As in Greece before it, when Cyprus began to feel the pinch of the economic crisis, funding for the arts was one of the first areas to take a hit.
One Cypriot filmmaker, Stelana Kliris, has taken to the funding plaform indiegogo.com to present and seek support for a low-budget project in an effort to create some work for herself and her associates and to provide a small boost to the flagging industry during these difficult times.
Kliris’s “Committed” will be a romcom road movie set on the Eastern Mediterranean island, where a man escaping the pressure of having to propose to his girlfriend comes across a bride who has just run out on her wedding.
With Cyprus being one of the cheapest shooting destinations in Europe, the plan is to shoot the film over three weeks in May 2013, with the support of a local crew and production companies.
To make the film happen, the crew has agreed to work for reduced rates, while local production companies have generously offered equipment, facilities and services at very low prices or even for free. What the funding drive aims to cover is the fees for the cast and crew, equipment rental, gas, catering and post-production costs. The target is $40,000 before the December 14 deadline, but with just $860 raised so far, Kliris still has quite a way to go.
According to the director, there are good reasons for investing in the “Committed” project, not least of which is that “we will be showcasing some of the island’s most interesting locations, so you’ll be exposing and promoting Cyprus to the world and who knows what kind of business that could attract back into the country?”
Kliris was born and raised in South Africa, graduated from Rhodes University in Grahamstown and then set her sights on Europe. After a short stint in London, she spent the next seven years in Athens, working in the film industry. Starting out as an editor and working her way into production, she had the opportunity to work on major international productions for brands like Samsung, Omega and T-Mobile.
She then moved to Cyprus, where she has spent the last two years working on local short and feature films and developing her own projects.
She has directed two short documentaries and two short narrative films. Her first short film, “The Fiddler” (2011), was shot entirely in Cyprus and went on to be screened at several festivals around the world, including the Drama International Short Film Festival in Greece, where it won an award. Her most recent short, “Hope,” has been selected to be screened at the Cyprus International Short Film Festival, which starts in Limassol on October 13.