The Cyprus International Film Festival (CYIFF) is one of the TOP 100 Best Reviewed Festivals among 5.500 film festivals worldwide according to FilmFreeway. It takes place annually under the umbrella of Cultural International Festivals in cooperation with the CINE@ART FESTIVALS network on the beautiful Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The festival was inaugurated on March 23, 2006 by the Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. Pefkios Georgiades.
Since 2006 it has operated with the support of the municipalities where it takes place.
The Cyprus International Film Festival holds the EFFE Label, Europe’s quality stamp for remarkable arts festivals showing their engagement in the field of the arts, community involvement and international openness.
The Cyprus International Film Festival is the largest of all artistic high value independent cinema events in the whole region, spilling over Cyprus' boundaries and spreading over the whole region with its fame reaching worldwide. CΥIFF is the first internationally oriented film festival which offers new and upcoming directors in multiple sectors of entertainment (such as feature films, short films, animations, music videos, dance, experimental films and video art) the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of a jury of internationally acclaimed cinema experts, directors and actors. CYIFF has a competitive section. Films produced within the last 36 months by emerging directors are selected for the screening program.
CYIFF promotes both Cypriot film directors and Cypriot artists living abroad through the film category “Nostimon Imar”. The Festival also promotes awarded Cypriot Film Directors and the history of Cyprus. The Festival and the parallel events create an important meeting place for Cypriots and foreign filmmakers. The prize “Golden Aphrodite” is judged by a distinguished panel of experts in the international film industry.
The CΥIFF – Cyprus International FilmFestival is the brainchild of a group of dedicated volunteers, event organizers, film producers, cinema experts, multimedia and audio visual specialists.
The first artistic director of the festival, the Greek Phaedon Papamichael, the production designer of the films of John Cassavetes, laid the foundations of the institution with an emphasis on the new opportunities offered to Greek filmmakers for international distinction and visibility. In 2011 the first Greek film which won the Golden Aphrodite Award was by the first shown director, George Georgopoulos for TUNGSTEN.
The "Golden Aphrodite" statuette was designed by the Greek sculptor Pavlos Kougioumtzis. The music for the Golden Aphrodite Awards is written by the distinguished Cypriot composer Costas Cacoyannis.
Since 2013, the International Film Festival of Cyprus cooperates with the “Festival of New Talent – The Performance of your Life!” and presents, alongside the cinema rising stars, music, dance and theatrical performances by emerging artists in cooperation with professional schools and recognized artists from Cyprus and abroad.