Wednesday 30 July 2014

Documentary on Turkish soaps features in this year’s international film festival in Limassol

Kismet examines the success of Turkish TV dramas such as Hayat & its storyline on child brides

A documentary about the phenomenal international success of Turkish soap operas forms part of the programme for this year’s Lemesos International Documentary Festival. Kismet is one 23 documentaries that will be screened at the week-long festival in Limassol, which runs from 1st to 8th August.

The organisers say they this year’s programme includes: “the most awarded and talked about documentaries of the year…to bring us face to face with… reality!” 

Opening this year’s festival is 20,000 Days on Earth. Part drama, part reality, it depicts 24 hours in the life of the internationally acclaimed musician Nick Cave. Lemesos also hosts the world premier of A Haircut Story, by Danae Stylianou (pictured), which charts the events of last March and its aftermath when Cypriot bank deposits underwent a forced ‘haircut’. Using seven personal stories, Stylianou captures the unfolding drama that emerged from the black hole left by the banks. 

Kismet is screened on Saturday 2 August. Greek director Nina Maria Paschalidou’s highly talked about documentary analyses the impact of Turkish soaps in her home country and the wider region. Turkey’s popular soaps are now seen daily on screens across the Balkans, Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Latin America. Muhteşem Yüzyıl (Magnificent Century) alone has been seen by some 200 million people worldwide, helping to boost foreign TV sales to $130m in 2012, up from a mere $1m in 2007.

Paschalidou's documentary digs into the psyche of hit shows such as Fatmagül'ün Suçu Ne? (What is Fatmagul’s Crime?), Gümüş (Silver) and Hayat (Life Goes On), their hard-hitting storylines covering issues such as rape and child brides. She interviews the stars, directors, and scriptwriters, sociologists and the views of faithful fans Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Athens, Mostar, Sofia and Istanbul.

Her fascinating insights into the success of these TV series help to illustrate how well Turkish soaps have transcended beyond national, cultural and religious boundaries, resonating strongly with their army of international fans – many of them women – who view them as far more than a temporary escape from their often-dismal social reality. Alongside swooning at heartthrobs such as Kıvanç Tatlıtuğ and their romantic intrigues, the viewers are also emboldened by the roles of strong, feisty females. We hear first-hand the personal stories of women who followed in the footsteps of their heroines to fight for their rights, and to ultimately break free of oppressed lives. 
Nick Cave's award-winning film 20,000 Days on Earth opens the festival
All screenings at the Lemesos International Documentary Festival are free and even though the festival is being held in the sweltering heat of the Cypriot summer, expect the sessions to be packed. Prior reservations are not possible so people are advised to turn up early to avoid disappointment. Most of the screenings take place at Theatro Ena (located near to Limassol Castle), with a few at Sousami Bar. See online for the full programme.

Festival dates: 1st-8th August 2014
Screening address:  Theatro Ena, 3036 Lemessus, Limassol, Cyprus
Start times: varies – check online for details
Tickets: free
Info:  Lemesos InternationalDocumentary Festival 

Tuesday 29 July 2014

British Turkish politician receives death threat for views on Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Baroness Ece-Hussein. Photo by David James

The UK’s highest ranking politician of Turkish origin has received death threats following her comments on social media about the Israeli assault on Palestinians. On Saturday, Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE was threatened with beheading by a poster on Twitter. 

The Liberal Democrat peer has been highly vocal in highlighting the plight of innocent Palestinians, while condemning Israel’s actions since the conflict broke out three weeks ago. Palestinian officials say 1,115 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting since 8 July while Israel has lost 53 soldiers and three civilians - two Israelis and a Thai worker.

The poster, who goes under the name of John Lilburne, told the Baroness to “f**k of back to Cyprus [sic]” before tweeting: “How about I come to House of Lords and behead you and put your head on a stick”.

The matter is being investigated by the police.

Sunday 27 July 2014

New Turkish ambassador to London congratulates SoloTürk for stunning air display at RIAT 2014

Ambassador Bilgiç (back row, third right) with the Turkish Air Force SoloTürk Display Team, RIAT 2014

Abdurrahman Bilgiç, the new Turkish ambassador to London, was among the audience that witnessed the breathtaking acrobatics of the SoloTürk Display Team at the Royal International Air Tattoo Show at RAF Fairford on 12 July. The event is the world's largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July, attracting over 150,000 spectators during the weekend. The SoloTürk display comprised a solo performance by a pilot from the Turkish Air Force flying a Lockheed Martin F16.

After the display, ambassador Bilgiç, accompanied by Air Force Education Commander, Lieutenant General Mehmet Çetin and London Air Force Attaché, Colonel Ömer Özkan, visited the Turkish Air Force stand to congratulate the team on their fine performance. The Turkish pilots also enjoyed a great deal of attention and praise from the British public.

In the evening, their moon-and-crescent-branded F16 plane was one of four aircraft to be on display at the RAF Fairford hangar as part of the Red Arrow’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Alongside were the F-35 JSF, Red Arrows Hawk and the unmanned Global Hawk, which are all new additions to the Turkish Air Force inventory.

The Turkish ambassador, who took over the post from Ünal Çeviköz at the start of July, said being part of such a popular and important occasion not only underlined ‘the close relations between Turkey and the UK, but also the capabilities of the Turkish Air Force’.

The Turkish Air Force appearance at RIAT 2014 in Gloucestershire followed a similarly spectacular performance from them at an air show at RAF Waddington the previous weekend. Previously, SoloTürk was awarded the Best Overall Air Demonstration at RIAT 2011.

See this year’s SoloTürkperformance via this link: SoloTürk at RIAT 2014

Yunus Emre Institute to run Summer Club for Turkish speaking children in London


This summer, the Yunus Emre Institute will be running a Children’s Club at its central London headquarters. The club is aimed at children aged 6, 7 and 8 years old who can speak Turkish, as all activities will be in Turkish.

Operating from 4th to 23rd August 2014, the the children’s Summer Club will run a variety of fun activities for the children while also helping them to develop their Turkish language skills. This will include group games, films, acting, word games and other enjoyable, yet educational, activities. All participating children will be given Haydi Türkçe Öğrenelim [Let’s Learn Turkish] learning books and Turkish story books as presents when they leave.

The club will be run by Kübra Yıldırım, the Co-ordinator for the institute’s Turkish Language Courses, together with other teachers. There will be two sessions each week, once on a weekday and once at the weekend – the exact dates will be provided in the near future. Each session will be for two hours and will also include light refreshments for the children. Attendance is free of charge, but the children must be registered in advance to be able to attend. There will be a maximum of 8 children in any given club.

For more information or to register, please contact Emel Albayrak on 020 7387 3036 or email

Saturday 26 July 2014

Turkish businessman completes marathon swim, shows the world how close Turkey and Cyprus are

Vakkas Altınbaş (right) with his trainer Mert Karabetça during their marathon swim to Cyprus

One of North Cyprus’ most successful businessmen has swum from Mersin to Girne to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Turkey’s peace operation. Vakkas Altınbaş, chairman of Altınbaş Holding – one of Cyprus’ largest corporations – set off at Anamur in Mersin, Turkey, with his trainer Mert Karabetça at 7pm on 18 July to swim the 86km (53.4 miles) to reach Cyprus’ northern shores.

Before he set off, Altınbaş told the media he was confident he would succeed and that the aim of his swim was to draw attention to the close proximity and ties between Turkey and North Cyprus. The businessman felt many potential investors in Turkey were unfamiliar with the opportunities in Cyprus and to remind others that Turkey was committed to maintaining its close ties with the TRNC.

Turkey-Cyprus just 86km away
At the pre-swim press conference Altınbaş said, “Once [piped] water comes to the TRNC [from Turkey], the country will benefit with this additional source of vitality.”  He called on his fellow businessmen from Turkey to invest in Cyprus in sectors such as tourism, education and agriculture, and that “with every stroke” he will take during his marathon swim will highlight the closeness of the two countries.

Altınbaş added, “Peace in Cyprus is inevitable. In such a situation it is vital that the economies of both sides operate under equal conditions. Just as we stepped in to help Cyprus in 1974, now we must do the same again. The youth must have goals. I am 55 years old and through my hobby of swimming I will show Turkey and the world just how close Cyprus is. We need to set examples to our youth. If there is to be an agreement, we should do so without forgetting our martyrs.”

Followed by a host of media, Altınbaş swam the distance in a specially constructed steel cage. Having spread the swim across two days, he reached Girne on Sunday evening some 40 hours later where he was greeted by a hundreds of people.

Altınbaş arrives in Girne some 40 hours later
The 55-year-old businessman thanked Karabetça, whom he had been training with for the past two years and hoped his efforts would be a good example for the younger generation, that whatever they aim to do they can achieve.

The Altınbaş family is originally from Gaziantep in Turkey. They settled in North Cyprus soon after the 1974 War, opening a small jewellery shop in Girne in 1979. Since then the family enterprise has flourished and expanded into multiple business interests on and off the island, including the Altınbaş Jewellery brand, Alpet petrol stations and Creditwest Bank. Having spent their formative years on the island, the family see themselves as ‘North Cypriots’. 

Friday 25 July 2014

Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra making history at this year’s BBC Proms

BIRO performing in Istanbul in 2011, photo by Ebru Ulufer

Next week, the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra (BIPO) will become the first Turkish orchestra to perform at the BBC Proms in its 120-year history. Conducted by Austrian Sascha Goetzel, who is also making his proms debut, BIPO will perform a classical celebration of the Orient at the Royal Albert Hall.

Called Oriental Promise, Tuesday night’s programme will allow the audience to: “Sneak into Mozart’s harem, witness the magnificent Queen of Sheba in portraits by both Handel and Respighi, and enjoy the insistent rhythms and swaying hips of Balakirev’s oriental fantasy Islamey.”

Gabriel Prokofyev
Guest violinist Daniel Hope will be performing a solo in the final performance in BIPO’s programme; the world premiere of a new violin concerto composed and produced by Gabriel Prokofyev to commemorate the First World War. Prokofyev is the grandchild of the great Russian composer Sergey Prokofyev. 

Held annually, the BBC Proms is an eight-week summer season of daily orchestral classical music concerts predominantly hosted at the Royal Albert Hall in central London. The festival was founded in 1895, in an era when such events were held outdoors allowing people to stroll around as the orchestra played, hence the word ‘Proms’ to describe promenade.

The BBC took over the running of the festival in 1927 and it now described as “the world’s largest and most democratic musical festival”. This year, BIPO will be among 22 other foreign orchestral ensembles making their debut. Ticket prices to concerts are kept deliberately low to allow maximum access to the British public.

A few tickets are still available for Oriental Promise and are priced between £7.50 and £38. Those who can’t make the event can listen to it live via BBC Radio 3. The BIPO concert will also be televised on BBC Four on 31 August.

Show date: Tuesday 29th July 2014
Venue address:  Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP
Starts: 6.30pm-9pm, with interval
Tickets: £7.50 - £38

Sunday 20 July 2014

See Sheryl Mehmet and a host of emerging soul stars live in London

By Boulent Mustafa


London-based Turkish Cypriot soul singer Sheryl Mehmet forms part of an impressive list of soul talent that will be performing in Shoreditch on Wednesday night at Souls of Fuzion. The former lead singer of musical duo Sunrize has gone solo in her quest to reach a wider audience.

Mehmet’s powerful vocals will be on show alongside another talented vocalist Noel DaCosta, whose style is a throwback to classic soul singers Otis Reading, Teddy Pendergrass, Luther Vandross. Also on Wednesday’s line-up is drumming genius Siemy Di System and amazing poet Nairobi Thompson who has been compared to the late and great Dr Maya Angelou.

Show date: Wednesday 23 July 2014
Venue address: Charlie Wright's Music Lounge, 45 Pitfield Street, London N1 6DA 
Starts: 7 pm
Tickets: £4 (go as a group of 4 and pay just £10 for entry!)

Saturday 19 July 2014

Record numbers expected at tonight’s Şafak Nöbeti in North Cyprus

Photo: Hüseyin Sayıl from 2010 event
By İpek Özerim


Record numbers are expected to turn out for tonight’s Şafak Nöbeti (Dawn Watch), the annual remembrance event at Yavuz Çıkarma Plajı in Girne – the beach where Turkish troops first landed in 1974. This year not only marks the fifth such event, but will also commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Turkish intervention that brought to an end the brutal 11-year Cyprus Conflict.

The Dawn Watch is free and open to all members of the TRNC public. The event starts at 10pm with a celebratory party on the roadside by ICE Club to symbolise the freedom of the Turkish Cypriot people. Performers tonight include famous Turkish singer Zuhal Olcay, a 90-piece marching band – the world’s largest – from Turkey, and a children’s choir.

As in previous years, once the crowds have assembled and enjoyed the initial celebrations, the tone of the event will change at midnight to one of more sombre reflection. People will light their torches and start their descent to the beach below in silence. There is no music, no alcohol, and no entertainment; just a peaceful walk and then the wait for first light and prayers.

This year being the 40th anniversary, the Şafak Nöbeti organising committee have invited back the surviving veterans who took part in the first landing on 20 July 1974. They will join the current troops from this elite Turkish squad, landing together on Yavuz Çıkarma Plajı to recreate that historic moment, where they will be greeted by Turkish Cypriot veterans. It promises to be a very emotional night, with attendance expected to break records for previous years, when up to fifteen thousand people gathered on the beach.

“Men from Turkey who didn’t even know where Cyprus was on the map
came to fight & die for their fellow Turk”

Last month, T-VINE met with Fevzi Tanpınar, the creator of the Şafak Nöbeti (Dawn Watch), to ask him how the idea came about and also why the event is not universally embraced.

Tanpınar explained that as a reporter he had for many years observed the annual pilgrimage of Australians and New Zealanders to Çanakkale (Gallipoli) to pay their respects to the fallen on Anzac Day every April. Back in 2008 he wondered why Turkish Cypriots did not have a similar day of reflection and remembrance.

Over the following two years, he and a small team of friends meticulously researched and prepared for their own annual remembrance event. Tanpınar recalls how excited they all felt to be creating such a momentous occasion, yet also terrified by its responsibility, knowing even the smallest mistake could derail the entire project and result in failure.

Without a trace of arrogance, he says, “Şafak Nöbeti is the biggest and most important project I could ever undertake in my life. I am extremely proud because I will leave behind one of the best legacies for my children to pass on to the next generation. They will grow up knowing their father started this event.”

Tanpınar and his colleagues repeatedly visited Çanakkale to monitor their preparations and understand the pitfalls of organising such a massive public event that needed to embrace all the different parties involved with sensitivity and integrity. With their blessing, but with little involvement from the TRNC state – a deliberate intention – they drew up detailed plans about the shape and management of the event. 
Photo: Hüseyin Sayıl
“Every Turkish Cypriot owes a huge debt to the martyrs, the veterans, our mothers and fathers who stood watch all night every night.”
On the night of 19 July 2010 the TRNC held its first Dawn Watch. Thousands of Turkish Cypriots of all ages gathered on the beach holding torches. Among them was the frail Rauf Denktaş – the founding President of the TRNC. Children with their parents or grandparents all sat in silence; many prayed or wept as they reflected on or relived the events of the past. As the first light of dawn broke, imams led the public in the early morning call to prayer (‘ezan’).

Tanpınar said: “It was an incredible moment as thousands of people collectively paid their respects to all those who had given their lives during the Conflict to guarantee the survival and freedom of the Turkish Cypriot people. They included men from Turkey who had not even known where Cyprus was on the map, yet had arrived in 1974 ready to fight and, if need be, die for their fellow Turk.”

When asked about why the Turkish Cypriot political Left refuses to support the event, Tanpınar acknowledges with sadness the situation. He says just before our meeting, the TRNC Government had contacted him to confirm that yet again they would not be involved or formally include the Dawn Watch in the state’s 20 July programme. This is the second year running the Turkish Cypriot authorities have taken such a line, their attitudes towards the Şafak Nöbeti reflecting the changes in government, when the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) replaced the National Unity Party (UBP) in power.

While disappointed by their decision, Tanpınar is not surprised, nor does he dwell on it, stating that the huge numbers of people who come out each year and who are again expected in 2014 shows it is the North Cyprus authorities that are out of touch with the people.

He explains that a small team of four or five manage the entire event, using private donations and sponsorship to cover the event’s costs. He and his team all work voluntarily and are supported on the night by many more volunteers. While it is an exhausting process to organise all in such a way, the response they receive from ordinary members of the public shows how highly valued the event is and how worthwhile their efforts are.

“Hope was the only thing to keep us going”

“During the 11-years [of the Cyprus Conflict] there was no political Right or Left among Turkish Cypriots. The conflict unified us: we were all at the mercy of the brutal Greek Cypriot regime. Many of us were made homeless. The community lived in fear and poverty in enclaves, clinging together for comfort and support, helping each other through the seemingly never-ending days of darkness,” says Tanpınar.

"Hope was the only thing to keep us going. On the morning of 20th July 1974, our collective prayers were answered. Such sacrifices should never be forgotten. If we are here today living freely on this land of our ancestors, then we Turkish Cypriots must also acknowledge the huge debt we owe to all those who struggled, fought and died for us: the martyrs, the veterans, our mothers and fathers who stood watch all night every night. We must remember and treasure this with dignity and respect.”

Turkey’s military intervention in Cyprus in July 1974 was in response to the Greece-backed coup, which installed notorious EOKA terrorist Nicos Sampson as the President of the Republic of Cyprus, resulting in a bitter war between his supporters and those of deposed leader Archbishop Makarios. Turkish Cypriots, already suffering from 11 years of oppression when Greek Cypriot unilaterally and brutally grabbed power in December 1963, found themselves at the mercy of these two warring factions.

The Şafak Nöbeti marks the date when peace returned to all of Cyprus, & the spirit in which Turkish Cypriots came through those dark days

For Tanpınar, this event is not about igniting nationalist fervour or celebrating a victory over Greek Cypriots. Rather it marks the date when security and peace returned to all of Cyprus, and the spirit in which the Turkish Cypriots came through those dark days. While today he is acutely aware of how Cypriots debate and disagree furiously with each other about the future solution of their island, what they cannot do, he claims, is to airbrush its history to suit their different political views.

The father of two says he is also saddened by the many myths circulated by some as they try to smear the Şafak Nöbeti, such as ‘alcohol is served on the beach where the party continues’ or that it is an initiative of Turkey. He firmly rejects both allegations and says those who attend can see for themselves the true nature of the Dawn Watch.

“There is no protocol area for VIPs, no long speeches or political talks. No army, or party political flags or rosettes. People do bring Turkey or TRNC flags – it is their choice. We provide torches and I say a few words on behalf of the organising committee and then we sit as one and wait for the dawn to break. The emotions of people when the ezan starts…” He breaks off.  

Those of us who have never experienced a war cannot underestimate the feelings of those who have: the mixture of emotions that must take hold as these memories are revisited, particular on such anniversaries.

Living in the UK, we understand the importance of days such as Remembrance Sunday, so it is difficult to gauge why the CTP Government and others in North Cyprus refuse to embrace and support the Şafak Nöbeti. Surely no one can deny the need to pay our respects to those who endured such difficult days so that today we can live out our lives freely and peacefully?

Those struggling with this concept of giving thanks need only look across the Eastern Mediterranean waters, where a mere 60 miles away we witness the embattled lives of Palestinians and Israelis, and the Syrians, to realise just how fortunate a position Cyprus is in through the actions of Turkey back in 1974.

It is for this reason Tanpınar believes every Turkish Cypriot should attend the Şafak Nöbeti at least once in their life, to recall the spirit and strength of their ancestors who fought for their freedom and independence, and the importance of the bonds between them and Turkey.

He recalls the words an emotional Rauf Denktaş said to him and the organising team after spending the entire night on the beach in 2010, even though his health was poorly: “I may not survive to be here with you next year, but I know this [Şafak Nöbeti] will go on forever. May God be pleased with you.”  

About Fevzi Tanpınar

The head of Telsim Vodafone TRNC spent most of his professional life as a journalist. He worked first as a writer, then as a foreign news correspondent in locations such as Athens before becoming a TV news editor for some of the biggest names in Turkish media, including Cumhuriyet and Güneş newspapers, and Star TV, Kanal D, and TV8. He returned to the TRNC in 2003 and continued in media for a time.

Married with two young children, Tanpınar originates from Larnaca. Born in 1966, he is the youngest of three children. His childhood was shaped by experiences from the Cyprus Conflict, which had engulfed the island at that time. His family home was on the frontline of the troubles and his enduring memory as a child is of sandbags in their garden, with his mum making food for the local villagers who also served as home guards as they stood watch every day. Every night, he said she would pray that they would all be safe for another day. This was their routine until the Turkish army arrived to save them in 1974.

Several years ago, Tanpınar and his older brother Raşit Pertev – the former undersecretary to President Talat – made a documentary called The Lost Bus, about 11 Turkish Cypriots who went missing on their way to work in Dhekelia on 13 May 1964. The men had boarded their usual daily bus, but were stopped en route by Greek Cypriot EOKA militiamen who ordered them off the bus. They were then taken to an unknown location and killed.

Their bodies were not found until 2007, discovered down a well in the Greek Cypriot village of Oronliki. The TG856 registered bus is still missing to this day. Tanpınar and Pertev’s father was a regular on the same daily bus, but on that fateful day in May he was running late and missed it.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Dealing with insect bites this summer

The dreaded mosquito in action

By Feriha Özdemir Ibrahim

What is an insect sting?

An insect bite and sting is painful wound that is caused by an insect’s stinger being thrust into skin. The sting or bite causes an immediate reaction in the skin, with most people experiencing redness and swelling in the affected area, which usually lasts for a few days. Common biting insects include flies and fleas, while stinging insects include bumblebees, honeybees, hornets and wasps.

There are three main reactions to stings:

§         Redness
§         Itchiness
§         Pain (of varying degree)

It is important to seek medical assistance if the sting becomes infected, or if there is an allergic reaction or anaphylactic (severe swelling which affects air flow and breathing).

Treating bites and stings

§         Wash the area and pat dry. Remove the sting if it is visible
§         Apply a local anesthetic: using a soothing cream containing hydrocortisone or antihistamine can reduce redness and swelling. Calamine lotion can also be used to reduce the itching.
§         Antihistamine tablets can be taken to reduce the swelling, redness and itching if the bite/sting area is large.
§         If the bite/sting is serious, the patient should seek medical help immediately. This is especially important if an anaphylactic reaction occurs.

Preventing bites and stings

It is important to take some precautions especially while on holiday to prevent yourself getting bitten:
1.      Use insect repellants containing DEET
2.      Avoid marshy areas
3.      Wear long-sleeved tops and trousers to prevent bites in the evening.

If you do get bitten and feel unwell (develop a temperature, breathing difficulties etc.) it is important to seek medical help immediately.

Talk to your local pharmacist

Your local pharmacist can help you to buy appropriate antihistamine creams and lotions, including antihistamine tablets. They can also help you to purchase painkillers and insect repellants, including general holiday essentials.

T-VINE Wellbeing writer Feriha Özdemir Ibrahim is a fully qualified pharmacist who helps run her two family chemists, Woodside Pharmacy, in Leytonstone, East London. If you have any questions for her, please email:

Monday 7 July 2014

Filmmakers invited to UK launch of new international film festival in Cyprus

British Cypriot actor & GIIFF patron Tamer Hassan in the Nicosia Buffer Zone in May

British filmmakers and organisations working in the fields of Environment, Human Rights, and Women, are invited to attend the launch of the Golden Island International Film Festival in North London on Thursday 10 July. This new annual event will take place in Cyprus in November 2014. GIIFF patrons, actor Tamer Hassan and Baroness Meral Ece OBE, will form part of the panel of speakers on the night.

The festival was launched in Cyprus in May, through a party in the stunning grounds of Bellapais Abbey and a press briefing at the Home for Co-operation in the UN-administered Buffer Zone in Nicosia. The GIIFF team are now bringing their festival news to Britain, aiming to court the large Cypriot Diaspora and the British film industry.

GIIFF will be hosting an open evening at the Turkish Cypriot Community Centre in Harringay – the traditional heart of the British Cypriot community – from 6pm-7.15pm. Speakers on the night are the two GIIFF patrons, together with festival director Yeşim Güzelpınar and British Cypriot director Erim Metto.

Festival director Yeşim Güzelpınar
Thursday’s briefing will explain what the festival hopes to achieve, how filmmakers can submit their films, competition details and ways to get involved with GIIFF 2014. Following the briefing, there will be refreshments and a chance to network.

To attend Thursday’s event, simply email your details to by Thursday midday. The venue holds 100 people, so early responses are advised. The venue is located at 628-630 Green Lanes, Harringay, London N8 0SD. Parking restrictions apply, so attendees are advised to use public transport – nearest tube is Turnpike Lane (Piccadilly line).

Journeys form one of the film strands for GIIFF 2014
British filmmakers interested in submitting their films – shorts, documentaries or features – to the festival can do so now. There are several strands for GIIFF 2014: Cypriot Cinema (any subject), guest country UK Cinema (any subject), Environment, Human Rights, Journeys, and Women. Cypriot filmmakers also have a chance to win prizes for their submissions as part of GIIFF’s commitment to supporting the Cypriot film sector. It’s free to enter films – full rules and contact details are online: . Deadline for film submissions is 31st July 2014.

GIIFF is backed by partners such as the Independent Film Trust, Raindance Film Festival, the University of East Anglia (Film Dept), and the Home for Co-operation (UN Buffer Zone, Nicosia). The main sponsors are Creditwest Bank and Girne American University. The festival is organised jointly by UK-based Balik Arts and the Golden Island Arts Association.