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08 April 2011

Image“The Other Town,” a documentary film by SUNY Fredonia Communication professor Nefin Dinc that explores how widespread citizen beliefs and government policies can foster prejudices that perpetuate conflict between nations, won the Audience Award at its recent world premiere at the Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival in Greece.

Dinc will screen her film for campus audiences at SUNY Fredonia on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. in McEwen Hall Room 202. 

In her documentary, Dinc explores the relationship between Turkey and Greece -- two countries that have had tense relations for decades -- and concludes that bitter sentiments and prejudices against the “other” country are widespread in both countries.

Dinc and her collaborator, Greek writer Hercules Millas, visited Birgi, in western Turkey, and Dimitsana, in southern Greece, several times over the span of a year. They saw how history is taught in schools, how the other country is depicted in national celebrations and learned what dignitaries say about past conflicts.

“In the film you can see that locals of all ages in these towns are caught in a web of stereotypes that impede bilateral relationships between Turkey and Greece,” Dinc added.

The filmmakers came to understand that bad relations between the nations exist not so much due to a turbulent past, but due to contemporary nationalistic mentalities and education.

Dinc will attend the festival, considered one of the top 20 documentary film festivals in the world, for its screenings on March 14 and 15. She also plans to submit the film to other festivals. Additional information on the film is available at: www.theothertown.com

Nefin Dinc is an Assistant Professor at State University of New York at Fredonia. She studied Economics at Ankara University, Political Science Faculty. She has  a Masters degree in Media and Culture from Strathclyde University, Scotland as well as a MFA degree in Documentary Filmmaking from the University of North Texas, U.S.A. She produced four documentaries on Turkey and its surrounding countries. She is now producing another documentary film on Turkish-Greek relationships named “The Other Town.” She is also the Project Director of Youth Filmmaking Project in Turkey which is a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, teaching young Turkish students how to make short films.

Hercules (Iraklis) Millas was born (1940) and brought up in Turkey and presently lives in Greece. He has a Ph.D. degree in political science (Ankara University, 1998) and a B.Sc. in civil engineering (Robert College, Istanbul, 1965). He is a member of various NGOs (in Turkey and Greece) mostly involved in Greek-Turkish rapprochement. He received the ‘Abdi Ipekçi Peace Award’ twice, first in 1992, and again jointly with the Greek-Turkish Forum in 2001, the ‘Dido Sotiriou’ award of Hellenic Authors’ Society in 2004 and the award Free Thinking and Expression of Publishers’ Association of Turkey in 2005.