FESTIVALS: FNE at Cyprus Film Days IFF 2011: Prize Winners

By Anna Franklin

    LIMASOL: The Cyprus Film Days IFF (8-17 April 2011) announced the winners of its first-ever international competition at its awards ceremony on 17 April. The top prize went to the film Knifer directed by Cyprus born Yiannis Economides.

    The three member jury also awarded a special jury award to Romanian director Radu Muntean for Tuesday After Christmas and an Honorary Distinction to Bulgarian director Dragomir Sholev's Shelter. It was the 9th edition of the Cyprus Film Days (www.cypursfilmdays.com) which was held simultaneously in Limasol and Nicosia and supported by the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture (www.moec.gov.cy). But it was the first time the festival has held an international competition and over 40 films were submitted. The best film received a prize of 7000 euros while the runner-up gets 3000 euros.

    Cyprus based film and theatre director Adonis Florides who is one of the three member artistic committee that put together the festival programme said that it was always in the plans of the new festival team which took over three years ago to restructure the Cyprus Film Days to include an international competition. Other members of the artistic committee include journalist Constantinos Sarkas and university lecturer Dr Costas Constandinides. The new competition has been dubbed Glocal Images as it represents both local and global images. The jury was made up of Israeli director Erez Tadmor and filmmkaers Thanassis Karanthanos and Cheng Wen-Tang. The programme also included a retrospective of Jacques Tati.

    Florides said: "After we took over we had already doubled the number of spectators by the second year and I think this year we have increased the audience again. We don't have any art house cinemas in Cyprus so people really want to watch these kinds of films and this is the only chance for them to see them."

    The main centre for the festival is the 560 seat 1930's Rialto cinema which local residents managed to save after developers wanted to knock it down. It has now been beautifully restored and serves as a focal point for community activities including film, theatre and concerts.

    Knifer produced by Faliero House (Greece) www.falirohouse.com

    Tuesday After Christmas produced by Multimedia Est (www.mme.ro)

    Shelter produced by Klas Film (www.klasfilm.com), Bulgarian National TV (www.bnt.bg), Nu Boyana Film (www.nuboyanafilm.com)