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Film to tell tale of ‘Our Cyprus’

A Turkish Cypriot film maker launched a bid to raise money for a short film set in London and based on events in the village of Akincilar in the 1920s.

University of Sussex philosophy graduate Alkin Emirali, who lives in Brighton, said that the seven to 15 minute ”short” Our Cyprus would be ”crowd-funded” via website IndieGoGo in the hope of attracting backers for a longer feature film Goats and Sheep, which would be shot on the island.

Two Turkish Cypriot brothers, Yusuf and Mustafa Bayram, who are now believed to be innocent, were hanged in Akincilar in November 1924 for the murder of a local priest, Papa Charambolous Michelides.

Mr Emirali said: ”Our Cyprus….. is my attempt to reconcile my family’s experience of a beautifully mixed and ambiguous Cyprus with the troubles that tore an island and a people in two.”

”It is set in the north London Cypriot enclave of Haringey, the story of a dogged old Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Ali and a young London-born nationalist Greek Cypriot coffee shop owner Andreas.”

The film will star Peter Polycarpou, who played Chris Theodopolopodous in the British sitcom Birds of a Feather in late 1980s and early 90s.

Another motivation for Mr Emirali was the birth of his daughter: ”I began to wonder what I would tell her about her history and her roots. All of us on both sides of the Green Line and the global diaspora need a new narrative.”

The London-born professional screenwriter, who moved to Dunstable with his family at the age of three, added: ”My grandparents were economic migrants in the 1950s. I was fascinated by their memories of an undivided Cyprus and that, being Turkish Cypriots from Luricina (Akincilar), they spoke in the Greek Cypriot dialect.”

”I found out the my father was baptised, like a lot of his Turkish Cypriot contemporaries.”

Mr Emirali was selected as one of six ”Talent and Trade” ambassadors to Los Angeles in 2000 after his first short film, RUF 992M, and has also won funding from the UK Film Council. Our Cyprus was one of 20 films selected by Creative England for its iShorts small grants programme last year.

By Anne Canalp for Cyprus Today

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About Sophia Söderholm 2780 Articles
At the age of ten Sophia moved from Sweden in 1998 and has since lived in several locations around the world including Spain, and has been residing in North Cyprus for four years now. Her educational background is in marketing, hotel management and real estate, and she now works as a real estate agent and is editor in chief for New Cyprus Magazine. If you any questions for Sophia, please write to: sophia@newcyprusmagazine.com.