Michael Papas is a Greek-Cypriot independent filmmaker working in England and Cyprus. Born in Nicosia, Cyprus, he attended the highly-regarded English School in Nicosia and as a schoolboy in the turbulent years 1955 to 1959 lived at first hand the liberation struggle against British colonial rule. He attended the London Film School and in 1966 made his feature film debut as producer/writer/director of the politically-controversial and critically acclaimed "THE PRIVATE RIGHT" – the first truly independent film made in the UK - which was the British selection for the London Film Festival, and was invited to many other international film festivals.
His next British film, the allegorical thriller "THE LIFETAKER", was so controversial that EMI distribution cancelled the UK release. Distributed internationally the film has gained a cult reputation over the years. Hailed for its cinematic style and compositions, it was the director's first Scope film, his preferred format ever since.
At the same time Michael Papas was experimenting with film form and dance in an avant-garde feature, "SOLITAIRE", about a young ballet dancer (Bente Jørgenson) living alone in London, her fears, fantasies and obsessions, expressed through dance choreography, camera movement and lighting. Despite its originality the director deemed the film too personal and private to release. Check out more SOLITAIRE stills here.
His UK/Cyprus co-production "TOMORROW'S WARRIOR", about the 1974 invasion of Cyprus by Turkey, was distributed in the UK by David and Barbara Stone of the Gate Cinemas, won wide critical acclaim and was distributed in over 25 countries worldwide.
In the 1990s Michael Papas returned to Cyprus and realised a childhood dream, setting up the Acropole Cinemas in Nicosia, a luxurious 3-screen venue which introduced the programming of quality films to Cyprus and became part of the Europa Cinemas network.
In the last few years Michael Papas has returned to production. He turned the Acropole Cinemas into a studio where he made the family feature film "LITTLE ODYSSEUS & THE CYCLOPS", and the feature "SECRET PATHS" which is now in post-production.