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From The Press

Akamas movie sparks protests - before it’s even been released

TROUBLE is brewing behind the scenes of a film that is yet to see the silver screen.

Producer/Director Panicos Chrysanthou has come under attack in recent days over the release of his new film called Akamas which, according to some, carries a distorted version of Cypriot history and in which EOKA fighter Evagoras Pallikarides is allegedly portrayed as a murderer.

Spurring the reports were various right-wing media publications such as Machi and satirical newspaper Pontiki as well as television station ANT1, who blasted the film’s take on EOKA and Pallikarides.

In defence of his film, currently being edited and which will soon go into post-production, Chrysanthou says that he is baffled at the attention being focused around the film, adding he felt that extreme fascist views were to blame for all the hype.

“I am just as puzzled as anyone else as to why there are all these attacks against the film since it hasn’t even been released and they haven’t seen it yet.

“The people making these accusations are not properly informed on the reality of the situation and are running stories and saying things about me without even so much as picking up the phone and calling me up to confirm if it is true or not.

“I find the matter very fascist and I can only put this whole unpleasantness down to political culture in .”

Also a mystery to Chrysanthou is who exactly started the rumours. “I have no idea where the rumours about the film started; maybe it was somebody that has something personal against me or maybe it was somebody jealous of me.”

Set for release in autumn this year, Chrysanthou produced Akamas, with assistance from a Turkish Cypriot investor and a Hungarian company. It is being supported by Greek television station ERT, the Cinema Advisory Committee and Eurimages, which is a Council of Europe fund for the co-production, distribution and exhibition of European cinematographic works.

One of the main figures behind the attack is DISY deputy and Machi owner Sotiris Sampson who told the Mail that the film itself was not the problem but said that he was worried about the recent newspaper publications.

“According to what was published in the papers, it seems to be a very serious issue with regards to the history of . That is why we are asking the government to re-examine the scenario and re-evaluate the decision to subsidies it. Our problem is not the content of the film itself because everybody has the right to freedom of expression. If the recent publication rumours aren’t true, then there is no problem.”

Nonetheless, Sampson is taking no chances and has already sent a letter to parliament requesting from the government to look into the issue.

“I have registered a letter with the Educational Committee in Parliament asking them to discuss the subject so we can know exactly what is going on and from there onwards we’ll decide on what to do and how to handle the matter. The government needs to re-examine the matter to see if the allegations are true.


By John Leonidou


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