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Cyprus

COUNTRY REPORT 2016

Boy on the Bridge by Petros CharalambousDue to the financial crisis that hit Cyprus in 2013, the Ministry of Education and Culture was forced to stop funding the film industry. For the first time since then, the ministry approved production grants of a total of 1 m EUR for seven domestic films in 2015.

Continuing its efforts to encourage filmmakers in Cyprus, a country with a population of 1.14 m, the Ministry announced in 2016 that it would accept applications for a script development grant for low budget feature films and short films. The winners of the grants, which have been put in place for the first time since 2013, are yet to be announced.

In 2016 the country hosted a number of international and national feature and short film festivals, the largest being Cyprus Film Days. Domestic films also participated in international film festivals. Although theatrical distribution is not guaranteed in Cyprus, the island does steadily produce documentaries and short films, and has an active TV production industry.

PRODUCTION

Even though seven films received grants in 2015, most of them have been slow to complete the production and shooting stages. The feature films that have already been produced are Boy on the Bridge, directed by Petros Charalambous and produced by FilmWorks, The Story of the Green Line, directed by Panicos Chrysanthou and produced by Artimages Ltd, Five Shilling Nylon, directed by Christos Siopachas and produced by AMP Filmworks, and Chinatown - The Three Shelters, directed by Aliki Danezi-Knudsen and produced by Roads & Oranges Films.

Rosemarie, directed by Adonis Florides and produced by AMP Filmworks, and Sunrise in Kimmeria, directed by Simon Farmakas and produced by FotoCine Studios Ltd. are in final stages of postproduction. The documentary Price of a Daughter, directed by Yeliz Shukri and produced by Tetraktys Film Productions, is also in the final stages.

Films that completed shooting towards the end of 2016 and are expected to be released in 2017 are Happy Birthday, directed by Christos Georgiou and produced by Lychnari Production Ltd, Clementine directed by Longios Panayi and Smuggling Hendrix, directed by Marios Piperides and produced by FilmWorks.

There are six films in final development and expected to start shooting in 2017 or in early 2018. These are White Small Envelopes, directed by Sotiris Christou and produced by Out of Focus Ltd, Menopause, directed by Tonia Misiali and produced by A.B. Seahorse Film, Life Beneath, directed by Alexia Reuters and produced by Filmblades Ltd, Brothers, directed by Gianna Americanou and produced by Filmblades Ltd, The Man with Answers directed by Stelios Kammits and The Siege on Liberty Street directed by Stavros Pamballis.

Cyprus typically produces approximately two feature films annually.

No international feature films were shot in Cyprus in 2016.

DISTRIBUTIONSunrise in Kimmeria by Simon Farmakas

Two films stood out in the international festival circuit in 2016 - Boy on the Bridge, directed by Petros Charalambous and produced by FilmWorks, and The Story of the Green Line, directed by Panicos Chrysanthou and produced by Artimages Ltd. Boy on the Bridge also participated in the Festa del Cinema di Roma - Alice in the City, where it had its premiere. It was also shown at the Panorama of European Cinema in Athens, where it received the award for best film, and it also won the Best Film Young Jury Cinephile award from the Grain A Demoure festival in France.

These two films were not released in Cypriot cinemas in 2016.

The independent short film Antidote directed by Michael Chapessi, was selected for the 39th National Festival for Greek Short Drama in Athens. It received the award for best film in the Greeks in the World section.

“There are no Cypriot distributors per se in Cyprus, only representatives of foreign distribution companies, which are in charge of distributing European and foreign films in general,” the Cultural Officer from the Ministry of Education and Culture told FNE.

There are no worldwide distributors specialised in the distribution of domestic films, and usually distribution of domestic films is done via the producer within Cyprus. In order for the film to be released abroad, a coproducer is usually needed from the country where the film is to be released, or the producer would talk directly with studios. Domestic films’ releases planned in advance became usual in 2016.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

Cinema in Cyprus is governed by the Regulations for the Funding of Programmes to Support Cinematographic Films under the Ministry of Education and Culture.

According to the Regulations, low budget features may be funded by the ministry with up to 70% of their budget to a total of 850,000 EUR. For state funding, the maximum amount of funding is up to 13,500 EUR for a low budget feature, up to 26,500 EUR for a high budget feature, and up to 5,000 EUR for a documentary.

The ministry’s funding participation in development is up to 34,000 EUR for a low budget feature, up to 43,000 EUR for a high budget feature and from 17,000 EUR to 34,000 EUR for documentaries and animated films of up to 60 or 90 min.

In 2016 the Ministry of Education and Culture announced that it would accept applications for a script development grant for low budget feature films and short films. No other grants were approved.

The Story of the Green Line by Panicos ChrysanthouTV

There are more than ten studios located in Cyprus and specialised in TV production. Local TV channels usually produce original comic and drama series, and also local sketches.

Local TV channels are: Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC 1, 2, HD and Sat), Sigma TVMegaONE (previously called Mega), Ant1, Plus TV, Capital and Alpha TV.

In 2016 the most important new domestic series were the comedy series Mamma Mia directed by Stavros Potamaris, which was broadcast on Ant 1, the satirical show Facatetous, which was broadcast on MegaONE, and the local period drama Galatia directed by Costas Kostopoulos and Paris Prokopiou, which was aired on Sigma.

There are no local channels broadcasting only films.


CONTACTS:

REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS – MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE

Cultural Services
27 Ifigenias Street
2007 Strovolos – Nicosia, Cyprus
Phone: +357 22 809 811
Fax: +357 22 809 873
http://www.moec.gov.cy/en/

Report by Maria Gregoriou (2017)
Sources: Ministry of Education and Culture, Lumière Database on Admission of Films Released in Europe


 

COUNTRY REPORT 2015

After the financial crash in 2013, the film industry in Cyprus is slowly getting back on its feet with the Ministry of Education and Culture approving production grants for seven domestic films. Funds have been frozen since 2012, and this new release of funds will assist the country with a population of 1.14 m to develop as a producer of domestic films and a destination for international productions.

The country hosts a number of international and national feature and short film festivals, the largest being Cyprus Film Days. Domestic films also participate in international film festivals. Although theatrical distribution is not guaranteed in Cyprus, the island does steadily produce documentaries and short films, and has an active TV production industry.

PRODUCTION

Even with funding cuts and the fact that producers commonly work with Athens due to the two countries’ common language, Cypriot producers still managed to make culture a priority and make sure that the Cypriot film industry does not fall behind.

Cultural Officer from the Ministry of Education and Culture told FNE that film is important in Cyprus because “culture comes first, business comes second.”

Rosemarie by Adonis Florides, photo: www.filmworks.com.cyCyprus typically produces approximately two feature films annually but in 2015, as producers have been trying to complete production for release now that the economy is recovering, the number went up to six.

The following drama films are in the final postproduction stages: History of the Green Line / I Istorias Tis Prasinis Grammis by Panicos Chrysanthos, Rosemary by Adonis Florida, Sunrise in Kimmeri / Kimmeria by Simon Farmakas, Boy on the Bridge by Petros Charalambous, Five Shilling Nylon / Pente Selinia Nylon by Christos Shopachas and the documentary Missing Fetine / I Timi Mias Thimateras by Yeliz Shukri. All the films are expected to be completed by the beginning of 2016, in time to be selected for festivals.

History of the Green Line is coproduced by Nikos Kavoukidis, Telefilm, Ministry of Education and Culture, the Cyprus Broadcasting Cooperation CyBC and the Greek Broadcasting Cooperation ERT. The film stars Cypriot, Turkish and Greek actors.

Rosemary’s producer is Adonis Florides in cooperation with AMP Filmworks.

The drama Sunrise in Kimmeria is coproduced by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Cyprus Broadcasting Cooperation CyBC, DD Media Studios, FotoCine Studios FKS Ltd and the South Eastern European Fund.

Boy on the Bridge by Petros Charalambous is produced by AMP Filmworks in association with the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Yiannakis Papadouris Foundation.

Five Shilling Nylon is produced by Marios Petrondas and Marios Piperides with AMP Filmworks.

The documentary Missing Fetine is produced by Stavros Papageorghiou through his company Tetraktys Films.

Boy on the Bridge by Petros CharalambousThe feature films Happy Birthday by Christos Georgiou and Beyond the Cypresses by Longinus Panagis are in the final stages of development within the Development of Production Scheme by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

No international features were shot in Cyprus between September 2014 and September 2015.

DISTRIBUTION

Three independent domestic feature films were released in 2015 with the postproduction support of the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Independent Producers Support Programme.

The comedy Magic Beans / Ta Magika Fasolia by Theo Panayides was shot in the summer of 2014 and released in November 2015.

The drama Family Member/ Melos Ikogenias by Marinos Kartikkis was released in November. AB Seahorse Film Productions was involved in the film’s production.

The third domestic film to be released in 2015 is the drama Conveyor Belt by Alexia Roider. The film was selected for the Cyprus Film Days in April 2015 and was produced by FilmBlades in coproduction with Blunatic Studios, Media Studios and Zedem Media.

Conveyor Belt by Alexia RoiderTwo long documentaries, Beloved Days/ Poliagapimenes Meres by Constantine Patsalides and Aphrodite: the Great Goddess of Cyprus by Stavros Papageorgiou (Tetraktys Films), were also released in 2015.

Aphrodite: the Great Goddess of Cyprus had a budget of 150,000 EUR and involved four years of filming in Cyprus, Greece, UK and Egypt.

Beloved Days was coproduced by Atlantis, the Cinema Advisory Committee of Cyprus, FilmBlades, Rollout-Vision and Walking Around the World.

The feature film Impressions of a Drowned Man / Entyposis enos Pnigmenou, premiered at Rotterdam International Film Festival in January 2015, after being produced in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2012 before the funding was frozen. The film is a coproduction between Cyprus and Slovenia produced by Drytree Films (Cyprus) in coproduction with FilmBlades(Cyprus) and Restart (Slovenia).

“There are no Cypriot distributors per se in Cyprus, only representatives of foreign distribution companies which are in charge of distributing European and foreign films in general,” the Cultural Officer from the Ministry of Education and Culture told FNE.

There are no worldwide distributors specialised in distribution of domestic films, and usually distribution of domestic films is done via the producer within Cyprus. In order for the film to be released abroad a coproducer is usually needed from the country where the film is to be released, or the producer would talk directly with studios. Domestic films’ releases planned in advance have become usual in 2015.

Impressions of a Drowned Man by Kyros PapavassiliouGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

Cinema in Cyprus is governed by the Regulations for the Funding of Programmes to Support Cinematographic Films under the Ministry of Education and Culture and approved by the European Committee for Cinema and the European Committee for Public Support until December 2015.

According to the Regulations, low budget features may be funded by the ministry with up to 70% of their budget to a total of 850,000 EUR. For state funding, the maximum amount of funding is up to 13,500 EUR for a low budget feature, up to 26,500 EUR for a high budget feature, and up to 5,000 EUR for a documentary.

The ministry’s funding participation in development is up to 34,000 EUR for a low budget feature; up to 43,000 EUR for a high budget feature; and from 17,000 EUR to 34,000 EUR for documentaries and animated films up to 60 or 90 min.

In 2014 the Ministry of Education and Culture granted 1 m EUR for the development and production of the following feature films which began production in 2015 or will begin production in early 2016: Yianna Amerikanou’s Brothers, produced by FilmBlades, Marios Piperides’s Smuggling Hendrix, produced by AMP FilmworksThe Man with the Answers / O Anthropos Me Tis Apantisis by Stelios Kammitsi, produced by Felony Film Productions, Alexia Roiter’s Life Beneath, produced by FilmBlades, Stavros Pampalis’s The Siege on Liberty Street, produced by Med Focus and Green Olive Films, Sotiris Christou’s White Small Envelopes, produced by Out of Focus and Tonia Mishiali’s film Menopause, produced by A.B. Seahorse.

Smuggling Hendrix by Marios PiperidesTV

There are more than ten studios located in Cyprus specialised in TV production. Local TV channels usually produce original comic and drama series, and also local sketches. Local TV channels are: Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC 1, 2, HD and Sat), Sigma TVMega TVAnt1, Plus TV and CapitalAlpha TV will also become a local channel in the following year.

There are no local channels broadcasting only films.


CONTACTS:

Republic of Cyprus - Ministry of Education and Culture

Cultural Services
27 Ifigenias Street
2007 Strovolos – Nicosia, Cyprus
Phone: +357 22 809 811
Fax: +357 22 809 873
http://www.moec.gov.cy/en/

Report by Maria Gregoriou (12Dec 2015)

Sources: Ministry of Education and Culture, Lumiere Data Base on Admission of Films Released in Europe

Interview with Elena Christodoulidou

 Ministry of Education and Culture, Cultural Services

COMMING SOON

 

Fact box Cyprus

Population: 1.17 m (2014)
GDP per capita in USD: 26,109 (2014)
Total admissions: 695,151 (2014)
Admissions per capita: 0.6 (2014)
Box Office: 5,100,689 EUR (2014)
Feature film production: 2 (2014)
Number of screens: 38 (2014)
Digital screens: 38 (2014)
Average ticket price in Euro: 7.72 (2014)
Domestic premieres: 2 (2014)
Domestic admissions: 60,791 (2014)
European premieres: 14 (2014)
European admissions: 73,043 (2014)
Annual state support for film industry: 1 m EUR (2014)

(Sources Ministry of Education and Culture, Lumiere Data Base on Admission of Films Released in Europe)

Cyprus Admissions Top Ten 2014

Title Country of Origin Admissions
Bird of Cyprus/ To Pouli Tis Kyprou Cyprus 60,386
300: Rise of An Empire USA 22,904
Frozen USA 18,243
Transformers: Age of Extinction USA / China 16,818
The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies USA / New Zealand 14,788
Rio 2 USA 14,487
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles USA 14,139
How to Train Your Dragon 2 USA 13,906
The Amazing Spiderman 2 USA 13,545
Dumb and Dumber To USA 13,502

 

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