balakian is the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner for Poetry and author of 7 books of poems, 4 books of prose and 2 translations. His newly published books are Ozone Journal and Vice and Shado: Essays on the Lyric Imagination, Poetry Art, and Culture (University of Chicago Press.) His books of prose include Black Dog of Fate, which won the 1998 PEN/Martha Albrand Prize for the Art of the Memoir, and was a best book of the year for the New York Times, the LA Times, and Publisher’s Weekly. The Burning Tigris: Armenian Genocide and America’s Response won the 2005 Raphael Lemkin Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book and New York Times Best Seller. His translation of Grigoris Balakian’s Armenian Golgotha: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide was a Washington Post book of the year. Balakian is the recipient of many awards, prizes and civic citations including a Movses Horenatis Medal from the Republic of Armenia, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, The Sependlove Prize for Social Justice, Tolerance, and Diplomacy (recipients include President Carter), and the Emily Clark Balch Prize for poetry from the Virginia Quarterly Review. He has appeared widely on national television and radio (60 minutes, ABC World News Tonight, PBS, Charlie Rose, CNN, C-SPAN, NPR, Fresh Air, etc.). His work has been translated into over a dozen languages including Armenian, Arabiv, Bulgarian, French, Dutch, Greek, German, Hebrew, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish and Turkish. He is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities, Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Colgate University.


susan harper






usan B. Harper

Susan B. Harper is currently researching the history of American philanthropy in the Near East as a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Dr. Harper was previously senior officer at the Pew Charitable Trusts, executive director of the Templeton Prize, and lecturer in History, Literature and Expository Writing at Harvard University. She received her bachelors degree from Yale University and her masters and doctoral degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Harper is author of a biography of the first Indian bishop of the Anglican Church, V.S. Azariah of Dornakal. She has also published and lectured on the lives of Near East Relief workers, most recently at the Library of Congress




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