Syros Int'l Film Festival 2015

Looking back over this myriad and ever-developing experiment, patterns emerge: competitions that privilege films from the surrounding region and the works of debutant filmmakers – largely outsider forces looking for an entrance into the globalized film world – and a will to explore the island of Syros with cinema in mind. We search for new experiments and experiences with the films that enter the port of Hermoupolis; we invite films and directors to challenge our understanding of cinema, while seeking to create a relationship between these films and the places we screen them.

Download the SIFF 2015 Print Catalogue

Where: Cinemas of Place

What does it mean to find cinema, product of immense industry and economy, assembled and located on Syros? What particular effect does location have on that which is made for the darkness? Hermoupolis – named for the messenger god, and once the principal port of the Aegean – has long been a location of transmission, of arrival and dissemination, but what trace does the host leave on what it has received? In parallel theme with the Khora Residency, SIFF takes the opportunity this year to present a panorama program investigating the notion of place in cinema, in both creation and presentation.

With “Where: Cinemas of Place”, basic categories serve as a leaping-off point in parsing articulations of place in film: “Interior/Exterior: Room Films” begins with confines, crucible and boundary; “Lands and Locality” looks at the many figurations of specific locale; “The Nowhere Place: Road Films” searches for a floating place of transience with no real location; while “Film-Space / Film-Place” turns away from the world and privileges a ‘place’ somewhere in the interior of the film.

But ‘place’ is not infinitely controllable, and exploring the cinema’s myriad manipulations brings this into relief: everything is possible within the frame, yet the film is often powerless over its place of projection. The dark- ness needed for screening conveniently dominates the space in favor of the movie, but what remains of this place that resists the manipulations of the camera and lens? Is it the immutable opposite of cinematic space, or does this place also dialogue with the film that enters, fills, transforms or transports it?