Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Views of the World: International Documentary and Animated Film Festival, Cyprus

Beautiful Sofia, NGO capacity builder and grape thrower...

On the weekend I attended a documentary and animated film festival held in the village of Plataniskia. Plataniskia was a Turkish Cypriot village before the invasion, so it was a little bittersweet exploring its charming streets knowing these are homes that may not be returned to. Greek Cypriots live here now, most notably, a famous Cypriot printmaker called Hambis, who has set up a printmaking school in the village. Hambis is one of the festival's principle organisers and is working with the aim of revitalizing village and cultural life outside of the main urban centres. As it is, most Cypriots have a village home they visit on weekends or holidays, but as work is limited in these areas, more and more are leaving village life.

Sasha, Serbian filmmaker and Stef, Cyprus Mail journalist

There were a crowd of interesting people, young and old alike, who had traveled to the village. There was an expectation we would be able to camp somewhere close. No camping site materialised, so the beach it was, and that involved putting up a tent in the dark after drinking a whole bottle of zivania! Succeed we did. Anyway, we spent the evening drinking and eating delicious food cooked and served by three generations of the same family, all sharing the same large eyes... The films were shown in a gorgeous stone outdoor amphitheater, and were followed by plaintive Cypriot folk songs, sung and performed by the young duo below. The moon was out, the night was cool yet balmy and the frogs were singing.

Gorgeous stranger with moon

The frogs! I found a frog pond several streets away from the village square! Full of loud, croaking frogs. But wait, it gets better. Something swooped by our heads, fluttering like a giant moth. "Bats!" pointed Stef. "Look out, they have rabies!" I refused to hear that last sentence. I was utterly enthralled. Here I was in a beautiful Cypriot village at night under a moon, standing by a pond of frogs with beautiful bats swooping above. It was the MOST magical moment. Had an owl popped out as well I think something extraordinary would of happened.
Oh, and then I saw the most AMAZING shooting star. Straight out of a fairy tale, falling large and bright through the sky, leaving a brilliant trail in its wake.

Frogs, caught in flagrante, sorry guys.

Mystery revealed: the frog and bat pond, in daylight.


  1. Batgirl...lives to tell the tale.

  2. sounds pretty extraordinary, rabies or not.
    did i ever tell you in one of the old houses my mum and i lived in (in canada), i used to take the screens off the windows in summer and bats would come and roost in the bathroom!!! and when you'd get up in the morning, they'd be hanging from the shower curtain rail like cute black asleep mice with wings..
    my mum made me stop leaving the screen open cos she noticed they were roosting in her room. hanging from the bedsprings. didn't like the idea of bats flying in under her bed while she slept i guess...
    bats and frogs.
    beautiful times...
    but the owl is with you always, no?
    ps. stay tuned for my next post indirectly related to frogs..!!