KARLOVY VARY: Film in Cyprus is blossoming as Cypriot filmmaker Tonia Mishiali arrives at KVIFF with her film Pause selected for the East of the West Competition. The prestigious East of the West competition slot for Mishiali follows a string of local success stories for Cypriot films in 2018, with Smuggling Hendrix directed by Marios Piperides winning the main prize for Best International Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year and Sunrise in Kimmeria directed by Simon Farmakas winning the prize for Best Cypriot Film at the Cyprus Film Days Film Festival 2018.
Pause has its world premiere at KVIFF today 4 July at 19:00 at Pupp Cinema
For a small country that only produces three or four feature films a year this is a stunning string of successes. One of the main reasons filmmaking in Cyprus is blossoming is that the Cyprus government has recently taken several strategic decisions that are changing the film landscape of this small country. Diomidis Nikitas from the film department of the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture spoke about the impact of the new scheme to support minority coproductions that will deliver its first results in September or October this year, as well as the new tax incentives of up to 35% that will start in 2019. “This is a way of building bridges with filmmakers in other countries. It will take some time but the minority coproduction scheme will be the predecessor to the tax incentives which we expect next year.” To find out more about Cyprus tax incentives and minority coproduction support visit www.filmingincyprus.gov.cy
FNE asked the directors of the three films why film in Cyprus is suddenly in bloom?
FNE: Each of your films have just won major prizes or are now in competition in a major A-level festival. Why is this happening now?
TONIA MISHIALI: There a lot of upcoming new directors. We started with shorts and now we are doing features, we’re getting funding. I guess it is just time.
SIMON FARMAKAS: We are not that young. We really started quite a few years ago.
MARIOS PIPERIDES: The Ministry of Education and Culture played a vital role in the development of the success we are seeing now. They invested in short films years ago. We started 10-15 years ago with short films. And I just hope that we can keep it up.
FNE: What impact do you hope for from the new minority coproduction scheme?
TONIA MISHIALI: We hope that a lof of international productions will come to Cyprus with the minority coproduction support using locations or even services, so this is a good collaboration that we hope will make the Cypriot industry blossom more.
SIMON FARMAKAS: We always feel that Cyprus is a bit isolated geographically and this is a good opportunity to get foreign creative talents and technicians to come over and blend with the locals and help our industry grow a bit.
MARIOS PIPERIDES: This will give us as producers more of an opportunity to be involved with other productions from abroad and start collaborations. We hope this will also be reciprocated with production companies from abroad later on.
FNE: The new Cyprus tax incentives will start to work at the end of this year or early next year. Why should I come and shoot in Cyprus?
TONIA MISHIALI: First of all it’s the location. You get sun most of the days of the year. It is always sunny and warm and also the distances are not far. You could shoot in the mountains and within an hour you could come to the beach. You could shoot for Asia for the Middle East and transform the place to look like a desert or an exotic island.
SIMON FARMAKAS: I think also the population is multi-lingual, 99% speak English. The food is great. They are welcoming. They are happy to help. I think people would do their best and go the extra mile for the international productions.
MARIOS PIPERIDES: It is a new undiscovered location that hasn’t been shown in films. This is a new territory that has not been exposed yet to a lot of films.
Pause (Cyprus, Greece)Directed by Tonia MishialiProduced by www.pause-featurefilm.com Supported by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture TRAILER: https://vimeo.com/toniamishiali/pauseteaser
Sunrise in Kimmeria (Cyprus, Serbia)Directed by Simon FarmakasProduced by Fotocine Studios Supported by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture
Smuggling Hendrix (Cyprus)Directed by Marios PiperidesProduction AMP Filmworks Ltd Supported by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture