Relationships Across the Border: An Inside Look

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What happens when you try to get people to talk about their relationships with people across the buffer zone in order to produce a docudrama that presents the truth behind romance regardless of nationality, religion, gender or sexual orientation? LongFish Productions took on an incredibly challenging project that is being supported by the Knowledge and Innovation Fund. Find out more about it here.

“When I first came up with the idea of the Thin Green Line project I had no idea how challenging such a project was going to be.

In the last days of 2012 the guys from Peace-it-Together gave me the good news. I called my team: “At last we have some petrol in the tank! Let’s start the engines. We are heading to the thin green line!” 

And so we met with Sylvie, our consultant from PiT, in order to set some milestones! Sylvie, an amazing and inspiring personality, seemed so passionate about our project. Our meeting was extremely productive; we exchanged ideas, she gave me advice, contacts, but most of all positive energy, so important for such a challenging project.

Next stop was the CyBC archive. The people there were very friendly and helpful. Following an informal meeting in October I was asked to send an official letter that would specify the kind of footage I am looking for. I prepared it immediately and by January 5th I was glad enough to receive the precious DVD with unedited footage from reportages and news reports from events (demonstrations, conflicts, etc.) that happened within the buffer zone in the last 30 years. 

At the same time, my colleagues and I have been in constant contact with people that were involved in relationships with people from the other side of the buffer zone and have been trying to negotiate their participation in the documentary. This has been the hardest and most challenging part of the project so far. We have often found ourselves before closed doors, unanswered emails, facebook messages, phone calls… Whereas when I first introduced the topic to some of these people (or their friends) everyone was so excited and willing to help, suddenly we came across vast barriers…

I know, I understand… These things are too personal, too sensitive, the whole matter very controversial, even polemical for a closed society like the Cypriot one, where people have learned for hundreds of years now to shadow their desires and wills within a conspiracy of silence. However, what if we could break this conspiracy of silence? What if we young people could make a difference and speak up in the face of those who wish to oppress our desires and foreclose our chances for peace? 

Works of art have always been active and prominent within any discourse that foregrounds change. This documentary aspires to be such a work of art. We have agreed so far with three Greek-Cypriots to share their stories with us and have them retold or acted out by models/actors. We have also contacted some actors who are willing to do this job. In the following two weeks we expect to have a few answers from Turkish- Cypriots subjects and actors, as well, and meet with them, so that we can actually move to the production stage of the project. 

One way or another, we are optimistic that these stories will eventually come to the surface, bringing all the energy and passion that is needed to make people rethink not only about their past but most of all about our future.” 

Marios Psarras – Longfish Productions

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