Founded in 2013, the Syros International Film Festival (SIFF) showcases a wide spectrum of cinema in traditional and re-purposed island sites. Taking place in the middle of the Aegean summer and removed from the usual demands and hierarchies of the film industry, the SIFF embeds events, styles and programs—experimental and narrative, recent and retrospective, Greek and international, workshops and expanded cinema performance—into its unique setting. The festival aims to welcome an array of cinematic experiences into this immersive dreamscape, allowing us to re-think the question of “What is cinema”.
The Syros International Film Festival returns for its sixth edition on Syros between the 17th and 22nd of July, embedding a series of immersive film events in six locations across the island.
This year’s theme “Is It Real?” invites the audience to an exploration of the construction of reality that runs the range of cinematic genres and forms.
SIFF screens across genre, time period and media: expanded film performances, live-scores, new experiments alongside silent classics, workshops with extraordinary filmmakers, special guests, and much more, all taking place in a unique cinematic environment.
The Manuscript, dir. Eva Stefani (2017)
The Syros International Film Festival, in collaboration with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre (SNFCC) will organise a pre-festival event with a double feature of Eva Stefani’s short film Manuscript (2017) and William Greaves’ Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One (1968) on Sunday, July 8th, on the Great Lawn of the Stavros Niarchos Park.
The Festival schedule is structured in six daily units which explore the construction of reality, this year’s Festival theme. The first section, titled “The Unethical Narrator” includes “F for Fake” by Orson Welles (1973), a documentary about fraud and fakery.
Orson Welles, F for Fake (1973)
The second section, “Cinema and its double”, includes Harun Farocki’s film “Betrayed/ Betrogen” (1985) and a tribute to the late Nikos Panayiotopoulos with his first feature film “The colours of Iris” (1974), along with the first short film by Angelos Frantzis “Nineteen” (1995). The screening of “The colours of Iris” will be presented by directors Angelos Frantzis and Eva Stefani, who knew Nikos Panagiotopoulos personally.
“Cinemas of Intervention” is the title of the third section and this year’s artist in focus is Portuguese director Miguel Gomes who will present his own film “Our Beloved Month of August” (2008), as well as his chosen film “Rite of Spring” (1964) by Manoel De Oliveira.
The fifth section of the festival, “Mirage”, includes a discussion with artist in focus Miguel Gomes, as well as the De La Grazia Drive-In screening of “Picnic at Hanging Rock” by Peter Weir (1975), offering viewers the experience of an old time Drive-In Cinema.
Picnic at Hangning Rock, Peter Weir (1975)
All films are subtitled in English and workshops are conducted in the same language. Q&As will be in both English and Greek. The Festival’s closure “Collective Realities” section will conclude the rich program of screenings combined with not- to- miss side events and live performances which take place in the unique venues that the island of Syros offers.