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The CFD Awards Ceremony amidst a celebratory atmosphere

The films 78 DAYS by Emilija Gašić from Serbia and EMBRYO LARVA BUTTERFLY by Kyros Papavassiliou garnered the Best Film Awards of Cyprus Film Days in the International and National Competition sections respectively.

The festival wrapped up on Saturday 20 April at the Rialto Theatre, where the Audience Award, the international competition section awards and the Dot.on.the.Map Industry Days awards were announced and presented to the winners.

The curtain drew on the 22nd CFD with a screening of Adonis Florides’ AFRICA STAR, followed by the closing and awards ceremony, curated by Lia Haraki and presented by visual artist PASHIAS.

EMBRYO LARVA BUTTERFLY by Kyros Papavassiliou also received the Best Cypriot Director Award in the national competition section, while Cypriot actress Marina Makris received the Best Performance Award for her role in AFRICA STAR by Adonis Florides.

In the Glocal Images International Competition Section, the film DREAMING & DYING by Nelson Yeo (Singapore, Indonesia) received the Special Jury Award; Greek film director Sophia Exarchou received the Glocal Images Best Director Award for her film ANIMAL, which also garnered the Best Cinematography Award, delivered to director of photography Monika Lenczewska

The Audience Award of Cyprus Film Days went to THE TEACHER by Farah Nabulsi (Palestine, UK).

The Dot.on.the.Μap Industry Days awarded projects were: THE SEA WAS ONCE BLUE to be directed by Mohamad El-Hadidi and produced by Julian Moser from Egypt, SHIBBOLETH to be directed by Alexandra Matheou and produced by Tonia Mishiali from Cyprus, SUN IN SATURN to be directed by Ary Zara and produced by Andreia Nunes from Portugal, as well as MOTHER TONGUE to be directed by Caterina Biasiucci and produced by Antonella Di Nocera and Claudia Canfora from Italy.

The closing ceremony began with a statement by the artistic director of the 10th Cyprus Film Days for Children and Youth, Athena Xenidou, who highlighted the “stories of resilience” that took the lead in this year’s edition, while referring to the successful 1st edition of the National  

Student Short Film Competition. The audience had the chance to watch the creative outcome of the “Speed Filmmaking” workshop led by Stavros Pamballis.

The artistic directors of Cyprus Film Days 2024, Marios Lizides and Argyro Nicolaou, thanked the filmmakers and the members of the festival team for the successful implementation of this year’s CFD edition, the international jury members, as well as the audience itself for honouring the festival with their presence. Dr Elena Christodoulidou, Senior Cultural Officer, Head of Cinema at the Deputy Ministry of Culture, marked the closing of the festival, congratulating all filmmakers, thanking the sponsors, supporters and distinguished guests, as well as all collaborators for their contribution in this edition. Before renewing the CFD’s annual rendez-vous in Spring 2025, Dr. Christodoulidou paid tribute to the former director of Cultural Services (current Department of Contemporary Culture), Eleni Nikita, who passed away a few hours before the ceremony, for her significant contribution to Culture and Cinema.

The festival’s closing party on Heroes’ Square took place after the awards ceremony, with music selections by DJ Bon Bon. The next festival edition will take place in April 2025.

The jury deliberations and awards: 

The Glocal Images International Competition Section Awards:

The Glocal Images Best Film Award, accompanied by the amount of €6,000, went to 78 DAYS by Emilija Gašić from Serbia. ​​“For its unyielding truthfulness and its ability to transcend time and to speak to the deepest recesses of our humanity, this film stands as a testament of the joy to be alive. With extraordinary sincerity and authenticity, it exposes how everyday life is trapped in the cruel tendrils of war. The film's chosen unique format is skillfully wielded to convey the heart-wrenching innocence of childhood through the exceptional performances of the entire cast. Its layered approach embraces the persistence of happiness amidst a catastrophe.” Jury president Katarina Tomkova presented the award to the winner who took a chance to commend and share with the audience the home-like experience she encountered at the Festival during her stay in Cyprus.

The Glocal Images Special Jury Award, accompanied by the amount of €3,000, went to DREAMING & DYING by Nelson Yeo, a production from Singapore and Indonesia. “For its enchanting and poetic approach that effortlessly evokes a sense of wonder towards the natural and spiritual world, and its playfulness in subverting audience expectations regarding the dynamic bond shared among three lifelong friends, this film stands out for the dreamlike experience it creates.” The deliberation was announced by jury member Sandra Onana, with film director Nelson Yeo thanking the festival and the jury via a video.

The Glocal Images Best Director Award, accompanied by the amount of €1,000, went to ANIMAL by Sofia Exarchou, a co-production from Greece, Austria, Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria. For creating a riveting, vivid drama, which challenges audiences to enter the backstage of an often overlooked world, and facing the grim truths hidden beneath the surface of amusement. This film masterfully renders an atmosphere of suffocation and melancholy, showcasing great sensitivity in building up its characters' never-ending exhaustion, through its intentional, superbly detailed directorial approach.” The award was presented to Sophia Exarchou by the Rialto Theatre’s Chief Executive, Alexis Vassiliou.

The Glocal Images Best Cinematography Award, accompanied by the amount of €500, sponsored by Caretta Films, went to Monika Lenczewska for ANIMAL directed by Sophia Exarchou, a co-production from Greece, Austria, Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria. “For a visual narrative that carries the entire film consistently from beginning to the end and illuminates the bleak reality of the resort industry. It seamlessly immerses viewers into the contrasting worlds of day and night, skillfully reflecting the harsh truths it unveils in a visually striking portrayal.” The award was presented to the director by Constantinos Nikiforou on behalf of Caretta Films.

The Cypriot Films Competition Section

The Best Cypriot Film Award, accompanied by the amount of €4,000 and rental services of The Studio, offered by CYENS Centre of Excellence* went to EMBRYO LARVA BUTTERFLY by Kyros Papavassiliou. According to the jury’s statement: ”For its originality which offers a fresh perspective on the science fiction genre through a minimalist approach and deliberate pacing, this film stands out with its clever use of urban landscapes, as well as depiction of female experience in themes such as relationships and motherhood, marking a significant achievement in Cypriot cinema.” The award was presented to the winner by Dr Elena Christodoulidou, Senior Cultural Officer, head of Cinema at the Deputy Ministry of Culture. Dr Christodoulidou paid tribute to the significant contribution of the former director of Cultural Services (current Department of Contemporary Culture), Eleni Nikita, who passed away a few hours before the festival’s closing ceremony.


The Best Cypriot Director Award, accompanied by post-production services worth of €4,000 offered by Authorwave, also went to EMBRYO LARVA BUTTERFLY directed by Kyros Papavassiliou: “For its innovative direction in crafting a world where characters grapple with the fluidity of time, this film emerges as a unique voice in Cypriot cinema. It invites audiences into a journey of self-discovery, pushing the boundaries of storytelling.” The award was presented to the winner by Ioanna Soultani, on behalf of Authorwave. Kyros Papavassiliou dedicated the prize to the late Eleni Nikita, former Director of Cultural Services.

Τhe Best Performance Award, accompanied by the amount of €1,000, went to Marina Makris for her performance in AFRICA STAR directed by Adonis Florides. “This performance stands out for its minimalist yet immersive acting, bringing authenticity and depth to the character. The actress's portrayal highlights her ability to deeply inhabit a complex role and evoke genuine emotion on screen.” The award was presented to the winner by Municipal Councillor Aristos Aristidou.

The Audience Award, accompanied by the amount of €500, offered by TFI Markets, went to THE TEACHER by Farah Nabulsi.

The jury consisted of: jury president Katarina Tomkova, film producer from Slovakia; Berlin-based Turkish Cypriot director of photography Emre Erkmen, French film critic Sandra Onana, Greek director and screenwriter Assimina Proedrou and Berlin-based Palestinian filmmaker Juna Suleiman.

On behalf of the jury, president Katarina Tomkova warmly thanked the organisers for the hospitality and invitation: “On behalf of the jury, I would like to thank the festival not only for inviting us and hosting us on this beautiful island, but also having us discover a wonderful programme of both international and Cypriot cinema. Cinema is an incredibly powerful tool: it can transcend borders, it can bridge cultures and worldviews, foster empathy among a diverse community. We are honoured that we experienced this among the competing films”, she stated. Industry Days is rapidly developing

The awards ceremony began with the Dot.on.the.Map Industry Days awards. Director and producer Danae Stylianou, head of Dot.on.the.Map, highlighted the successful implementation of the industry events’ 5th edition, which brought together in Cyprus more than 150 film professionals from 20 countries, from Cyprus, Europe, Middle East, and North Africa. In her speech, she took the opportunity to announce that Dot.on.the.Map has formed a partnership with Coprocity, joining 19 of the most prominent co-production markets. From this year onwards, all the projects pitching in the co-production forum are eligible to participate in the Coprocity Development Award of €3,500, offered in partnership with Cineuropa. The award winners will be announced at the end of this year.

The three-member international jury of Dot.on.the.Μap Ιndustry Days comprised of Producers Cécile Tollu-Polonowski, Head of Development at The Match Factory, Germany – France, Yorgos Tsourgiannis, Horsefly Films, Greece, and Anita Elsani, Elsani & Neary Media, from Germany. In their statement, the jury members thanked the entire team for their warm welcome and for inviting such a strong selection of projects. Specifically, they stated: “We would like to congratulate all the directors and producers for presenting their projects and generously allowing us into their stories and their worlds. We can feel their continuous passion, courage and perseverance in making their films, against all kinds of adversity.”

The Cyprus Film Commission – Invest Cyprus Award went to THE SEA WAS ONCE BLUE, to be directed by Mohamad El-Hadidi and produced by Julian Moser from Egypt “for showing us the dilemma of freeing oneself from a dysfunctional relationship. An intense love story in the shape of an Alexandrian set mumblecore.” The award, accompanied by the monetary prize of €1,000, was presented to the winner by Lefteris Eleftheriou, the Chairman of the Cyprus Film Commission.

The P.S. Movies and Stories Award went to SHIBBOLETH to be directed by Alexandra Matheou, and produced by Tonia Mishiali, from Cyprus, “for inviting us into a surreal and eerie playground, where the question of whether life would become easier if death was not part of it.” The P.S. Movies and Stories Award accompanied by lighting & grip equipment rental worth up to €4,000 offered by P.S. Movies & Stories Cinema Equipment Rental Ltd, was presented to the winners by the director of the company, Polyvios Symeonides.

The Best Debut Project Pitch Award went to the director Ary Zara, for SUN IN SATURN from Portugal, produced by Andreia Nunes “for a character-driven story exploring not only gender identity but also an intergenerational idea of time and life, tradition, sexuality, love and grief”. The Best Debut Project Pitch Award accompanied by the monetary prize of €500, offered by the Directors Guild of Cyprus, was presented to the winner by Athena Xenidou, President of the Board.

The AGORA Networking Award went to producer Claudia Canfora for the project MOTHER TONGUE to be directed by Caterina Biasiucci, from Italy. According to the jury statement, this is: “the portrait of a young girl reclaiming her lost childhood whilst preparing for motherhood. A project celebrating life but set in a cemetery”. The award, offered by Thessaloniki International Film Festival, was presented to the winner by Eleni Androutsopoulou, Head of the TIFF’s Greek Programme.

For more information: Rialto Theatre 77 77 77 45 

Facebook & Instagram: Cyprus Film Days International Festival

Organisers: Deputy Ministry of Culture Department of Contemporary Culture, Rialto Theatre

Under the auspices of: Limassol Municipality & Nicosia Municipality

In partnership with: CIPA Film in Cyprus

Supported by: Institut Français de Chypre, German Embassy Nicosia

Technical Partner: Event Pro

Official festival car: Char. Pilakoutas Group – Nissan

Audience Award Sponsor: TFI Markets

Award Sponsors: Caretta Films, Authorwave, CYENS

Dot.on.the.Map Award Sponsor: P.S. Movies and Stories

Hospitality Sponsor: Mediterranean Hotel

Media Sponsors: CITY, CyBC

Dot.on.the.Map Industry Days Hospitality Sponsor: Alinea


Mall of Cyprus, K-Cineplex, LOEL, 

Directors Guild of Cyprus, The Friends of Cinema Society (Nicosia), Limassol Cine Club, Larnaca-Famagusta Cinema Society, Cyprus University of Technology, University of Cyprus (Alumni Office), UCLAN, Dance House Lefkosia, Dance House Lemesos, Cyprus New Movement, EMEL Ltd-Limassol Buses, Cyprus Public Transport, Lemesos Newspaper, Limassol Today, Lemesos Blog, Vestnik Kipra, Limassol Tourism Board.

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