(Closed captioning of English dialogue seen here in the trailer has been added for YouTube and does not appear on the film.)

In the world’s last divided capital, music knows no borders.

Echoes Across the Divide
Αντίλαλοι απó την Áλλη Πλευρά
Sınır Ötesi Yankılar

Screening on:
• 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...








The study guide is designed for educators (especially high school teachers) to use the film in the classroom.

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.

Long Synopsis  

       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.

Director’s Statement

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) .

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 Cypriot musicians from both sides in the U.N. buffer zone - the infamous "Green Line" - until political reality rudely interrupts the project's grand finale... Shown on television and at festivals worldwide, now available for free online viewing.
STUDY GUIDE for teachers & educators wanting to use the film in a student classroom environment: http://www.adamsebire.info/s/Echoes-Across-the-Divide-Study-Guide-med.pdf (If you screen the film educationally, please remember to declare it wherever possible, as we earn a small income for our months of unpaidlabour this way.) Finally, if you liked this, see also our follow-up project in Bethlehem, Carried by the Wind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HBVA1qOBKc



Long Distance Call, performed 24 October 2005,

   was produced by 


Stichting La Vie Sur Terre

   Merlijn Twaalfhoven

   Janneke Robers

   Martin Franke

   Tanyel Cemal

   Hatice Kerimgil


Composer / Creator

    Merlijn Twaalfhoven


With many thanks to:-


Australian High Commission, Nicosia 


   Brian Kelly

   Major Mark Ross (12th Regiment Royal Artillery)

   Anne Bursey • Captain Stefan Zemanovič

   Captain Paul Britton • Master Sgt Adrian Artimovič

   Col Speedie (UNPOL) • Anita Thomas


   Christopher Louise

   Andrew Russell • Halil Güresun

   Pelin Maneoḡlu • Katerina Yennari

University of Cyprus

     Nopi Nikolaou-Telemachou

     Nancy Petridou • Maria Rivera

Omeriye Hamam

Shopkeepers and Residents of Ledra Street

Sabor Restaurant, Lefkoşa

Dina Wilde (Action Cyprus)

Press and Information Office (PIO)


     Hüseyin Gürşan

     Can Gazi • Hatice Karabulut

     Eralp, Firuz, Çemal, Cünyet, Kemal


Bi-communal Choir

   Kıbrıs Havaları Topluluḡu

   Polifonik Koro

   Polyfonia Chamber Choir


        Chryso Constantinidou

        Yeliz Shukri

Students & Teachers of

     9 Eylül Ilkokulu

     Archiepiskopou Makarios 3

     Atlex Sanverler Ortaokulu

     Bayraktar Türk Maarif Koleji

     Girne American school

     Highgate school

     The English School

     University of Cyprus

The Weaving Mill, Nicosia

     Leontius Gerasimou • Soteria Gerasimou


In Australia

     Michael Christodoulou • Garth Hunt

     Tümer Mimi • Patricia Thomson

     Peter Mina • Jim Short

     SBS Radio & Television Youth Orchestra     

     Røde Microphones, Sydney


In  The Netherlands

     Claartje Schouwenaar

     Mandy Kemper

     Marieke Peters

     Quirine van de Linde

     Vrede van Utrecht

          Han Bakker

          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

     Crewhouse Television

     John Hinde Studios (photograoher E.Nägele)

     Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation



End Titles Music

         Büyükkonuk Belediyesi Halk Dansları Grubu


Dutch  Translations

            Mandy Kemper

            Janneke Robers

            Martin Franke

Greek  Translations

            Maria Pierou

            Georgia Pierou

Turkish  Translations

            Deniz Sütçü Türem

    Hatice Kerimgil

    Bahire Kalfaoḡlu


Additional Crew (performance)

     Stephen Nugent

     Costas Constantinou

     Miriam Butler

     Crewhouse Television

          Shane McDonald

          David Hands


Production Stills

     Labkhand Olfatmanesh

     Laura Boushnak


Titles & Graphics

    Fiona Haines



Audio Post-Production

    John Dennison (liaison)    

    Danny Longhurst (tracklay)

    Tony Vaccher (mix)

    Audioloc, Sydney


Online & Grade

    Jacob Southall

    2 Dogs Post, Sydney


Consultant Editor

    Ray Thomas


Produced by

    Janneke Robers  (Netherlands)

    Adam Sèbire (Australia)


Directed, Edited & Filmed by

   Adam Sébire


© 2008