Yiannis Economides’ project named best film; Radu Muntean’s Tuesday, After Christmas picks up jury prize award

Cyprus Film Days held its first international competition at this year’s ninth festival (April 8-17), with the Best Film Prize going to Knifer by Cyprus-born, Athens-based director Yiannis Economides.

The jury said: “Knifer is a dark, poetic, complex and original film. Yiannis Economides’ elaborate framing results in unforgettable cinematic moments, with strong performances and a distinctive visual style. With his uncompromising stylistic methods, his symbolism and his daring, powerful story, Economides’ film manages to create a modern film noir while at the same time stimulates thought.”

The jury prize award went to Romanian drama Tuesday, After Christmas by Radu Muntean, which the jury said “reveals how often the banality of life is sometimes the overall truth of human existence”.

Those films won €7,000 and €3,000, respectively.

An honorary distinction went to Dragomir Sholev’s Shelter from Bulgaria.

The jury was comprised of Israeli director Erez Tadmor, Greek-born, Germany-based producer Thanassis Karathanos and Taiwanese director Cheng Wen-tang.

The festival is organised by the Limassol-based arts organisation Rialto Theatre and the Nicosia-based Ministry of Education and Culture. The festival is held in both cities simultaneously.

The three-man artistic committee is comprised of filmmaker Adonis Florides (Kalabush), academic Costas Constandinides and film journalist Constantinous Sarkas. “We are all the same wavelength but we come from different backgrounds,” Sarkas told Screen.

The festival aims to reflect Cyprus’ unique location, “We’re at a unique crosspoint of three continents,” explains Sarkas, which reflects the festival’s typical focus on films from Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

“We want to give the local people the chance to watch challenging cinema,” he said. “We’re also moving it up a notch with the international competition. And those films can also show local aspiring filmmakers that you don’t need huge amounts of money to make cinema.”

The competition also included: Floating Things by Mircea Daneliuc (Romania); Inside America by Barbara Eder (Austria); Mother of Asphalt by Dalibor Matanic (Croatia); La nostra vita by Daniele Luchetti (Italy-France); Tilt by Viktor Chouchlov Jr (Bulgaria); and Zone of Turbulance by Evgenia Tirdatova (Russia).

Other films shown included Honey (Bal), Attenberg, Submarino, Heartbeats and local production By Miracle directed by Marinos Kartikkis. The midnight section ‘Re-Possessed’ included screenings of Eyes Wide Open, Requiem, and Fears of the Dark.