The notion of creating a documentary on Aphrodite dates back to my teenage years. I feel strongly about proceeding with this "confession" as it were, in order to fully convey the reasons which first led me to take an interest in the matter. During my teens, my interests revolved mainly around photography, archaeology and astronomy. I was strongly attracted to light, forms and the photographic representation of, primarily, current events of the time. My passion for photography gradually evolved into a love for the art of the cinema, which I then pursued in earnest, studying in the USA and earning a BFA degree in Cinema from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut in 1986, after which, and on my return to Cyprus, launching my own professional practice in the field. For more information, please visit my company website at www.tetraktys.tv.
As much as I was intrigued by the future of human civilization, so much so was I also intrigued by its past and its history, and particularly that of my own homeland, the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. My love for archaeology essentially sprung from the admiration I felt visiting archaeological sites and museums, learning about the works of art of the time and about the way the ancients lived. Instrumental in this interest may have been my discovery, at an unsuspecting time, of an ancient Roman coin depicting a scene from the Temple of Aphrodite and the inscription "Koenon Kyprion". I do not believe in luck or chance. Everything that happens in our lives happens for a reason. Besides, it is absolutely true that when you intensely wish for something to happen, the whole universe conspires for the realization of this wish. I call it synchronicity. I remember back in 1989, when I scaled the acropolis of ancient Amathus for the first time in order to visit the Temple of Aphrodite. On looking for the first-ever time upon pieces of marble from the Temple scattered on the ground next to the Temple's very foundations, I immediately recalled a strange dream I'd had at the age of 15 and which had remained indelibly etched in my memory since.
Since then, many times have I pondered whether that strange dream was a sign of sorts from the Cyprian Aphrodite. Since then, the idea of producing a documentary on Aphrodite kept developing, growing stronger and stronger day by day. It was then that I sat down and started writing my thoughts as to how I would go about making this documentary. Of course, at the time I did not have a specific approach in mind, since I felt that my knowledge on the matter was not enough. To begin with, I started photographing and filming sites and monuments both in the free and the occupied areas of Cyprus, as well as events which and people who, in one way or another, had something to do with Aphrodite. It was then that my acquaintance with Limassol artist, lover of antiquity and researcher Goris Gregoriades played a determining role and opened before me a whole new world.
Goris Gregoriades "initiated" me in an up-till-then unknown to me aspect of the adoration of Aphrodite which has to do with archaeoastronomy. This matter, which was indeed greatly interesting, had as a result my launching of the production of the documentary Entelechy which, as I've already mentioned, took the best part of 20 years. How I succeeded in realizing this production, as well as what it includes, will be posted in subsequent blogs. During the years spent making this documentary, I discovered more and more things about Aphrodite, and realized that the topic holds a great interest and has many dimensions, and that what is most surprising is that no Cypriot or foreign film-maker had ever thought of tackling it.
It was in this way that the foundations for the second documentary, Kypris: The Aphrodite of Cyprus Revealed, were laid. The question of the correct approach, one presenting an interest to the experts as well as the public at large but especially those with an interest in the feminine divine, was a major concern for me for a long time. My acquaintance with archaeologist Dr Jacqueline Karageorghis and my study of her book Kypris: The Aphrodite of Cyprus -- Ancient Sources and Archaeological Evidence back in 2007 was a determining factor in my endeavour. Through then the scientific and archaeological approach of Dr Jacqueline Karageorghis' book, as well as through my subsequent meetings with other archaeologists from the international community, art historians, the Women Drummers of Cyprus, Layne Redmond and many other women, including everyday people of Cyprus who still hold to traditions related to the presence of the particular goddess in Cyprus, I at last comprehended the truly multi-dimensional and complex face of the Cyprian Aphrodite. It was in this way that I decided on my particular directorial approach which I shall outline in future blogs.