FNE at Cannes IFF 2012: Cypriot production scores hit on international circuit


    {mosimage}CANNES: Cypriot Greek coproduction Fish n' Chips is already a Cyprus success story. The film is set top open in Cyprus just after Cannes and has already opened theatrically in Greece earlier this year. Directed by Cypriot born director Elias Dementriou and produced by Monica Nicolaidou the film has also scored a hit on the international festival circuit screening in Montreal, Sofia and Montpelier festivals.

    Produced by Nicosia based production outfit Filmblades (www.filmblades.com) the film is one of the one or two feature films a year produced in Cyprus, one of the EU's smallest members.

    Fish n' Chips is about cultural identities and homelands and is based on the director's own search for identity and the question of belonging. It follows the story of a Cypriot immigrant living in London who returns home after many years to start a fish n chips shop in his native Cyprus.

    Speaking to FNE producer Nicolaidou said: "It's hard to produce a film in Cyprus. The total support for everything, production of features, animation etc is only 1M EUR a year and it's difficult to raise the money for the budget. Our film had an 826 000 EUR budget and it is a coproduction with Greece.
    Cyprus has five main TV channels and two or three specialized channels but Nicolaidou said they do not participate in funding productions. There is a fairly high level of production expertise with film professionals cutting their teeth on TV commercials and music videos etc despite the small number of feature films produced annually.

    Most Cypriot films are coproduced with Greece and Nicolaidou said the current economic crisis in Greece also threatened to derail Cypriot local productions that often depend on partnership with Greece.

    Caption: Cypriot producer Monica Nicolaidou of Film Blades with Cyprus Ministry of Culture and Education's Diomidis Nikitas at the Cyprus Film Cocktail in Cannes