Minos Papas is a writer/director and cinematographer. He was born in London to filmmakers Michael and Susan Papas and became immersed in all facets of filmmaking from an early age. They moved to Cyprus when he was just a few months old to make the war film “Tomorrow’s Warrior,” where Minos grew up bilingual, speaking to his father in Greek and his mother in English.
In their long winters spent in London, Minos’s father would take him to the British Film Institute’s children’s matinees on the south bank, where they would watch silent films and classic gems. At age 8, Minos picked up a Hi8 video camera and made short films and stop-motion animations with his Star Wars figurines. Privy to his parents’ endless VHS library, he grew up watching Tarkovsky, Kubrick, and Fellini on TV. Minos went to high school in Cyprus, and when not playing soccer, he would recruit friends to make sci-fi movies set against the dry Mediterranean landscape. His short film “Whispers” won the Children’s Jury first prize at the Helsinki Make-A-Video competition in 1993.
After completing his 18-month mandatory military service in the Cypriot National Guard as a Staff Sergeant, Minos worked at his parents’ arthouse movie theater, the ‘Acropole Cinemas’ in Nicosia. In 1999, he set his sights on NYC to formalize his film education at the School of Visual Arts. Minos’s keen eye for camera placed him as a cinematographer among his peers, and he won the school’s Outstanding Achievement Award in Cinematography for his short film “Kalipolis”. While at SVA, Minos worked in movie theaters as a projectionist, handling archival prints. After graduating in 2004, Minos became General Manager at Cinema Village on 12th Street coordinating the smooth operation of the theater, which was premiering independent and foreign films.
In 2006 Minos shot his first feature film, “Shutterbug,” which he also wrote. An ambitious, DIY supernatural drama that took four years to complete, “Shutterbug” was released in theaters in NYC and LA and received reviews from Variety (“Mystical, off-the-wall and trippy!”), the NY Times (“A photographic odyssey”) and the Village Voice (“Expressionistic and eerie!”). The film was later picked up for DVD distribution.
Minos founded his production company Cyprian Films, New York, in 2005, which, to this day, services local US and international clients, including Oxfam, The Rockefeller Foundation, corporations, and small businesses. Minos’s documentary “A Short Film About Guns,” made with the support of the Control Arms Coalition, won Best Online Short at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013. In 2017 Tribeca selected and funded Minos’s pitch as one of ten for the Tumi “Perfect Journey” campaign. Minos continued to work as a cinematographer, shooting on projects directed by Martin Scorsese & David Tedeschi, and Lisanne Skyler. In 2013, Samsonic Media hired Minos to make the film “Behind the Mirror” as Producer/Director. The film won Best Thriller at the Manhattan Film Festival and was distributed by Random Media / 1091 Pictures. Also, Minos proudly produced two music videos for his favorite metal band Gojira, one of which won the Revolver Music award for Best Metal Video.
His avid interest in the social reintegration of US military Veterans led him to join the I Was There filmmaking workshops by the Patton Veterans Project. With a group of Veterans, Minos made the short film “Tango on the Balcony” about an Iraq war Veteran reintegrating into civilian society. Through evocative cinematic techniques, the film examines the effects of PTSD and moral injury. The film was selected for over 25 festivals worldwide and won the Best Director award at the Cyprus International Film Festival.
Minos produced and shot the short film by Liz Sargent, "Take Me Home" (2023), which was an official selection of Sundance, SXSW and many more international festivals. The film deals with disability, family and adoption in an empowering way.
As a producer, Minos has created and produced shows for TV, including “Slow Down: River To River” directed by his wife and partner Liz Sargent, which won a NY Emmy in 2019. Driven to keep working during the pandemic, Minos created the show “Flowstate /North Brooklyn Artists” for ALL ARTS TV. Shot immediately after the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the show enters the lives of 16 Brooklyn artists as they navigate work and life during complete upheaval. Three of the eight episodes were nominated for NY Emmys, with Episode 1 winning Best Show in Arts/Entertainment.
Minos is currently developing new narrative work, including the feature film “Motherwitch,” a Cypriot folklore fantasy, which is partially funded by the Cyprus Cultural Services. He is a member of the Director’s Guild of Cyprus and lives in Brooklyn with Liz and their two tabby cats, Lula and Louki.