Boy on the Bridge
New Kalopanayiotis film in cinemas now
Petros Charalambous’ new film – Boy on the Bridge - shot in our village of Kalopanayiotis is screening in cinemas across Cyprus this week. It’s a beautiful tribute to Cypriot village life and we were pleased to host the cast and crew during the making of the production. We hope you all get the chance to see it in full. But, in the meantime, here is a link to the trailer and an exclusive interview with the director himself:
What is the film about?
Set in the 1980s – Boy on the Bridge tells the story of a young boy called Socrates who gets caught up in a murder investigation in the village. When a friend is arrested for the crime Socrates, convinced of his innocence, is determined to find the real perpetrator. Spring brings a rude awakening to all the villagers and Socrates in particular. The jasmine-scented air carries with it real menace that shakes the close-knit community to its very core.
Why did you decide to make this film?
Eve Makis called me few years ago asking me to read her book, The Land of the Golden Apple, and consider it for a film. I was fascinated by the characters, the story and her writing! I found so many similarities with the way I grew up in the 1980s and thought it would be a great chance to make a film about those beautiful and carefree years. The producers, Marios Piperides and Janine Teerling, came on board and Stavros Pamballis wrote the script with Eve, based on her book. The Ministry of Education and Culture funded the film and the John Papadouris Foundation joined the project as a co-producer.
What made you choose our village, Kalopanayiotis as the main filming location?
Kalopanayiotis has a wild beauty that immediately created the feeling I wanted for the film; the way the village is built on the slope of the mountain, the river, the energy, the bridge! The Bridge is a main character in the film. It works both symbolically and realistically. The most important scenes of the film were shot on the bridge and under it, by the river. The bridge symbolises the coming of age of a young 12-year-old boy to a young man. In addition, the warmth and the positive way the people there accepted us, helped us to make the film.
How difficult/easy was it to re-create the 1980s village?
It wasn’t very difficult to recreate the 80s reality in the village, since Kalopanayiotis has managed to maintain its identity over the years. We had to make minor changes to the signs and remove the modern lighting from the bridge. Some changes were also made to the houses’ interiors for the needs of the story.
How were you trying to portray Cypriot village life?
Through realism and truth. That’s the way as a director I approach each project but especially this film. And for me it’s the only way, if you want people to identify, remember, feel, understand, accept, take this journey with them… The film tries, and I think manages, to capture real life as it was in the 1980s in terms of language, style, production design, appearances, but also everyday life. This is for everyone to experience.
How did the John Papadouris Foundation help?
John Papadouris embraced the project from the very first moment and gave it new wings. Because of his love for the village of Kalopanayiotis, he accommodated our crew and cast of more than 40 people for 40 days at the wonderful Casale Panayiotis! It was really important for the end result of the film that our team was happy. And they were, because of the hospitality, amenities, luxuries and, of course, the locals.
What was the reception like for the film?
The film had its world premiere at the Rome Film Festival where an audience of a thousand people applauded the film and its actors. At Thessaloniki film festival it had its Greek premiere with excellent reviews. The next two festivals brought two awards for our film on the same night. We won Best Film at the European Cinema Panorama Film Festival in Athens and Best Film at the Young Jury in the Festival Du Grain a Demoudre in Normandy. The film is currently travelling around the world at big festivals like Zlin Film Festival in the Czech Republic and Melbourne Film Festival. It was screened last week at Cyprus Film Days International Film Festival, where it received the very prestigious Audience Award.
How can people watch it?
The film premiered on May 11th and is available to watch at all K-Cineplex cinemas in Cyprus for two weeks. Screenings begin at 8 pm and 10 pm in Engomi, Nicosia and Larnaca, 8pm at the Mall of Nicosia and 8 pm in Limassol and Pafos.