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Paphos Local News May 2017

12th Cyprus International film festival to be held in Paphos
By Bejay Browne
The Cyprus International Film Festival (CYIFF) has chosen Paphos to host the prestigious competition in June. They have also launched a new category this year, the Aphrodite Cinematic Award, which will highlight women in film in Cyprus, and submissions are now being accepted from established and new film makers from all over the world.
The annual festival, now in its twelfth year, will hold free film screenings in Paphos from June 14 – 24 at the University of Neapolis amphitheatre, as well as in the renovated Attikon cinema on June 18, 19 and 20, in the parallel programme of Pafos2017.
Festival Director Petra Terzi, told the Paphos Post that she felt it was important to support women in film and in particular, those connected with Cyprus, and noted that Paphos as the Cultural Capital of Europe, attaches ‘great glamour and shine to the festival’.
“CYIFF 2017 is launching a new category: “Women filming in Cyprus” where a female filmmaker will win the “Aphrodite Cinematic Award”.  The aim is to explore the point of view of both female professionals and new directors, reflecting aspects of everyday life in Cyprus,” said Terzi.
This category has no restriction on year of production, length, or style of film, and can include shorts, features, and documentaries. The festival also has a wide programme of related events which create an important meeting place for both Cypriots and foreign filmmakers, said Terzi.
The “Golden Aphrodite” prize is being judged by a distinguished panel of experts in the international film industry, including the legendary, Bill Butler. (Jaws, Rocky)
This is the second time that the festival has taken place entirely in Paphos, previously it was held in Nicosia.
Last year the programme included more than 100 short and feature films of recent production.
The Cyprus International Film Festival is also inviting volunteers to join the team.
For further information or to volunteer:

Paphos to get another desalination unit
By Bejay Browne
A tender process will get underway in the summer for the construction of a new desalination plant in Paphos, according to the Water Development Department (WDD).
The construction of a desalination unit with a daily capacity of 15,000 cubic metres has been given the go ahead by the government and will be constructed in Kouklia at the same location where a mobile desalination unit was installed in 2010, which is now being dismantled.
The WDD, announced that based on studies, that if drought conditions are again experienced in the next couple of years, there will be a risk of water cuts in the summer of 2018 as well as huge cutbacks in irrigation supply.
Paphos farmers held a protest demanding that the existing unit, which was built in 2008 and cost the government around €20m, be reinstated instead of a new one being built, as it will take a minimum of three years for the new unit to be constructed and operational.
The desalination unit was hardly ever used as Paphos’ water needs were covered by supply from Asprokremmos dam, but the contract meant that the government had to purchase water at €1.21 per cubic metre and that the company would be compensated for the time the unit was inactive. When the contract expired, the state was unable to purchase the privately owned facility as the governments’ state legal services said that it was not permitted.
Paphos looks to increase wedding market
By Bejay Browne
As the busy wedding season starts, towns in the Paphos region are looking to further increase this lucrative form of income in an area that is fast becoming the number one choice for destination weddings on the island.
Particular attention is being paid to Polis Chrysochous which is dragging behind other Paphos municipalities in the numbers of civil weddings it conducts, despite being home to some of the island’s most stunning countryside and coastal views.
According to the recently elected mayor of Polis, Giotis Papachristofi, the municipality only hosted 40 civil weddings last year, the majority of which were for British couples. In contrast, out of the 8,000 civil weddings taking place in Cyprus last year.
Papachristofi said that the Polis municipality is currently working with local tourist officials to promote wedding tourism in the area, but “more needs to be done”.
Nasos Hadjigeorgiou, the head of the Paphos regional board of tourism, said that Polis, in particular, is an untapped market, and that it will provide an upgraded wedding service in the near future. Aphrodite and Adonis are being used in promotion efforts, which legend tells have strong connections to the area.
Papachristofi said that wedding tourism was a very important source of income for the municipality and that the new council was determined to increase the number of civil marriages taking place.
“Our municipality has areas with such special beauty, where one could celebrate a wedding, such as St Andronicus Park (opposite the town hall), the Baths of Aphrodite, and the port of Latchi.”
Geroskipou municipality held 870 civil weddings last year, according to wedding officer Marina Polyviou.
“Most of these couples were British. Most book through travel agents and wedding planners, although some of them do so direct,” she said.
Increasing numbers of Cypriot couples are also choosing civil weddings every year, as they prefer celebrations with “fewer people and not thousands of guests”.
Peyia municipality holds around 500 to 550 weddings per year, and expects a substantial increase this year, according to councillor Linda Leblanc. During high season, 10 to 12 weddings can be held in Peyia a day. Two wedding clerks undertake all of the necessary administration and also officiate at the ceremonies.
According to Hadjigeorgiou, British couples choosing the district of Paphos still make up the largest numbers but all four municipalities in the area were increasing their efforts to boost numbers both from Britain and elsewhere.
“Our slogan is ‘Live your dream at the birthplace of the goddess of love’, Paphos is a stress free wedding destination,” he said.

Letters needed for art installation in Paphos
By Bejay Browne
A Paphos based artist has issued an open call for old or new handwritten letters which will be used as part of a public art installation. She needs hundreds more to reach her one thousand or so target.
Visual artist, Miriam Mc Connon, said that people wishing to participate in the ‘The Voice of Ink’ project must send their letters to her immediately, as the installation, which will remain in place in the foyer of Almyra hotel in Paphos, as part of their celebrations for Pafos2017, will open to the public on May 28.
So far, Mc Connon has collected hundreds from all sorts of people, from all over the world, written in many different languages.
The idea focuses on an indoor installation that deals with the concept of immigration and displacement and sees her team up with another Paphos artist, Marianna Constanti.
Mc Connon said she will create a ‘classic’ shaped house structure, measuring 3x3x4m using thousands of letters which she collected from immigrants in countries all around the world.
 “The installation allows us to contemplate the life of immigrants. Recently, immigration has had such devastating consequences for many. I wanted to express a sense of unification, as opposed to separation and will bring hundreds of immigrant’s stories together under one roof,” she said.
In addition, the project will highlight the demise of the written word, which has almost been wiped out by technology. Original letters are required and will not be returned, so the artists suggests participants take a photo copy as a memento. She has already created a working small scale model of the installation.
Constanti, meanwhile, will create an accompanying mixed media installation including a display piece exhibiting various objects related to the process of writing a letter including, wax and ink holders.
The installations will remain in Paphos for a month, after which they will travel to Ireland to be displayed in a public space there, before possibly being shown at other venues.
Letters can be posted to: Miriam Mc Connon, 6a Prevezis Street, Paphos 8028, Cyprus.
Contact: (m) 99554829 or

Guilty verdict for Paphos sewerage board officials
By Bejay Browne
Five high ranking officials embroiled in the Paphos Sewerage Board (SAPA) corruption scandal were found guilty by the court.
The five include, MP Fidias Sarikas, former councillors Giorgos Michaelides, Efstathios Efstathiou and Vasos Vasiliou, as well as sitting councillor Giorgos Shailis.
Disgraced former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas and suspended SAPA director Eftychios Malekkides pleaded guilty in the same case and are currently serving a six year prison term.
The charges relate to bribes, money laundering, abuse of power, and conspiracy.
Sarikas was accused of receiving bribes from Awatech, a German company bidding for SAPA contracts.
Shailis was accused of conspiring with Vergas – who is currently serving time in prison on corruption charges.
Vergas had also been a defendant but turned state witness in the trial.
Malekides is also serving a prison term in connection with the SAPA after confessing along with Vergas to abuse of power and receiving bribes from contractors in return for SAPA contracts.
The five have been ordered to remain in custody until sentencing, when defence lawyers will argue for leniency.




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