THREE FESTIVAL CULTURAL EXCHANGE IN THE SOUTHEASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

The Cyprus Archaeological, Ethnographic and Historical Film Festival, AegeanDocs International Film Festival and Foca International Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Film Days are joining hands in an innovative project that aims to bring people together across national boundaries. The 3-Festival Cultural Exchange in the Eastern Mediterranean will officially launch in May 2021 with a series of workshops conducted with the local residents of Foça, Limnos and Aglatzia. Participants in the workshops will work together to produce short documentary films that explore different facets of the local history and culture. Nine of these documentaries – three from each of the workshops – will then be screened together before local festival audiences in September at the Cyprus AEI Film Festival and in October at AegeanDocs and Foça Film Days. All films will be screened with English, Greek and Turkish subtitles. Following the film screenings, members of the audience, whether live or on-line, will have a chance to engage in dialogue with the amateur local filmmakers themselves. Audience members will also have a chance to vote for their favorite films, and an international jury will select one film per workshop to receive a cash award of 200 Euro.

While the pandemic may limit large gatherings and, at least temporarily, halt the kind of cultural exchange that comes from international tourism, the virtual screenings and the 3-Festival Cultural Exchange in the Southeastern Mediterranean On-line Awards Ceremony offer a different type of opportunity for sharing among cultures. With translation provided in three languages, the Q&As will create an opportunity for people from different countries to learn more about other cultures, exploring the things they share as well as the things that make them unique. In a time of political tensions among Turkey, Greece and Cyprus not to mention a worldwide pandemic, the trilateral regional film project aims to serve as a reminder of how the cinematic arts can contribute to peace, tolerance and coexistence among people whose nationalities, languages, religions and cultures may differ, but who share a common humanity.
The Three-Festival Cultural Exchange in the Southeastern Mediterranean was developed by festival directors Stavros Papageorghiou (AEI Short Film Festival), Deborah Semel Demirtaş (Foca Film Days) and Costas Spyropoulos (AegeanDocs). You can find out more about their festivals and about how to take part in the local film workshops by visiting their respective websites, www.aei-filmfestival.org, https://www.aegeandocs.gr and http://focafilmdays.org.