MEET THE TEAM
From hospital operating rooms in Siberia to backstage green rooms at the Grammys, Ani Hovannisian has traveled the world directing and producing award-winning true stories for network television and other international audiences, and reporting Armenian news. But, it was a journey to the native lands of her genocide-survivor grandparents that led to her most recent and critical work, The Hidden Map.
It took four trips and seven years for Hovannisian to complete the documentary, which was born when she dared to venture to the forbidden lands of her ancestral past. While documenting evidence of thousands of years of Armenian creation and ultimate decimation in modern-day Turkey, she met a Scottish explorer who had discovered these mysterious lands 30 years earlier. Ani returned with a tiny team, and together they dug beneath the surface, uncovering buried secrets, sacred relics, silenced voices, and the hidden map.
Ani directed, produced, wrote, narrated, and edited The Hidden Map. The film debuted nationwide on NBCLX the weekend of April 24, 2021 to popular audience response and several encore presentations. It was also the top broadcast on PBS SoCal in December, leading to national PBS distribution in June 2022, with about 1000 broadcasts during its first week. The Hidden Map has earned more than a dozen international awards and honors at festivals and special screenings, notably one in the UK Parliament. It was considered for three 2021 Primetime Emmys, including Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking.
Through her production company, Storydoc Productions, Ani plans to bring more Armenian and other stories with broader human relevance to audiences worldwide. A reporter and anchor on Armenian television for more than a decade, she is actively involved with the Armenian community in California and worldwide, and is a member of the Directors Guild of America, Television Academy, and International Documentary Association . Ani and husband Armenio have two children, Sophene and Daron, named after the ancestral Armenian lands of their great-grandparents.
The grandson of genocide survivors, Peter grew up in Southern California, playing sports, writing for his high school newspaper, and filming family and friends with his Super 8 camera. After earning a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC in 1983, he began shooting and editing video professionally, as well as reporting on-camera, at local television outlets in Montana, Texas, the nation's capital, and for the U.S. Army in Central Europe.
For 20 years, starting in 1998, he worked for The Burbank Channel, where he received 10 Los Angeles Area Emmy nominations, as well as winning three such Emmys and 24 RTNA Golden Mikes for shooting, producing, editing, and reporting.
He counts among his greatest journalistic experiences accompanying Ani Hovannisian and her small crew, as they gathered b-roll and interviews for The Hidden Map. His contribution to the film came during three weeks in 2014, not counting the four nights he spent with his two Kurdish roommates in a spartan Muş, Turkey hospital room. His Turkish doctor, originally from Adana, the birthplace of Peter's paternal grandmother, told him his painful condition was "a slow-moving stone." After the 100 hour, $200 medical respite, he rejoined Ani and her team.
Look for Peter's other work at: www.GlobalistFilms.com.
Sharon Chekijian, MD, is a Yale Medicine emergency medicine doctor and medical director of patient experience for the Emergency Medicine Department. She's also an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn.
Dr. Chekijian has led and participated in projects in the Republic of Armenia, Uganda, and Iraq. She has consulted for the World Bank and the US Department of State. She is an active member of the Stroke Initiative Advisory Task-Force for Armenia (SIATA). Dr. Chekijian was awarded a Fulbright in 2020 for her work to improve emergency care in Armenia by the establishment of a new emergency medicine residency program in cooperation with the National Institutes of Health of Armenia and supported from a research standpoint by the School of Public Health at the American University of Armenia.
She is deeply committed to patient experience, communication and humanism in medicine.
She is also committed to human rights, in particular as it relates to the Armenian Genocide, and to her Armenian heritage. Dr. Chekijian and Ani Hovannisian met during an early trip to their ancestral Armenian homeland. They discovered common interests and passions, and ultimately worked together during the pre-production and filming phases of the documentary. Dr. Chekijian helped coordinate travel and location logistics, and wore many hats, from AP to MD, during the three week odyssey through Historic Armenia, present-day Turkey.