Professor and award-winning filmmaker Irina Patkanian from the Television, Radio & Emerging Media department in the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts will see her documentary work featured in the theatrical film opera Iphigenia Point Blank: The Story of the First Refugee from December 5-9 at the Sheen Center.

The immersive theatre experience fused documentary film, live music, theatre, and dance and was conceived in response to the refugee crisis as seen through the lens of the Iphigenia myth. It excavates Euripides’ plays, Iphigenia in Aulis and Iphigenia in Tauris, as its central metaphor and draws from the traditional form of the ancient Greek women’s lament from the Trojan and Peloponnesian War epics. It follows the plight and stories of refugees caught in war, the routes they travel to escape violence, and the histories/stories they carry with them.

Patkanian spent three months on the island of Lesvos in 2015 and two months in Lebanon and Turkey documenting the refugee crisis to help develop the project. Throughout the performance, the documentary footage that Patkanian shot and edited will play on a big screen as the dancers, singers, and musicians create a ritual to honor the people being portrayed.

Iphigenia—the first refugee depicted in Western drama—confronts the current refugee crisis and demands to change the ending of her own story.

It is being funded by a PSC-CUNY Research Award, NYSCA, U.S. Department of Cultural Affairs, University of Iowa Arts and Humanities Initiative Major Grant, French American Cultural Exchange foundation and “Made in NY” Women’s Film, Television and Theater Fund Grant.