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Derviş Zaim's film will open the very first Golden Island International Film Festival

The Golden Island International Film Festival (GIIFF), in partnership with Creditwest Bank, is delighted to announce that the Opening Night film for the inaugural festival will be Fish (Balık), a touching tale about a family that turns to tradition to heal where modern medicine has failed, but find their lives radically altered as they go against nature.

The film, by award-winning Turkish Cypriot director Derviş Zaim, will receive its Cyprus premiere at the elegant opening event on Thursday 6 November at the Girne American University. The director and stars from the film, Bülent İnal and Sanem Çelik, are expected to attend the Kyrenia opening gala, along with special guest actors Demet Akbağ and Erdal Özyağcılar who will be the first recipients of GIIFF’s Honorary Cinema Award along with director Derviş Zaim.

In Fish, Zaim again puts the spotlight on the relationship between humans and nature. A fisherman, his wife and their young daughter who is unable to speak live in a tranquil village on the shores of a lake. Their story starts with the mother relying on local superstition to seek a rare fish she believes can cure her daughter. She finds the fish, but little goes to plan after, and their lives take a series of severe and unexpected turns when the father makes decisions that go against the grain of nature.

Yeşim Güzelpınar, GIIFF director, comments: “It’s fitting that Cyprus’ new international film festival opens with one of its most acclaimed directors, Derviş Zaim. His new film Balık sits squarely within our Environment cinema strand, tackling the strained bonds between humans and nature. The film is both beautiful and bold in message: here’s what happens if you keep messing with nature.”
Director Derviş Zaim said: “I am thrilled that Balık has been selected to open this new and promising film festival for Cyprus.”

The closing gala and the awards ceremony will be held on the 13th of November at Mehmet Altınbaş Conference Hall-Nicosia Turkish Lycee, Cemal Gürsel Street Nicosia at 19.30. Golden Island International Film Festival is awarding four prestigious awards for 'Best Documentary', 'Best Short Fiction' and two 'Best Newcomer' awards. The festival is going to hold screenings of the winner's films at the closing gala for the guests to enjoy.

The 1st Golden Island International Film Festival, in partnership with Creditwest Bank, runs from Thursday 6- Thursday 13 November 2014 in a variety of venues in Cyprus. The full programme will be announced on Friday 31st October.
Golden Island International Film Festival

The film festival is organised jointly by UK-based Balik Arts and the Golden Island Culture and Arts Association in Cyprus and it’s two patrons are Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece OBE and actor Tamer Hassan. GIIFF is backed by a number of partners: the Independent Film Trust, Raindance Film Festival, the University of East Anglia (Film Dept), the Home for Co-operation (Cyprus), Movies that Matter, the Turkish Cypriot Community Association (UK), Detmold International Short Film Festival, Datça International Short Film Festival and Youth Power (Cyprus). The festival’s main sponsors is Creditwest Bank and co-sponsor Girne American University. Its official media partners are BRTK and Cyprus newspaper and communication sponsor is North Cyprus Turkcell.
director Derviş Zaim

Born in 1964 in North Cyprus, Derviş Zaim is an award-winning film director and screenwriter. He graduated from Warwick University and took a course in independent film production in London organised by the Hollywood Film Institute. In 1995 his first novel won the prestigious Yunus Nadi literary prize in Turkey. Two years later, he made his film directing and writing debut with Tabutta Rövasata (Somersault in a Coffin). Zaim has gone on to make seven other feature length films, which have been screened at prestigious film festivals around the world, many of them winning a variety of prizes and awards: Filler ve Çimen (Elephants and Grass, 2000), Çamur (Mud, 2003), Cenneti Beklerken (While Waiting for Heaven, 2006), Nokta (Dot, 2008), Gölgeler ve Suretler (Shadows & Faces, 2011), Devir (Cycle, 2012) and most recently Balık (Fish, 2014). In 2003, he co-directed Parallel Trips, a documentary, with Panicos Chrysanthou. 

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