Calling all filmmakers wielding cameras for peace…

Up till fairly recently, film-oriented Cypriots on the cusp of entering the work force were under few illusions about their prospects of making movies on the island.

Growing up in a traditional society, with a rather conservative outlook on what professions were worth taking up – usually ones that had been in the family for years – the realm of cinema seemed something only worth pursuing in other countries.

Nonetheless, over the years, feature film directors like Michael Cacoyannis, Dervish Zaim and Panicos Chrysanthou,  as well as documentary makers such as Danae Stylianou and Yeliz Shukri, have bucked that trend.

And now more than ever, given the advent of digital cameras and more affordable equipment and post-production tools, the time is right for the island’s  filmmakers to take up a more prominent role.

Which is a very positive development, given that film can be used as a tool for peacebuilding in a way that other media cannot, as it is about viscerally telling a story while portraying others’ perspectives and building empathy where there may only have been stereotypes and prejudice before.

So for those filmmakers working in the domain of peacebuilding, Peace Exchange would like to bring to their attention a film festival they should consider sending their works to.

After all, no matter how much cheaper the process has become, it still requires a considerable amount of time and effort, and the finished results should have the chance of being presented to as wide an audience as possible.

Not to mention, taking part in festivals always allows for exposure to the work of peers which is inevitably both inspiring and motivating.

The festival to consider is the 2012 Millenium International Documentary film festival , running from April 17th to 28th in Brussels, which was created to:

promote documentaries and their makers; a genre that explores social, cultural, economic, humanitarian and environmental issues. It is dedicated to documentaries that reflect widely the objectives of the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDG). It also contributes to the diversity of films on offer in cinemas, as the selected films are, for the most part, not screened in Belgium.

This is where we find the Festival’s objective: to serve as a platform for promoting filmmakers, documentaries and the MDGs, with the purpose of informing and, when possible, pushing for action.

The eligibility criteria and regulations can be accessed here, and those wishing to apply can click to register here.

Meanwhile, it’s also incredibly helpful for filmmakers to keep an eye on festivals organised around their subject, even if they’re not taking part, especially as many fests will host trailers or even the entirety of winning entries on their websites.

Peace Exchange invites you to follow the updates of this year’s Peace on Earth festival which is a not-for-profit fest

established to celebrate and encourage the work of independent filmmakers from around the globe on the themes of peace, nonviolence, social justice and an eco-balanced world.

Now that opportunities for movie-making on the island are ever increasing – and here we should mention that Peace it Together partner CCMC is one of the best resources for those who have peace-oriented projects to film – let’s make sure the work produced gets to a cinema near you – wherever that may be!

That’s all for the moment, but Peace Exchange will be back with more good stuff soon.

Until soon, stay warm and dry and… see you in the next post.

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