Hollywood producer Ralph Winter is encouraging Christians to watch the Armenian genocide film "The Promise" because it highlights the persecution that is still happening across the globe today.
Winter, a devout Christian who has worked on Hollywood mega-blockbusters such as 1984's "Star Trek: The Search for Spock" and the "X-Men" franchise, says that he got involved with the film because he was captivated by the love story after he read the screenplay.
The Hollywood producer has been vocal about his Christian faith, and he was also behind several faith-based films, including "Three," "House," and "Left Behind."
He said that "The Promise" is an important story for the faith community because of its emphasis on persecution.
"It's about persecution, and it's persecution that hasn't gone away and is still happening today," Winter said in an interview with The Gospel Herald.
"In the 20th century, this genocide of a million and a half people in Armenia is the most modern indicator that if we don't learn our lesson, if we don't pay attention, if we don't fight back against this, it's just going to continue to happen," he added.
The slaughter of 1.5 million Christian Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1922 has been described by Pope Francis as the first genocide of the 20th century. However, the Turkish government has refused to acknowledge that it ever occurred.
Winter, whose birthday coincides with the day that commemorates the genocide, said that he had participated in genocide parades in Hollywood and Los Angeles. He is hoping that the film would help the Armenians "get the recognition they deserve."
The film has been praised by several high-profile members of the Armenian community, but Winter says that the success of the movie depends on reaching a larger audience, so the film's producer is promoting it heavily on social media as well as traditional forms of advertisement.
"The Promise" was directed by Terry George, and it stars Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte Le Bon. The film is scheduled to hit the theaters across the U.S. on April 21.
The Hollywood premiere on Wednesday was attended by famous celebrities such as Cher, Sylvester Stallone, as well as the Kardashians, who have been vocal about their Armenian heritage.
Cher, who is part Armenian, noted that the genocide is still happening around the world today.
"It's a story that's happening in Syria. It's a story that keeps happening over and over," she said.