Films from diverse geographic, social, and cultural contexts, workshops, talks, original commissions, audiovisual installations and performances comprise the 9th Syros International Film Festival.

It will take place on the island of Syros in July 22-26, 2021 with the support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

From classic masterpieces to contemporary experimental cinema and from Russia to the USA and Europe, SIFF combines various art forms, formats, sounds and cultures in repurposed locations across the island!

The edition’s theme “Off Season,” continued from 2020, proposes an alternative perspective in periods of crisis, focusing on different perceptions of time, the different “speeds” at which humanity operates, limits on movement and mobility as well as the management of personal time and leisure as a fundamental human right.

Syros International Film Festival (SIFF), @SyrosFilmFest

SIFF presents two original commissions that take up these new perspectives of “Off Season” by making use of rare archival materials.

Cheirographon by editor Harout Arakelian and music archivist Ian Nagoski is an ode to diaspora immigration to the United States in the first half of the 20th century, using found footage from both archival material and feature films, with an original soundtrack that blends rare recordings from various immigrant communities of that period.

Selected texts will be narrated live at the screening, synthesizing archival, mash-up and performative techniques in an invocation of past movements.

The Festival’s second major commission, Launching Ceremony, is a site-specific audiovisual installation conceived by filmmaker and visual artist Marina Gioti, realized with the support of NEON Organization for Culture and Development, and in partnership with the Greek Film Archive.

Gioti’s new project focuses on the ceremonial launch of a new vessel, compiling a montage of mid century archival footage from Greek and international newsreels aiming to bring an intentional anachronism face to face with the present moment. Thessaloniki-based composer and thereminist May Roosevelt composes the film’s score, which will be performed live at the opening on July 23 at 21:00. Both the performance and installation are hosted in the historic Tarsanas Shipyard in Hermoupolis, Syros.

About the Festival

Founded in 2013, the Syros International Film Festival showcases a wide spectrum of cinema in traditional and re-purposed island sites.

Located in the middle of the Aegean summer, removed from the usual demands and hierarchies of the film industry, SIFF embeds events, styles and programs—experimental and narrative, recent and retrospective, Greek and international, workshops and expanded cinema performance—into its unique setting.

The festival aims to welcome an array of cinematic experiences into this immersive dreamscape, allowing us to re-think the question of “What is cinema”?