Film director Panicos Chrysanthou on Tuesday ended his hunger strike which began 13 days ago as a protest over discrimination and exclusion in the field of cinema.
In his announcement, Chrysanthou stated that after a meeting with the minister of education Costas Kadis, he decided to end his hunger strike in a gesture of goodwill and to work with the minister so that problems in the sector could be solved.
“The fight against discrimination and censorship did not end. Together with the support team, we decided to continue our struggle until a new atmosphere in cinematography is created, with freedom of expression and without fear, discrimination and exclusion,” he said in a written statement.
Chrysanthou thanked the Mayor of Nicosia for allowing him to use a space at the end of Ledra Street for his protest.
Moreover, the Bi-communal Committee of Cinema and Art which supported Chrysanthou’s struggle, created a committee to continue the support of the goals set by the hunger strike “so that the cinema of humanity, peace and fellowship can be carried out without hindrance, persecution and discrimination”.
According to the announcement from the committee, Chrysanthou’s hunger strike did not only bring to surface the exclusions and injustices, but also major problems within Cypriot cinema, such as insufficient financial support from the state, the lack of meritocracy in the practices of selection of proposals, and the targeting and marginalising of creators and their work because of their beliefs.
In addition, the committee called on the public broadcaster CyBC to give its assurances that there would be no censorship, and that it would screen the two banned films made by Panicos Chrysanthou.
“Cinema as an art of humanity unites people. And we, united, will continue to fight for the cinema of humanity in Cyprus, the people who create it and the all-humane values of art. Anyone who wants can join us,” the statement concluded.