PRESS RELEASE 26/10/23
Today, a Press Conference was held at the Melina Merkouri Multiplex for the Cyprus International Film Festival – CYIFF 2023, which will take place for the 18th year from November 1st to November 5th in Nicosia, offering free admission to the public.
Petra Terzi, the director, producer, and artistic director of the Festival, announced the main program and parallel events of the Festival, highlighting the selection of 109 short and feature films from 35 countries, which compete in various categories. 30% of the program consists of Greek and Cypriot films.
She added that the Festival will commence on November 1st at the Melina Merkouri Cultural Center with a concert by the virtuoso musicians of the film “The Last Violin” by Carla Tsakra, which will be screened on November 4th in its world premiere. The musical performance will feature the renowned violin maker Haris Vatiliotis, whose story is portrayed in the film “The Last Violin.”
Ms. Terzi mentioned that the Festival’s closing ceremony, the “Golden Aphrodite Awards,” will be held on November 5th at the Pallas Cinema. The hosts will be Marios Sarpetsas and Marios Priamos Ioannides, with participation from the Symphonic Orchestra of the Youth.
Additionally, she discussed the parallel events during the Festival, which include the annual “Film Round Table” featuring presentations of new projects by directors and producers and discussions on various topics, such as:
- “Breaking Boundaries: Provocative Stereotypes in the Arts” with Eleni Kremlidou (Mariposa), discussing sexism in the media.
- “Combining the Silver Screen and the Theater Stage: Exploring the Art of Music Composition for Films and Theater Productions and the Major Differences” with Julie Joeok Joh, a music composer, singer, and director known for her work in South Korea, especially in the film “Happen to Happen.”
- Masterclass: “Scenography in Computer Animation” with Dr. Alexis Chaviara, a director.
- Presentation on the “Creative Europe – Media & Culture” funding program by Nenad Bogdanovic.
Furthermore, as the Festival’s artistic director mentioned, there will be a photographic exhibition by Stefanos Kuratzis focusing on women who have experienced violence, titled “20 plus ONE – Unchained silence,” in collaboration with the Women’s Foundation in Cinema and Television in Cyprus.
The jury for the “Golden Aphrodite Awards” includes actor Giannis Aivazis, Danish director Sofie Vibek Mwaia, actor and producer Valentin Nonyela, American director and producer Victoria Greene, Indian producer Vivek Singhania, American producer George F. Robertson, director Alexis Chaviara, and journalist Beejay Browne.
Petra Terzi emphasized that the Festival has received the EFFE Label, “Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe,” which certifies its European quality, and it operates under the auspices of the Nicosia Municipality and the network of International Cultural Festivals.
In conclusion, she stated that, after the Festival’s conclusion, likely in late November, an online version will be held, during which various films will be screened.
Konstantinos Giorgkatzis, the Mayor of Nicosia, pointed out in his greeting, which was read by Leonie Orfanidou, President of the Cultural Committee of the Nicosia Municipality, that the art of cinema serves a dual role. It relieves us from the monotony of everyday life and provides a form of education, promoting timeless values.
This year, the Mayor stated that the Festival promotes universal values such as equality and respect for diversity. He noted that the Festival’s philosophy aligns perfectly with the cultural philosophy of the Nicosia Municipality, which promotes a wide range of cultural and artistic expression, aiming to nurture citizens with the values and principles of culture and art.
Nenad Bogdanovic, the head of the “Creative Europe – Media & Culture” funding program in Cyprus, collaborating with the Festival for the second year, emphasized that 10 million EU citizens work in the creative and cultural sectors, contributing 4% of the European GDP. The total turnover of these sectors in the EU exceeds €500 billion annually. In Cyprus, with a budget of €2.55 billion, 58% of this amount is allocated to the audiovisual sectors.
“The Festival showcases our common cultural background, our shared European values concerning human rights, sustainable development, and social cohesion,” concluded Mr. Bogdanovic.
Georgos Koundouris, on behalf of the Cyprus Youth Symphony Orchestra, noted that “no art shines on its own, and none can fight alone for the cultural upliftment of our society.” He announced that during the “Golden Aphrodite Awards” ceremony, which will take place on November 5th, the “Musical Dialogues” program will be presented, a mixture of the musical ideas of Manos Hadjidakis and Nino Rota.
As part of the press conference, trailers for some of the films to be screened at the Festival were shown.