Cyprus Film Days Festival
The new edition of the international film festival ‘Cyprus Film Days’, organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Rialto Theatre, in collaboration this year with the Cyprus University of Technology and Media Desk – Cyprus, will take place between the 14th and 21st of March 2009 in Limassol (Rialto Theatre) and Nicosia (Pantheon Art Cinema). The festival’s programme features a selection of award winning films from all over the world.
This year’s festival differs from previous years in various ways. An Artistic Committee has been formed, replacing the ‘Artistic Director format’ of previous years, which is responsible for the selection of the films included in the festival’s program. The members of the committee, each relating to cinema from a different perspective, are:
Adonis Florides: Director
Constantinos Sarkas: Journalist
Dr. Costas Constantinides: Academic
‘Cyprus Film Days’ goal is to promote independent, innovative and high-quality films that deal with social, cultural, political and other issues that appeal to audiences worldwide, films that are entertaining as well as thought provoking. Furthermore, the festival serves as an annual gathering for film-industry professionals from Cyprus and abroad to discuss and exchange their views on filmmaking.
As noted by the artistic committee, ‘the major purpose of ‘Cyprus Film Days’ festival is to promote films that audiences would not otherwise have the chance to watch on the big screen. The festival is also dedicated to showcasing the diversity of the cinematography emerging from neighbouring countries and continents where film makers convey their messages with simplicity and great intensity. The films included in the major screenings program cover a varied scope of cinematographic style that often tends to oppose the traditional form of cinematographic narrative. This is an indispensible characteristic of films dealing with the theme of a person or a group of people travelling, both in a literal and metaphorical sense, hoping to fill a void in their lives corresponding to an invisible dimension of human social existence and psychology. Space plays an integral part in forming this stylistic variety and this is particularly true about the chosen films where space is both unknown and familiar, causing intense and immediate speculations.’
Main Screenings Programme
The main screenings program consists of 14 films, including the Cyprus Premier of two new films by Cypriot directors, Small Crime by Christos Georgiou and Hello Am Erika by Yiannis Ioannou. Other films on the program are the award winning Waltz with Bashir (Winner Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Globe Awards, 2009, Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film - Oscars, 2009), Lorna’s Silence, the new film by the Dardenne brothers, Four Nights with Anna by Jerzy Skolimowski, Correction by Thanos Anastopoulos and an excellent film by the rising and very promising American director Kelly Reichardt, entitled Wendy and Lucy. Also, there will be a series of films from the Middle East that were successfully screened in international film festivals over the previous year, including Captain Abu Raed (Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival, 2007), Lemon Tree (Audience Award, Berlin IFF, 2008), Salt of This Sea (Palestine's official Oscar entry for Best Foreign-Language Film, 2008) and The Band’s Visit (Award of the Youth, FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes IFF, 2007). Also, there will be a special screening of the latest film by Corinna Avraamidou The Last Homecoming which received very positive reviews after screening at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival.
In keeping with the festival’s tradition, film enthusiasts will once again have the opportunity to vote for the best film as well as to talk with filmmakers and actors about their art.
Parallel Screenings - Events
A new integral feature of this year’s festival is ‘Cinema and the City’, an Educational Program of themed screenings, aimed mainly at University and College students. The program is organized in an effort to encourage the participation of the educational community in general to the festival.
As Dr. Constantinides commented, these screenings will focus on ‘the concept of setting and more specifically on the representation of the city and its role in a film as a character and carrier of ideological and mental connections resulting from the differences in infrastructure and architecture that a director chooses to highlight’. Prior to the screenings there will be short lectures of educational nature appealing both to students and the general public, with a focus on the different traditions represented by the following films:
Τhe Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
Alice in the Cities (Wim Wenders, 1974)
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
Night on Earth (Jim Jarmush, 1991)
Furthermore, there will be a set of screenings dedicated to Hayao Miyazaki, one of Japan’s greatest animation directors. The following films by Miyazaki will be screened:
Spirited Away (2001)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (2008)
As part of the parallel events programme there will be a presentation by Tal Gadon, leading animator of award winning film Waltz with Bashir. The presentation will take place in Limassol on Friday 20.03 and in Nicosia on Saturday 21.03. Tal Gadon will talk about the creative process and the animation techniques that were used in the making of Waltz with Bashir.
Finally, the music groups BIG BAND, TAT TNABAR and Marios Takoushis and his band will perform live at the festival’s opening ceremony and closing parties with music selected specifically for the film festival.
For more information as well as for the complete list of films, call 77 77 25 52 or 77 77 77 45 or visit www.filmfestival.com.cy