In 2009 we, the musician Marco Brosolo, producer Federico Bassetti and filmmaker Matthias Fritsch, founded the platform for contemporary silent film Moving Silence. At the time, we all lived in Berlin and wanted to bring back to the stage the unique poetry that silent film possesses as its own kind of cinema and that has almost completely disappeared from film culture today due to the dominance of sound film. Together we looked for filmmakers who either produced silent films or whose films were so visually powerful that they could stand on their own. Many film artists were willing to experiment with replacing their existing soundtracks with live sound and music accompaniment, giving the musicians complete freedom. This resulted in completely new versions of their films, because in the end the live musicians imbue the silent works with a very individual timbre and mood with their interpretation and accompaniment of the moving images.
When I met Achilleas Kentonis, director of the ARTos Foundation (now ARTos House) at a symposium in Prague, the plan was made to bring Moving Silence to Nicosia. With the support of the Goethe-Institut Cyprus, our Berlin initiative was able to bring one or two Berlin musicians from various musical genres to Cyprus every year, in addition to the internationally compiled film programmes. The spectrum ranged from Robert Lippok's electronic sounds to Almut Kühne's vocal acrobatics to Frank Gratkowski's free jazz and many more. Some of the German musicians also began to work together with musicians from Cyprus after they got to know and appreciate each other at the silent film concerts. Because all the events in Nicosia have one thing in common: a film evening consists of almost as many short concerts as there are short films shown in the programme. The soundtracks within a programme can be as diverse as the films and film genres are: in addition to Kyriaki Iakovidou's children's choir Ergo Sum, Tasos Stylianou plays experimental sounds that he elicits from found objects, followed by a score composed by Andreas Moustoukis and interpreted by a musician from the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra. We have even had a film soundtrack performed with tap dance in the programme. This diversity is the charm and uniqueness of the Moving Silence events at ARTos House and, thanks to Achilleas Kentonis' good connections to the excellent Cypriot music scene, provides surprising highlights every year.
At this point I would like to thank Mrs Varga, Mr Dahl and Mr Luley very much, because thanks to their long-standing support and the cooperation of the Goethe-Institut Cyprus with the ARTos House, we can now look back on eleven years of contemporary silent film in Nicosia with a theatre hall that is always packed.