In the world’s last divided capital, music knows no borders.
Echoes Across the Divide
Αντίλαλοι απó την Áλλη Πλευρά
Sınır Ötesi Yankılar
• eqHD (Canada) from 1 Feb 2012-31 Jan 2017
• STVDIO (Australian Pay TV) from 1 May 2012-30 October 2013.
• ABC TV Australia (Sunday Arts)10, 17 August 2008, 19 September 2010, and 8 May 2011.
• Al Jazeera International and Al Jazeera Arabic from December 2008.
• DOEN Docs (Netherlands) from July 2009.
• Numerous festivals (see below)
Documentary Film by Adam Sébire
52mins PAL HighDefinition HDV 1080i50 Surround 5.1
Dialogue: English, Dutch, Turkish & Greek with subtitles
Nicosia: the world’s last divided capital. Turkish & Greek Cypriots prepare to bridge no-man's-land with a performance like no other, from the rooftops of the old Venetian town.
Through the performers we see what it means to grow up in an island divided by fear, hatred, barbed wire & minefields.
"Long Distance Call" by young Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven brings together musicians from both sides in the U.N. buffer zone - the infamous "Green Line" - until political reality rudely interrupts the project's grand finale...
Click to enlarge production stills.
Taken by Labkhand Olfatmanesh (in TRNC & the UN buffer zone), Nadir Aydin in the Republic, Adam Sébire during the filming, and others where credited. (Images © Stichting La Vie sur Terre and The Photographers. Please do not copy or reproduce without permission.)
Made with support from the United Nations, the Australian High Commission in Cyprus (especially High Commissioner Garth Hunt) and Stichting La Vie Sur Terre). Preview edit screened at the Peace of Utrecht Festival, Holland, 20 April 2006 and UNFICYP Ledra Palace HQ, 11 May 2006.
The completed film had its première at the United Nations in New York in the Dag Hammarskjöld Audiorium for UN delegations and staff, on 8 November 2006.
Directed, Edited & Filmed by Adam Sébire.
“The people of Cyprus I believe have spoken through music that they want peace ... [That] you were able to create such a vibrant stir along the green line shows that times are changing, because this film a few years ago would have been impossible to make.” - N.T., Canada, 13/04/07
“At last something that I personally feel has some sort of meaning and substance concerning the Cyprus situation. 33 years on this video portrays the passionate yearning from both sides... Music has always elevated our souls where all hope seemed lost. Throughout history music has been a powerful tool to break down divides between Nations. What an emotional display of unity... The spirit of the people lives on. May the makers of this video continue to flourish. My personal congratulations to all involved in this beautiful production.” - L.L., United Kingdom, 02/01/08.
In the world’s last divided capital, young Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven works with musicians from both communities (Greek Cypriot & Turkish Cypriot) in the United Nations buffer zone - known as the "Green Line".
We follow the revealing rehearsals – and the search for instruments from Nicosia's war detritus - for Merlijn’s outdoor composition "Long Distance Call". Together the Cypriots aim to perform it across no-man's-land from the streets, balconies and rooftops of this beautiful old Venetian town.
The rehearsals are run out of the UN headquarters, where musicians from the two communities can come together in the island’s buffer zone. Through the performers we come to understand what it means to grow up in an island divided by hatred, minefields, and a line that bisects their country by as little as 3 metres of barbed wire.
The concert is held on UN Day in the world body’s 60th year, and they allow our cameras unprecedented access to the decaying buffer zone that divides the old town, a site frozen in time. At dusk the musicians form a symbolic bridge of sound with a historic 'combined' performance - before an unexpected finale in the middle of no man’s land.
I'd wanted to make a film about how music had no regard for borders, nor other artificialities that divide peoples. Pairing up with the “Long Distance Call” project narrowed my focus to a microcosm within the beautiful Venetian walls of Old Nicosia; its natural soundscape, especially the Muezzin'sAzan and the rumble and bells of Orthodox Christianity both floating freely across no-man's-land. Merlijn's composition overlays the town with music made by locals and draws on spatial and physical elements of both the town and the events of 1974. Geography, history, politics and musicology were wrapped with an aesthetic bow which soon unravelled to reveal powerful emotions and humanity in this tragic, unique place.
Merlijn and I have since turned our attention to a musical project called “Carried by the Wind” across Israel’s “separation barrier” dividing the West Bank town of Bethlehem - a wall that newly divides Palestinians and Israelis. As fast as some walls come down it seems, others go up... — ADAM SEBIRE.
Composer MERLIJN TWAALFHOVEN (b.1976) and his foundation, La Vie sur Terre organise unusual and often large-scale projects which immerse a wide public in an experience for all the senses. In unique locations (such as the Rijksmuseum, Vredenburg, Paradiso, harbours or dunes), classical musicians work together with performers such as farmer bands, DJs, children, chefs and hair dressers
Merlijn’s compositions find inspiration in archaic and non-Western music, and in which a balance between the vital sounds of nature and refined melodies offer a multi-faceted sound palette. His works have been performed by orchestras in the Netherlands, Japan, Belgium and Switzerland, and have been recipients of several prizes.
As lecturer in “Pop Art” at the art school ArtEZ, he researches how artists can reach a new and diverse public without giving up their artistic vision and ideas. He is himself striving to accomplish this in his projects with La Vie sur Terre and in cooperative projects with, among others, Theatre Group Amsterdam, the dance company Emio Greco|PC and the Springdance Festival. He has also produced numerous projects on location with local musicians in Central Europe. Merlijn’s work has aired as regularly on MTV as on Radio 4.
ADAM SÉBIRE (director/camera/editor/producer) was born in Australia. He studied documentary filmmaking at UTS, AFTRS and the Cuban International Film School (EICTV).
•20 April 2006 - Holland - Vrede van Utrecht Festival - work-in-progress preview
•11 May 2006 - Cyprus - fine cut preview at UNFICYP
•8 Nov 2006 - United Nations HQ, New York - world première screening in the Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium
•24 Nov 2006 - Cyprus - première at UNFICYP HQ
•19 June 2007 - St.Petersburg - Message To Man International Film Festival
•9 October 2007 - Holland - Schiermonnikoog International Chamber Music Festival
•25 October 2007 - Northern Cyprus - BRTK
•7-11 November 2007 - Bratislava - One World Film Festival
•10 & 17 August 2008 - Australia - ABC TV (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
ABC2 SUN 10 AUG 2008 9:25pm
ABC1 (main channel) SUN 17 AUG 2008 3:55pm
•2 November 2008 - Al Jazeera English “Witness” (plus dates throughout 2009 & 2010)
•2009 - Al Jazeera Arabic channel - multiple screenings
•11 May & 12 July 2009 - DOEN Docs “Het Gesprek” (Dutch TV)
•19 September 2010 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC1)
•1 April 2011 - ICAF Rotterdam
•08 May 2011 - Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC1)
•1 Feb 2012-31 Jan 2017 eqHD (Canada)
•1 May 2012-30 October 2013 STVDIO (Australian Pay TV) .
Long Distance Call, performed 24 October 2005,
was produced by
Stichting La Vie Sur Terre
Composer / Creator
With many thanks to:-
Australian High Commission, Nicosia
Major Mark Ross (12th Regiment Royal Artillery)
Anne Bursey • Captain Stefan Zemanovič
Captain Paul Britton • Master Sgt Adrian Artimovič
Col Speedie (UNPOL) • Anita Thomas
Andrew Russell • Halil Güresun
Pelin Maneoḡlu • Katerina Yennari
University of Cyprus
Nancy Petridou • Maria Rivera
Shopkeepers and Residents of Ledra Street
Sabor Restaurant, Lefkoşa
Dina Wilde (Action Cyprus)
Press and Information Office (PIO)
Can Gazi • Hatice Karabulut
Eralp, Firuz, Çemal, Cünyet, Kemal
Kıbrıs Havaları Topluluḡu
Polyfonia Chamber Choir
Students & Teachers of
9 Eylül Ilkokulu
Archiepiskopou Makarios 3
Atlex Sanverler Ortaokulu
Bayraktar Türk Maarif Koleji
Girne American school
The English School
University of Cyprus
The Weaving Mill, Nicosia
Leontius Gerasimou • Soteria Gerasimou
Michael Christodoulou • Garth Hunt
Tümer Mimi • Patricia Thomson
Peter Mina • Jim Short
SBS Radio & Television Youth Orchestra
Røde Microphones, Sydney
In The Netherlands
Quirine van de Linde
Vrede van Utrecht
Meinke Noordam • Petra Orthel
Ahmet Elmas • Ayşen Barişsal
Bérangère Blondeau • Catherine Barron
Eian Ranan • Erkan Dağlı
Elena Christodoulidou • Emlyn Lewis-Jones
Garth Hunt • Gay Rosenblum-Kumar
Gürhan Sonero Öncal • Harry Theohares
Hasan Karaūzüm • Hatice Kerimgil
Jacques Sips • Juliette Dickstein
Karren Sebire • Alfred Sebire
Kristian Theochari • Larkos Larkou
Lena Melanidou • Lucas Andreou
Maxine Baker • Michael Hajimichael
Miriam Butler • Mustafa Kofalı
Mustafa Özak • Nadir Aydin
Nina Logachova • Öskay Hoca
Paul Ljalin • Pete Showell
Petros Hristodulidis • Selçuk Garanti
Selimiye Mosque, Lefkoşa • Sezgi Yalin
Symis Shukuroḡlu & his Rembetiko musicians
Tabitha Morgan • Tanyel Cemal
Xenaphon, Andreas, and Mette
Yeliz Shukri • Zeki Ali
ORGANON Middle East
INTERVET Middle East
All the singers, instrumentalists and dancers…
and the people of Nicosia, Cyprus
Maps, Stills & Archival Provided by
Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia
John Hinde Studios (photograoher E.Nägele)
Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation
End Titles Music
Büyükkonuk Belediyesi Halk Dansları Grubu
Deniz Sütçü Türem
Additional Crew (performance)
Titles & Graphics
John Dennison (liaison)
Danny Longhurst (tracklay)
Tony Vaccher (mix)
Online & Grade
Janneke Robers (Netherlands)
Adam Sèbire (Australia)
Directed, Edited & Filmed by