The Palace focuses on one Cypriot family fleeing the advancing Turkish forces, who take refuge in an abandoned Ottoman-era palace. A young Turkish Cypriot conscript comes face-to-face with this family in hiding, and is forced to confront the reality of war and his role in it. The Palace is inspired by a story, amongst others, about, "a Cypriot mother faced with an impossible decision".
"As soldiers closed in near her hiding spot - her young baby boy was restless. She had to either let him cry and risk the consequences, or try silencing him by forcing his mouth shut and risk suffocating her baby. I could never vanquish this scenario from my head and used it as one of the key story threads for The Palace," said Maras.
Not only was The Palace filmed in Cyprus it was filmed, "literally within metres from the United Nations Green Line, and that got "pretty hairy at times" when having to recreate the more brutal parts of the conflict in front of ordinary Cyprus citizens passing by, Maras said. "It of course can bring back memories for these people and we had to be very sensitive about that," he said.
Initially, as Maras explained, the original plan was to film somewhere outside Adelaide, in the country to try to recreate the surroundings of the Lefokesia. Luckily they had the opportunity to film on location where the war memories, unfortunately, are everywhere. Many parts of Lefokesia still remain untouched, so no CGI or expensive sets were required of the film-makers to simulate their war-reality. "For the actors in the film it was also very real because the bullet holes are still there and you can see, in many cases, where and how some of the conflicts occurred," said Maras.