The Elders visit Cyprus and London to launch new documentary film on missing persons

Share this:
Friday, 4 February, 2011

Desmond Tutu and Gro Brundtland will launch The Elders' new documentary film, Cyprus: Digging the Past in Search of the Future, at a special screening in Cyprus before being joined by fellow Elder Lakhdar Brahimi in London to share the film with members of the Cypriot diaspora.

4 February 2011

pdf icon  

Download this media
release as a PDF

This media release is also available in Ελληνικά & Türkçe (PDF format).

Elders’ chair Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his fellow Elder Dr Gro Brundtland will travel to Cyprus on 8-9 February to support the release of a documentary film called Cyprus: Digging the Past in Search of the Future. On 10 February they will join their fellow Elder Lakhdar Brahimi at special screenings of the film in London at parliament, and with members of the Cypriot diaspora.

The documentary film follows three Elders - Desmond Tutu, Lakhdar Brahimi and Jimmy Carter - and four young Cypriots from the north and south of the island as they learn of the search for the remains of thousands of missing people in Cyprus.

The Elders hope that the film and their visit will be helpful in encouraging dialogue and understanding between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, both of whom have suffered tragic losses in past conflict.

Desmond Tutu


Desmond Tutu said:

“The experience of meeting four wonderful young people, two Turkish Cypriots and two Greek Cypriots, who have formed close bonds of trust and friendship, fills me with hope.

“We made a difficult journey together as you will see in the film. It is not easy to face the terrible truths of what has happened on this island. But our young friends, and many other Cypriots, are doing so with courage and compassion. I hope that this film will assist the process of healing.”

Lakhdar Brahimi


Lakhdar Brahimi, who appears in the film with President Carter and Archbishop Tutu said:

“Of course we are hopeful that the leaders and the people of Cyprus will ultimately find a political solution to this long conflict.

“What we have also seen in the search for the missing is that people are already working together in very important ways, and this should be encouraged to a much greater extent.”

Gro Brundtland


Dr Gro Brundtland, who visited Nicosia, Athens and Ankara with Mr Brahimi in 2009, will join her fellow Elders in Cyprus and London. Dr Brundtland said:

“It will be a pleasure to return to Cyprus to support the launch of this documentary.

“I also look forward to discussions with political leaders and civil society in Cyprus. Following their recent meeting with the UN Secretary-General in Geneva, we hope to hear from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders about their views on the way ahead and we offer our support for all those working for a lasting agreement.”

About the film

“Cyprus: Digging the Past in Search of the Future” is a 36-minute documentary film, made by Cypriot film makers for The Elders Foundation. The Elders wish to thank the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, the Cyprus Friendship Programme and all those who cooperated in the making of the film.

The film will soon be broadcast on television in Cyprus. Details will be announced shortly.

Download a PDF with more information about the film:

pdf icon  


pdf icon  


pdf icon  



Notes to media

  1. Please note that the launch event at Chateau Status on 8 February is strictly by invitation only.
  2. A limited number of pool cameras and photographers will be admitted by prior arrangement. Please contact Katy Cronin (email address below).
  3. Media may photograph arrivals outside Chateau Status from 1800-1830.
  4. Hi-res photos of the making of the film are available on CD.
  5. Broadcast quality clips from the film are available on Mini DV.

Further details of The Elders programme including media opportunities will be made available as soon as possible.

Media contact: Katy Cronin at


About The Elders

The Elders are an independent group of global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela in 2007, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace- building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

The Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu (Chair). Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are honorary Elders.

For biographies of the Elders, blogs, photos, videos and more information about their work please go to

Read more about the Elders’ work on Cyprus.

I would like to find:

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.