Founded in 2013, the Syros International Film Festival (SIFF) 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?”
Syros International Film Festival (SIFF) is a non-profit film and arts organization dedicated to the presentation and creation of filmic work existing outside of a commercial context, encompassing all genres of film. In constant engagement with the local spaces and communities of Syros, SIFF’s screenings, performances, workshops, exhibitions, and educational activities take place in, and are in dialogue with a wide variety of Syros sites, bringing attention to the island’s diverse histories and present social contexts. Grounded within a highly localized and public setting, on an Aegean island removed from Greece’s urban centers, SIFF serves as a site for new relationships to film and the social impact it can affect, resisting the notion that only presumed centers can generate innovative moving image creation and dialogue.
Since the very first Syros International Film Festival, the program has been guided by a theme unique to each edition. As an event that brings together recent and retrospective films from all decades, countries, or genres – apart from the confining guidelines of an industry event – the Festival investigates these themes to suggest ways of viewing, tying together disparate works and performances into a single experience: a week spent traversing cinema and the island itself, with an idea as a compass.