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The fifth Syros International Film Festival gets ready to explore “cracking up”


- The indie festival celebrates is fifth edition by spotlighting unconventional cinematic voices and takes place from 14-19 July on the island of Syros

The fifth Syros International Film Festival gets ready to explore “cracking up”
An image from a previous edition of the Syros International Film Festival

The Syros International Film Festival (SIFF) celebrates its fifth edition this year and is focusing on exploring the different aspects of the American phrase “cracking up”. The indie experimental cinema event, which takes place from 14-19 July on the island of Syros, will, through screenings, performances, workshops and music events, examine moments ranging from disturbing to hilarious, potentially even verging on the strange or the frantic, and inevitably breaking away from the perception of what is considered as “accepted regularity”.

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As every year, the festival will unspool in various locations on the island, including a range of open-air cinemas and the island’s quarry, where it will offer viewers a unique experience of watching cinema by challenging them to cross their own filmic boundaries. Seasoned German director Peter Fleischmann will give a master class, while his films Havoc (1972) and Weak Spot (1975) will have two special screenings. The SIFF offers a carte blanche and a stop-motion animation workshop to American avant-garde filmmaker and artist Martha Colburn. Other cartes blanches are being given to director and anthropologist Philip Cartelli and Mariangela Ciccarello, who will also present their works in progress.

The line-up of the fifth SIFF will be perched right on the fringe of experimental and unconventional cinema, and will not be limited to titles that have been released recently. The opening film will be Symptom by Angelos Frantzis while the festival’s signature location of the drive-in cinema will focus on voyeurism by screening the classic Greek film noir Nightmare (1961) by Erricos Andreou as well as Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (1960). Finally, one of the highlights among the musical events will be a special screening of the Japanese silent film A Page of Madness (1926) by Teinosuke Kinugasa, with a live performance by electronic musician Yves Tumor, who has been commissioned by the festival to compose a new soundtrack.

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