8th Syros International Film Festival (SIFF)
3–6 September 2020, Syros

The cinematic spirit arrives in Syros and its special locations
for SIFF’s 8th edition
with a two-day back-to-back drive-in,
unique performances in the historic shipyard of Tarsanas,
and an opening night at the Pallas open-air cinema in Hermoupolis


From the 3rd to the 6th of September, shortly after the end of the summer season, the Syros International Film Festival returns to the capital of the Cyclades for its eighth edition, continuing to explore the theme of “Off Season” which launched in July 2020 and will reach completion in July 2021. Due to the special circumstances caused by COVID-19, SIFF will present a program that will span a period of four days, with one central action per day. All screenings and events will take place outdoors and will draw on, as every year, the cultural heritage and history of Syros in unexpected ways.


Opening night at the Pallas open-air cinema | Thursday, 3 September 2020

The Festival will open again this year at the Pallas open-air cinema, in the island’s city center, located a heartbeat away from the emblematic town hall of Hermoupolis. This opening program will include the annual introductory greeting of the SIFF team, the detailed presentation of this year’s program and, of course, screenings of selected films which this evening will focus on Greek productions.


Audiovisual performances at the Tarsanas shipyard | Friday, 4 September 2020 

This year’s -shorter- ‘tour’ of SIFF continues by the seaside, at the shipyards of Hermoupolis. Located at the edge of the island’s port, and often overlooked by visitors, Tarsanas offers a special beauty and history of the capital of the Cyclades. An in-use ship-building and maintenance site, Tarsanas keeps the traditional techniques of shipbuilding alive.

This Friday evening, SIFF invites two Greek contemporary artists who work with 8 mm film; the film format most recognizable perhaps for recording the holiday experience in past decades, and the format used most widely in the first “home movies.” Constantinos Hadzinikolaou will present a performance featuring the film projector as an active character in the piece, setting in motion a series of images that evoke relief paintings. The same evening, Natasha Giannaraki will share her personal “travelogues” from her journeys on the other side of the Atlantic. Paired with the artist’s live original musical compositions, the piece will create a unique atmosphere of wandering and freedom. Last but not least, an original musical score by the Greek-American composer and filmmaker, Christina Vantzou, will accompany the screening of Hotel Monterey (1973), a silent documentary by the pioneering Belgian director Chantal Akerman.


Two drive-in evenings | Saturday, 5, and Sunday, 6 September 2020

For the next two days of this year’s Festival, the SIFF team decided to honor one of its favorite sites organizing not one, but two double-feature drive-in film evenings, to celebrate six years since the very first SIFF drive-in event in 2015. More information will be announced shortly.

Finally, visiting the Festival for the first time, filmmaker Fern Silva will present a selection of his short films on 16 mm, which have travelled to film festivals around the world.


Parallel Events | Workshop “Alternate Paths”

The “Alternate Paths” workshops invite participants to follow hikes with local and international artists and filmmakers in unexplored areas of Syros. The aim of “Alternate Paths” is for participants to approach the past and present of the island in a more complex, experiential way. Workshop sessions will include organized walks to destinations that are not usually those of the mainstream trend of tourism, during which participants will record their experiences in digital media. This year, during the 8th festival edition dates, a one-day workshop will be held in collaboration with the Greek visual artist Dimitra Kondylatou. The artist will organize a walking session, and, together with the workshop participants, will document the walk and compile a small archive of digital images, which will be the basis for her next moving-image project. The final piece will be presented at SIFF in July 2021. The workshop is offered free of charge to the public. An open call for participation will be available in mid-August. Participants will not exceed the number of ten (10) people.


Collaboration with the Greek Film Archive (Tainiothiki)

In the framework of an expanded collaboration with the Greek Film Archive, SIFF co-curates a series of screenings of rare films from the GFA’s archive, reflecting on tourism and the theme of this year’s Festival “Off Season.”


Admission to all events of the 8th Syros International Festival is free of charge. In order to avoid crowding and with an understanding of the particular conditions brought by the COVID-19 health crisis, SIFF sets a zero-ticket policy for all its screenings and events for 2020.