A week-long film festival places Palestinian culture and cinematography in the spotlight. The very first Palestinian Independent Film Festival Lemesos opens this week, spread across four locations in Limassol. From Thursday to February 22, the festival will showcase a curated selection of short films, features and documentaries primarily created by Palestinian filmmakers, as well as two discussions led by local experts on cinema and colonialism.

“Piff Lemesos’ vision,” say organisers, “is to spearhead efforts aimed at raising awareness and catalysing action in response to the ongoing genocide in Gaza and the West Bank, and the harsh reality Palestinians have to face daily in the occupied territories. With a commitment to fostering understanding and solidarity, we strive to build bridges between the Cypriot and Palestinian communities, drawing on their shared history marked by colonialism and division.

“By organising the First Independent Palestinian Film Festival of Limassol, we seek to create a platform for dialogue, cultural exchange and collaborative initiatives that contribute to a more informed and interconnected global community. Our mission is rooted in the belief that collective awareness and joint action can bring about positive change and support the aspirations of the Palestinian people for justice and peace.”

Hosting the screenings will be the Synergio Independent Theatre, Neme Arts Centre, Tapper Bar- Cinema Club and Sto Dromo Cultural & Alternative Bar.

The opening night will be hosted at Synergeio, with the film Gaza Mon Amour lifting the curtain at 8pm. On Friday night, three documentaries will be screened at Neme Arts Centre; Jenin, Jenin; Three Nights in Haifa; and Vibrations from Gaza. The screenings at Neme will continue on Saturday with the film Foragers followed by a discussion with environmental social scientist and activist Klitos Papastylianou.

Four short films will be screened at Sto Dromo on Sunday evening, once at 8pm and again at 9pm. The selected shorts are Today They Took My Son; Bukjeh El Lemon; Nation Estate and Lovesick In The West Bank. An evening of Palestinian music will follow at 10pm with DJ Stelios Keryniotis.

The film The Wanted 18 will follow on Monday night which will be followed by a discussion with PhD holder in Film Studies Dr Charalambos Charalambous. Two more short films will be presented on the following evening, February 20; drama The Present and documentary 120 KM.

Tapper Bar will host the next screenings on February 21 evening; Solomon’s Stone and Hamza-Chasing the Ghost Chasing Me. Closing the festival the following evening will be adventure/thriller 200 Meters, shown at Synergeio Theatre at 8pm, wrapping up a thought-provoking week.

1 Palestinian Independent Film Festival Lemesos

Palestinian film screenings, documentaries, short films and discussions. February 15-22. Synergio Independent Theatre, Neme Arts Centre, Tapper Bar- Cinema Club and Sto Dromo Cultural & Alternative bar, Limassol. 8pm. With subtitles in English. www.facebook.com/PiffLimassol2024