Friday, 5 December 2014

Codename Venus gets UK premiere

Director Tamer Garip with leading lady Jolie Myatt 

Tamer Garip’s debut film Codename Venus received its UK premiere in central London on Tuesday night. The director attended the screening at Curzon Victoria, along with the film’s leading actress Jolie Myatt. Among the audience were British film industry people, business, political and community leaders and celebrities from the British Turkish community, diplomats from the TRNC embassy, and a delegation from Near East University, which had financed the film and sponsored last night’s event.

The audience was treated to the screening of a new director’s cut of the film first released in 2012. The 90-minute feature is about a British woman, Yasemin (Jolie Myatt), who sets off to discover the fate of her parents who went missing in Cyprus when she was a young girl. The film also stars Cengiz Bozkurt and Jonny Lee Kemp. Set in the 1960s and 1970s, Yasemin’s journey mirrors the tragic events that impact this small Mediterranean island, highlighting many elements of the terrible conflict between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

Following the screening, Tamer Garip and Jolie Myatt took part in a Question and Answer session, chaired by Neil McCartney of the Independent Film Trust and Raindance Festival. Several in the audience praised the director for making such a ‘powerful historical film about the Cyprus conflict’ and many were keen to know when the follow-up movie would be made – the film ends on 19th July 1974. Garip explained the first film had taken him ten years to complete, but he was keen to start the next one as soon as funding could be raised.

When asked what her role in the movie and what she loved most about it, Myatt said, “I was embarrassed by how little I knew about Cypriot history. Like many people, I think of Cyprus as a tourism destination. That’s why I think this film is so important.”  She added, “I love the warm hospitality of your people. I was made to feel very welcome when I lived in Lapta. I did not want to leave.”  

Four ladies among the lucky few to attend the invite-only UK premiere

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