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Short international films with big ideas

Celebrating the art of independent filmmaking is the three-day Paphos International Film Festival (PIFF) that will be rolling local and international short films as of Friday at Technopolis 20 Cultural Centre.

The festival’s organisers plan to make the PIFF a cultural event that film lovers anticipate each year, as they strongly believe that directors and filmmakers who work with very little, have a lot to give. Because the people behind it – Nicolas Iordanou and Sylvia Nicolaides – love the art of film and understand what it is like for people with lots of creativity to keep it bottled-up, they have put together a diverse programme for filmmakers to show-off what they have got and for viewers to see the magic of contemporary short-films.

The festival focuses on community and aims to travel across borders to develop a spirit of friendship and cooperation with filmmakers from Cyprus and from all over the world. But these borders will not only be crossed via film screenings, but also by workshops, masterclasses and lectures.

Friday opens with screenings of 17 international short films from Puerto Rico, France, Czech Republic, Sweden, Turkey and elsewhere. The short films are up to 30 minutes long and are fictional or documentaries made from 2014 to 2016. Some of these fiction films include Till Jail Do Us Part about a criminal couple who kidnap a priest so he can marry them before they are caught, A Day in the Library about a librarian who can’t decide if he should protect or betray a domestic violence victim, and Last Night about two roommates who get drunk one last time before moving out, and then have to figure out how to make a dead body disappear before the movers come.

If you prefer documentary style films then you won’t want to miss Our Star Trek: The Fifty Years Mission, during which director Christopher Tevebaugh explores Star Trek’s vision of humanity, from the original series to new fan-made creations.

Saturday gives us a look into our very own national short films with ten local short films screened. These include Five Ways to Die, which follows Makis around as he explores the many ways he could die, Austerity, that takes a more serious look at things and focuses on a man who manages to preserve his dignity through the Greek financial crisis.

Two documentaries in this category focus on the state of gender equality in the United Kingdom with Why Talk Feminism? And the search for a printmaking press in Paphos in for a Printing Press That Was Never Found.

After the screenings of the local films, the second half of the international films will be screened. These include films from Greece, Australia and Denmark. Greece will showcase The Locksmith, a fictional account of a down-on-his-luck locksmith who finds himself at the service of an expected customer who really needs his help, while Australia will look into how a son and mother contact when they are far away from each other in Venice, while the Danish entry into the festival follows Lars as a self-help tape triggers him to take a road trip with his father.

The last day of the festival will screen student films and films that concentrate on the theme of immigrants and refugees. The eight special themed films to be screened are fiction and documentary and include films from Germany, Greece, France, Egypt, Syria and the United Kingdom.

Full information about all the short films to be screened and the workshops can be found on http://www.piffcyprus.com/home/4590478574.

First Paphos International Film Festival
Screening of short films, workshops and master classes, and lectures by film directors. June 24-26. Technopolis 20, Paphos. 8pm. Tel: 70-002420

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