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​​​​​​SPLASH - A CSUN Student Thesis Film

Faced with the imminent loss of his son wounded in the brutal Russian-Ukrainian war, a grieving father discovers a diary filled with his child's unfulfilled dreams. Desperate to make amends for lost time, he daringly kidnaps his ailing son from the hospital, and together, they embark on a poignant and transformative journey to fulfill the heartfelt wishes of the past, mending the fractured bond between them in the face of impending tragedy.

From the director, Artur Papikyan:

Splash intimately intertwines my personal experiences with the enduring impact of war in my home country, the profound sorrow of losing friends and family members without even being able to say goodbye, and the constant fear for my family, who live under Russian occupation.

Since the onset of Russia's full-scale military aggression against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the conflict has resulted in a staggering number of casualties. The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine has reported over 28,500 civilian casualties, with more than 560 of those being children (Janowski). In addition to this, the conflict has seen approximately 500,000 casualties among troops, dramatically underscoring the extensive human toll of the war (Cooper et al.).

All news outlets always separate the two figures – military and civilian casualties. This seems strange to me. People outside of Ukraine often think of war as a battle of soldiers against soldiers, as if that reduces the level of horror. After all, that's what the military is for – to fight. They forget that Ukrainians didn't choose to be at war but were invaded. Most of the dead in Ukraine, including my friends, did not want to become soldiers. They were lawyers, bartenders, programmers, cooks, and teachers. They had their dreams and built plans for the future, but they had to take up arms to defend their homes. When they became military men, they did not stop being someone's father, brother, son, or friend.

With this story, I want to show that this war is closer than it seems. By telling the tragedy of one family, I want to remind the audience that there are millions of people like that; only their story has been left out of the frame. I want to express the pain of many who never got to say goodbye to their loved ones. 

In recent years, we have seen cruelty, hatred, and lies all around us. Violence has become so routine that many people have stopped noticing it. But we keep watching movies. My film may be unable to stop wars or bring back the dead, but it can remind us of the importance of human life and briefly transport the viewer to a fairy-tale world where the unthinkable is possible. I hope that by watching it, people will be able to see themselves in a new way, realize and acknowledge the past's mistakes, forget, at least for a while, the horrors of the present, and believe that we can have a future. Watching movies, we understand what a world full of love, goodness, and justice can be like. And who knows, maybe someday these dreams will come true.

Janowski, Krzysztof. "Civilian Deaths in Ukraine War Top 10,000, UN Says in Ukraine." United Nations Ukraine, United Nations, 21 Nov. 2023, Ukraine. UN.org.

Cooper, Helene, et al. "Troop Deaths and Injuries in Ukraine War Near 500,000, U.S. Officials Say." The New York Times, The New York Times, 18 Aug. 2023, www.nytimes.com/2023/08/18/US/POLITICS/UKRAINE-RUSSIA-WAR-CASUALTIES.html.

To achieve our goal of creating Splash, we need various things in various departments! Your donation can help us in any of these areas: 

PRODUCTION: Permits, actors, insurance, catering... 

CAMERA: Underwater housing equipment, follow focus, lenses...

ART: Props, costumes, paint, building material...

G&E: Grip trucks, process trailer, rigging equipment...

POST-PRODUCTION: Hard drives, processing fees...

We also appreciate gifts-in-kind.

All contributions to Splash are 100% tax deductible. The California State University, Northridge Foundation is a charitable, non-profit organization 501(c)(3) public benefit California corporation.


Director: Artur Papikyan

Producer: Ariana Decker

Producer: Mariana Vashchilenko

Producer: Scarlette Ortiz

Assistant Director: Tony Rattanasack

Script Supervisor: Jose Mendez

Post Producer: Connor Barry


Director of Photography: Sophia Hernandez

Camera Operator: London Prince

1st Assistant Camera: Yorick Moran

2nd Assistant Camera: Spencer Goldfarb


Editor: Dakota Marshall

Editor: Koa Kellenberger

Assistant Editor: Brian Navarro


Gaffer: Anshul Shankhdhar

Key Grip: Joshua Marconi

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Thank you for believing in Splash and for your generous support. Your contribution is making the vision of this film a reality.

My journey has taught me the importance of community and perseverance. "Splash" team embodies these values, and thanks to you, we are on our way to sharing this story with the world.

Your support is not just a donation; it's a vote of confidence in our team and the stories we tell. We are excited to keep you updated as we progress and look forward to celebrating our shared success.

Thank you for joining us on this journey. Together, we're bringing "Splash" to life.

Warm regards,

Artur Papikyan

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