Cyprus Short Festival ISFFC 2015

Cyprus Short Festival ISFFC 2015
by Sherif Awad
Before I was invited to Cyprus (which I visit for the first
time) as jury member in the fifth edition of its International Short Film
Festival (ISFFC), I was exposed to several Cypriot films this year including the
two documentaries Evaporating Borders and Beloved Days that
I depicted in previous articles in Westchester Guardian in addition to the
short film 5 Ways 2 Die that was selected in Alexandria Film Festival
last September. The Festival was set up by the Cultural Services of the
Ministry of Education and Culture and the shows are programmed in Rialto
Theatre since 1998. When it started five years ago, ISFFC only consisted of a
national Cypriot competition then, in 2011, it expanded to an international
competition and a new festival. Filmmaker Alexia Roider, whose short film Styx
has won many awards including Independent Spirit Award at Monaco International
Film Festival, 2008, is the ISFFC artistic director while being also the President
of the Directors Guild of Cyprus. Born in Germany and raised in Cyprus, she
studied at Kassel University and continued her education at the University of
the Arts in London. Since 1998, she has been working directing television
commercials, corporate videos, documentaries and special events across Cyprus.
This year ISFFC celebrates its fifth edition by welcoming
new films and new filmmakers with a main objective to support the promotion of film
art across Cyprus and the international countries. The ISFFC’s jury is
comprised each year by five acclaimed film professionals, academics and
festival organizers from around the globe. This year, the jury of the
international competition is president by Fibby Kioria, the artistic director
of Maisha Film Lab for East Africans. Her volunteer services include being on
the Board of Directors for Goethe-Zentrum Kampala/Ugandan German Cultural
Society.  Fibby was born and raised in
Kenya and now resides in Uganda. The rest of the members includes Bruno
Coppola, a writer-director from New York who moved to London. His first film
was Stuff That Bear! was shot in Bucharest in 2003, and went on to win 25
prizes in over 100 festivals; Simon Farmakas, a director whose short film Airport
for Sale
which was screened in film festivals like Rome, Oberhausen, Seoul,
Morocco and Los Angeles; Teresa Kwong, the curator of Hong Kong Arts Centre and
the director of ifva (Incubator for Film and Visual media in Asia) between 2004
and 2014. I think it will be a wonderful experience working with them on the
What’s special about short films is there distilled
audiovisual impact on the viewer in a concrete nick of time. And the festival
has plenty to offer. This includes Ogasawara by Tato Kotetishvili from
Georgia that revolves about a couple, Garika and Olga, who are about to get
married, but they face many funny and unbelievable obstacles in the process; Giovanni
and the Water Ballet
by Astrid Bussink from the Netherlands revolves around
ten year-old Giovanni who has a dream: to be the first young boy to compete in
the Dutch Synchronized Swimming Championships although it is sport practiced
most of the time by young girls. Sømand by Gabriel Tzafka from Denmark revolves
arounf the sailor Jørgen who returns home for a single night during which he
tries to track down his lost love whom he left many years ago. As the hours
pass by, Jørgen realizes that much has changed and he makes startling
discoveries about himself and the woman he used to love.
The parallel programs include some Comic Con retrospective
with many films including The Red Thunder
Alvaro Ron from the US. The main character is Sarah, a nerdy
teenager, who asks her mother’s new car to go on a date with her boyfriend. When
mum says no, Sarah decides to steal the car but many unexpected happens that
will change her life forever. The festival will also presents a 3D selection of
shorts within the parallel program. Among its selection, All Sides of the
by US directors and visual artists Marc Downie and Paul Kaiser who
work also under the pseudonym OpenEndedGroup, depicts a Old Highway 101 in Iowa
using digital and analog technologies and changing of shutter-speed to give a
tribute to the very early motion pictures experiments. More from Cyprus next

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Sherif M. Awad
Sherif M. Awad
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