The heart of the capital will welcome the Cyprus International Film Festival this week from Wednesday to Sunday. A series of film screenings – animations, documentaries, and fiction movies – will unfold at Melina Merkouri Municipal Hall. Themes and relationships explored in them are expected to touch the audience’s emotions and broaden their perspectives on the world, a world striving to live in peace.

“There are moments of humanity and emotion in the films of first-time directors,” say organisers, “such as Goodbye Julia from Sudan, which won the Freedom Award (Prix de la Liberté) at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. Two films, Anna Rezan’s My People about the holocaust in Greece, and Keren Nechmad’s Kissufim, about young volunteers in Kibbutzim today, bridge generations of trauma and loss, yet champion perseverance, friendship and, above all, love. The comedy A Three Storey Comedy by Serbian director Sandra Mitrovic invites us into the lives of people with different personalities living in a multi-story building who must solve a common problem. Universe Zone is a mystical post-apocalyptic drama produced in Lithuania and Georgia that explores the power of love and memory in a world torn apart by conflicts and wars.

“Seven female artists find a safe digital space to explore the female experience, feminism and self-care. Their collective, F.R.I.E.S, redefines the role of artists as agents for a more just society in the documentary of Apostolos Karoulas and Ioulia Charalambous. Turning to the Veterans Feature category, it goes without saying that the films will spark imagination. The audience should be prepared to enter the world of fairytales too, as in Ivo Macharacek’s tale of two kingdoms Secrets of An Old Gun 2, starring the acclaimed actor and musician Václav Bárta who will attend the festival.


“The opening feature film God’s Painting by Yiannis Kanellopoulos, from the award-winning screenplay by Iakovos Mylonas, who also stars in the film and will attend the festival, inspires and moves us with the strength of the souls of individuals with special abilities. This film aims to reintegrate people with disabilities into the social fabric with a new impetus and dynamism.”

A highlight of the festival will be the Golden Aphrodite Awards ceremony on Sunday evening at the Pallas Theatre, to celebrate cinematic excellence and the best films from first-shown filmmakers. The Cyprus Symphony Youth Orchestra‘s Woodwind Ensemble will perform during the event, adding a musical touch.

In addition, two parallel events are included in the festival’s agenda. The annual CYIFF Film Industry Meeting will feature pitching sessions for new projects and engaging panel discussions on various topics. A photography exhibition titled 20 plus ONE – Unchained Silence will also take place. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Women in Film and Television in Cyprus featuring images by photographer Stefanos Kouratzis which reveal the silent strength of women who have endured violence in many forms as they visually progress toward reclaiming their freedom.

Cyprus International Film Festival – Golden Aphrodite

18th edition of film festival. November 1-5. Melina Merkouri Hall, Nicosia.