20th Cyprus Film Days - Closing & Awards
The 20th edition of Cyprus Film Days 2022 concluded last Saturday 16th April 2022 at Rialto Theatre in Limassol, with a celebratory closing ceremony during which the festival’s grand winners, .dog and Utama, were announced.
In the Cypriot Films Competition Section, .dog directed by Yianna Americanou, received the Best Cypriot Film Award, the Best Director Award in a Cypriot Film, as well as an Honorary Distinction for the performance of the young lead actor, Dimitris Kitsou. In the Glocal Images International Competition Section, Utama directed by Bolivian filmmaker Alejandro Loayza Grisi received the Glocal Images Best Film Award, as well as the Audience Award, sponsored by RCB, an indication that jurors and spectators were in complete accord.
The ceremony began with Mrs Georgia Doetzer, Chief Executive of the Rialto Theatre, presenting an honorary award to acclaimed cinematographer Mr Phedon Papamichael, in appreciation of his outstanding contribution to Cinema. On Saturday morning, Mr Papamichael gave an open masterclass to the enthusiastic audience of Limassol, presenting moments from his exceptional career.
Cypriot film.dog was also the last film to be screened at the Festival, with the cast and crew members who were present at the screening to be greeted by a heartfelt applause.
The awards ceremony, which followed right after the screening, was curated by Paris Erotokritou and presented by actress Kika Georgiou, with a fascinating set design by Elena Kotasvili in the backdrop. Moreover, a video created by Emilios Avraam was screened on Rialto’s big screen, presenting the festival’s highlights, while the event was scored by musicians Christos Gerolatsitis (piano), Stelios Xydias (drums) and Andreas Gerolatsitis (guitar).
The Festival’s Artistic Directors, Tonia Mishiali and Costas Constandinides (Marios Stylianou being absent for health reasons) had the opportunity to thank all the people involved in Cyprus Film Days and to congratulate them for the success of this 20th edition.
The closing ceremony began with a statement by Stavros Pamballis, the new artistic director of Cyprus Film Days for Children and Youth, who expressed his enthusiasm about the fruitful outcome of the workshops and screenings for children and youth, organised this year in the physical presence of the participants. Stavros Pamballis highlighted that the Festival offers a unique opportunity to the youth to discover “the power of Cinema as a vehicle for creative expression and self-definition”. In conclusion, he presented a video showcasing the results of one of the workshops.
Dot.on.the.map: not just a dot!
The closing ceremony continued with Dot.on.the.Map Industry Days, the festival’s co-production, training and networking platform for film professionals. Mrs. Danae Stylianou, head of Dot.on.the.Map Industry Days, presented the results of this year’s first on-site edition. In only its third edition, Dot.on.the.Map Industry Days brought together for the very first time in Limassol more than 100 film professionals, from Cyprus and across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. Alongside the co-production forum, Dot hosted a number of events including information sessions, lectures and masterclasses by acclaimed industry experts, intended for film industry professionals.
The Dot.on.the.Map Best Project Award went to The Consequences of Freedom by Lorin Terezi and co-written by Anila Balla, with Florenc Papas being the film producer. According to the motivation of the jury: “In a time when Europe itself is facing danger, we want to award a project questioning this transition into the new world after the fall of the wall. Tradition vs the modern world, brotherhood vs individualism, life vs death.” The Best Project Award includes lighting and grip equipment rental, worth up to €8,000 and it is offered by P.S. Movies & Stories Cinema Equipment Rentals Ltd. The award was presented to the winner by the director of the company, Mr Polyvios Symeonides.
The Agora Networking Award, offered by Thessaloniki International Film Festival, went to Antonella Di Nocera, producer of the project To Get Her. According to the motivation of the jurors: “As filmmakers, we experience on a daily basis how difficult it is to greenlight projects in a highly competitive market place. Key to broad successes is an amazing screenplay, and we encourage all the projects to go the extra mile.” The award was presented by Mrs Angeliki Vergou on behalf of AGORA - Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and was received by the director of the project, Sabrina Ianucci. With this award, the producer will benefit from additional networking.
Danae Stylianou presented the MFI Script Consultation Award, to the project 4 Hours, produced and directed by Petros Charalambous, co-written with Stavros Raptis. The award includes a script consultation with MFI trainer Ana Sanz Magallon, and it is offered by the Mediterranean Film Institute.
The international jury of Dot.on.the.Map consisted of producer Dominique Welinski (DW Films, France), producer Fabian Gasmia (Seven Elephants, Germany) and sales agent Xavier Henry– Rashid - Film Republic (UK).
The Awards - Glocal Images International Competition Section
The Glocal Images Best Film Award went to Utama by Alejandro Loayza Grisi, a Bolivia/Uruguay/France co-production “for its masterful filmmaking combined with great sensitivity, which results in giving us one of the most beautiful, memorable and rich cinematic experiences one can possibly imagine”. The award, accompanied by the amount of €6,000, was presented to the filmmaker by the president of the Rialto Theatre’s Board of Directors, Mrs Daphne Pitta-Diogenous.
The Glocal Images Special Jury Award went to Sisterhood by Dina Duma, a North Macedonia/Kosovo/Montenegro co-production “for its skillful combination of an atmospheric coming-of-age film and a captivating drama from a first-time filmmaker, who engages the audience in the teen lives of its characters from the very first minute”. The award is accompanied by the amount of €3,000. The director of the film virtually “received” the award, sending a thank you video to the festival.
The Glocal Images Best Director Award went to Milica Tomovic for her film Celts from Serbia “for her rich artistic vision of a party-gone wrong, presented through a unique and engaging cultural impression built on a brilliant ensemble work”. The award, which is accompanied by the amount of €1,000, was received by the director herself.
An Honorary Distinction went to the film Yuni by Kamila Andini, a co-production from Indonesia, Singapore, France and Australia “for its tender and at times funny portrayal of a courageous teenage girl who defies cultural norms of her home country and the patriarchy itself”. The Indonesian filmmaker sent a video to the audience of Cyprus, which was projected on Rialto’s big screen.
One more Honorary Distinction was given to the film Broadway by Christos Massalas, a co-production from Greece, France, Romania “for creating a modern urban fairy tale with a happy ending, which gives us true healing power through its complex queer characters”.
The Awards - Cypriot Films Competition Section
The Best Cypriot Film Award went to .dog by Yianna Americanou “for its brave aesthetics blending realistic elements and rich symbolism while creating a true ensemble film in which each and every character matters”. The award, accompanied by the amount of €4,000, was presented to the winner by Dr Elena Christodoulidou, Senior Cultural Officer - Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth and President of the Cyprus Cinema Advisory Committee. The Best Cypriot Film Award was received by Yianna Americanou, director of the film, and Monica Nicolaidou, film producer.
The Best Director Award in a Cypriot Film also went to Yianna Americanou for her film .dog: “for her bravery and passion allowing her to go into the most unexpected of directions while staying in control of the plot, even in the most challenging of scenes”. The Best Director Award in the Cypriot Films Competition Section, accompanied by post-production services worth of €4,000, is sponsored by Authorwave. The award was presented to Yianna Americanou by Mrs Eleni Bellou, Business Development Partner of Authorwave.
The Best Actress Award in a Cypriot Film went to Angeliki Papoulia for her performance in Petros Charalambous’ Patchwork: “for a complex performance built on trauma, insecurity and the need for love, and for beautifully carrying the film throughout”. The award, accompanied by the amount of €500, and sponsored by Limassol Municipality, was received, on behalf of the actress, by the director of the film. The award was presented to the winners by Dr Nadia Anaxagorou, Head of the Cultural Services of Limassol Municipality.
An Honorary Distinction “for the raw and honest acting by a newcomer who manages to deliver a subtle yet believable performance”, went to Dimitris Kitsos for his performance in the film .dog by Yianna Americanou.
Finally, one more Honorary Distinction was given to The man with the answers by Stelios Kammitsis “for the courage to present a gay love story in an entertaining manner while delivering a true crowd pleaser for Cypriot audiences and beyond”.
The international jury of this year’s Cyprus Film Days consisted of five prominent personalities of the local and international film community, presided by Karel Och, Artistic Director of Karlovy Vary IFF, with fellow jurors: Alise Gelze - film producer, David Martínez - Festival Producer of London’s Raindance Film Festival, internationally-acclaimed actress Daphne Alexander and Greg Stępniak - Head of the Programming Department of Mastercard OFF CAMERA International Festival of Independent Cinema, Krakow.
The awards ceremony was followed by a closing party at Pegasus Art Foundation in the company of the co-organisers, volunteers, guests and spectators who were discussing about the art of Cinema and its future. Cyprus Film Days renewed its rendezvous with the cinephile audience of Cyprus in April 2023.
It is also worth mentioning that Cyprus Film Days 2022 was the first festival worldwide to be using the air filter technology UV Medico Far-UV 222. The devices were granted by ICARUS and were installed in the Rialto Theatre throughout the festival.
In partnership with: RCB
Under the auspices: Limassol Municipality & Nicosia Municipality
Media Sponsors: City, Check in, CyBC
Best Cypriot Director Award Sponsor: Authorwave
Hospitality Sponsor: Atlantica Miramare
Technical Support: Event Pro
Supported by: Embassy of Israel, Institut Français de Chypre, Goethe Institute, Cyprus University of Technology, Nicosia Friends of Cinema Society, Limassol Cine Club, Larnaca-Famagusta Cinema Society, Directors Guild of Cyprus, Limassol Tourism Board, University of Cyprus (Alumni Office), Efimerida Lemesos, Lemesos Blog, Limassol Today.