Cinema of Cyprus

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Cinema of Cyprus
A cinema on Ledra Street in 2012

The cinema of Cyprus[a] came into existence much later than the cinema of most other countries, with the late 1960s generally being accepted as its earliest history, and it has generally undergone extremely slow growth due to the island's small population, geographical location, a lack of interest, and more attention being given to local political tensions.


Michael Cacoyannis released his most famous film Zorba the Greek in 1964, making him the most renowned Cypriot director to date. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, George Filis directed and produced the films Gregoris Afxentiou, Etsi Prodothike I Kypros, and The Mega Document. In 1994, Cypriot film production received a boost with the establishment of the island's Cinema Advisory Committee.

By 2000, the annual amount set aside for filmmaking in the national budget was CYP£500,000 (approximately 850,000). Statistics showed that in 2011 the country hosted 30 cinema screens,[1] produced three films (two fictional and one documentary),[2] sold 870,000 tickets,[3][4] and grossed €7.11 million at the box office.[3] At the same time, its three biggest distributors were (in order) Four Stars Films, Odeon, and Feelgood.[5] In 2018, Marios Piperides' film Smuggling Hendrix received acclaim at the Tribeca Film Festival.[6][7][8] Later that year, Tonia Mishiali's film Pause also received positive reviews.[9]

In 2020, the Hollywood action film Jiu Jitsu starring Nicolas Cage was shot in Cyprus, but was a critical and commercial failure; it also became embroiled in a controversy when the filmmakers promised to sue the Cypriot government for breach of contract due to the non-payment of the €8 million rebate outlined in their contract, resulting in the production of at least three more Hollywood films being moved elsewhere, losing millions in expected revenue for the country's economy and taking away many potential jobs for local film crew.[10] Despite this setback, the Hollywood romantic comedy film Find Me Falling has since been filmed on the island and is scheduled for release in July 2024.[11]


Cypriot co-productions are eligible for funding from the Council of Europe's Eurimages Fund, which has financed European film co-productions since 1989. To date, four feature films on which a Cypriot was listed as an executive producer have received funding from Eurimages: I Sphagi tou Kokora (1996), Hellados (unreleased), To Tama (1999), and O Dromos gia tin Ithaki (2000).[12] In addition, the film production company Green Olive Films operates in Greece and Cyprus,[13] and there are government-backed initiatives for filmmakers to apply for funding from both the Invest in Cyprus scheme[14] and Filming in Cyprus scheme.[15]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Excluding Northern Cyprus.


  1. ^ "Table 8: Cinema Infrastructure - Capacity". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Table 1: Feature Film Production - Genre/Method of Shooting". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Table 11: Exhibition - Admissions & Gross Box Office (GBO)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 25 December 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Country Profiles". Europa Cinemas. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
  5. ^ "Table 6: Share of Top 3 distributors (Excel)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Archived from the original on 24 December 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Smuggling Hendrix (2018)
  7. ^ "Variety: Film Review: 'Smuggling Hendrix'
  8. ^ "Cineuropa: Smuggling Hendrix
  9. ^ Franklin, Anna. "FNE at KVIFF 2018: Film in Cyprus is Blossoming -".
  10. ^ "Jiu Jitsu producers pulling out of Cyprus, second movie had been set to go | Cyprus Mail". 15 April 2021.
  11. ^ Grobar, Matt (April 28, 2022). "Harry Connick Jr., Mira Sorvino & Newcomer Ali Fumiko Whitney Board Rom-Com 'The Islander'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 4, 2022.
  12. ^ "Film Birth – History of Cinema – Cyprus Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine".
  13. ^ Featured Work
  15. ^ Filming In Cyprus All-In-One Filming Destination