About the Fourth Sochi International Film Festival & Awards

November 16 – 21, 2019

Sochi-Russia

Sochi International Film Festival & Awards - is proud to announce its fourth world class event celebrating Russian, British and International film making for cinema that rises above the international political agenda.

The Awards has already received immense international media attention. The event will be attended by seasoned industry professionals and distinguished guests from around the globe.

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Lubov Balagova - Sochi International Film Awards - Founder and President

Announcement

SIFFA UK 2018 CEREMONY

SIFFA 2019 PRESS RELEASE

The Winner of the 4th Sochi International Film Festival is Guardian of Light from the director Yermek Tursunov. Muratzhan Mukazhanov, who acted in the film, accepted the golden Irida statuette.

The 4th Sochi International Film Festival and Awards (SIFFA) has officially closed with an awards ceremony on November 20th at the Radisson Collection Paradise Resort in Sochi. In attendance at the ceremony were Lubah Balagova-Kandour, Mohy Quandour, Kim Ki-duk, Maya Aimedova, Peter Ferris, Richard Deakin, Sylvie Bolioli, Zlatina Filipova, Larisa Luzhina, Vladimir Alenikov, Ekaterina Semenova, Nina Romodanovskaya, Olga Sherwood, Dmitry Ribero, Tamara Globa, Elena Borscheva, Dmitry Nesterov, a delegation from the city of Cheltenham headed by Martin Kimber, as well as competition film representatives.

The 4th Sochi International Film Festival Awards and Certificates:

  • President`s Award “For an inspired exploration of the life of women in contemporary society” – director Dito Tsintsadze and actress Salome Demuria for Inhale-Exhale;
  • Best Film – The Guardian of Light (director Yermek Tursunov; Kazakhstan);
  • Best Director – The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Actor – Fedor Bondarchuk in The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Actress – Nina Usatova in Guardian of Light (director Yermek Tursunov; Kazakhstan);
  • Best Costume Design – Regina Khomskaya for The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Production Design – Sergei Ivanov for The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Music– Yegor Romanenko for Kaddish (director Konstantin Fam; Russia, Belarussia);
  • Best Screenplay– The Sun Above Me Never Sets (writer Lubov Borisova);
  • Best Cinematography– The Sun Above Me Never Sets (Director of Photography Semen Amanatov);
  • Best Producer – Schemers (producers Alex Weston, Virginia Le);
  • Best First Film(Vera Glagoleva SIFFA Award) – The Sun Above Me Never Sets (director Lubov Borisova);
  • Special Jury Prize– In Spring Breeze (director Tauquir Ahmed; Bangladesh);
  • Best Documentary Film – Memory is Our Homeland (director Jonathan Kolodziej Durand; Canada);
  • Best Short Film– Bagatelle (director Daniel Levin; Russia, US);
  • Special Short Film Competition Jury Mention– Night Walk (director Lizete Upīte; Latvia);
  • Certificate “For the in-depth exploration of the spiritual world of modern man”– The Scale (director Ahmad Khatib; Jordan);
  • Certificate “For paying attention to children”to Vladimir Alenikov for the film Class Love (directors Alina Aparina and Andrey Tukhtamanov; Russia);
  • Certificate “For the lively and elegant representation of the culture of the people of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic”to the director of the Shagdi ensemble Zarema Unazhokova;
  • Festival certificate “For dedicating many years to teaching”to Bishop Metropole of Volokolam Hillarion;
  • Festival certificate from the press to Katerina Shpitsa, Valeria Bourdejois and Yekaterina Volkova for being part of a spectacular team of actresses, Young-Blooded Wine (director Petr Olevskiy (Russia);
  • Festival certificate “For exploring difficult pages of history”to the film School of Executioners;
  • Festival President`s Certificates– to the STEPANETS Fashion House founder and head designer Alexandra Stepanets and the STEPANETS Fashion House accessory designer and head stylist Natalya Malyutina;
  • Certificate “For contributions to world cinema” – Kim Ki-Duk;
  • Certificate“For maintaining the honor and dignity of the acting profession” – Maya Aimedova;
  • Certificate“For establishing peacebuilding bridges” – Peter Ferris;
  • Anniversary Certificate“For many years of contributions to the promotion of the film festival movement” –Sergei Novozhilov.

Kim Ki-duk, chairman of the festiva`s main competition jury: “All the members of the jury were stunned when they saw the work of the director from Kazakhstan. While we had some disagreements when deciding on other nominations, the festival`s main prize decision was unanimous. It is a very beautiful film, very deep and sad. We would like to thank the creators of the film for letting us see it.”

Mohy Quandour, co-founder, festival`s main competition jury:“I would be lying if I said that it was an easy choice to make. We spent hours debating the competition program films. Luckily, we had a wonderful team, we are all from the film industry, and we are sure that the decision we made was fair and correct.”

Muratzhan Mukazhanov, lead actor in Guardian of Light: Dear guests of the Sochi International Festival! I would like to thank the organizers and the viewers for the warm welcome and members of the jury assessing our film so positively. I am honored to be receiving this prize.”

Maya Aimedova, co-chairman of the main competition jury:“I am happy to be presenting the prize to the wonderful actress Nina Usatova. She had a small part in the outstanding film from Kazakhstan but it was a real gem, which we could not but notice. I would also like to mention the work of the festival organizers – creating a festival with such an interesting program, attracting directors, actors and producers to it, obtaining the support of the city and the sponsors – requires true commitment, love and hard work. Congratulations Luba on holding this fourth edition of the festival, this is a colossal undertaking and this is just the beginning.”

Nina Kochelyaeva, festival`s Program Director: “As the person who is directly involved in putting the festival`s program together I am very happy that the jury found the competition films interesting and that they generated active discussions. While I absolutely agree with some of the voting results, some others came as a complete surprise. I am very happy for Lubov Borisova’s film The Sun Above Me Never Sets, which won several awards, including the Vera Glagoleva SIFFA Award as Best First Film. I support the decision to bestow the festival`s Gran Prix to the film from Kazakhstan Guardian of Light and the festival President`s Award to Dito Tsintsadze`s film Inhale-Exhale. It is disappointing that the Indian film The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain did not win anything, as it was just nominated for the Asian-Pacific Screen Award. Very proud of the fact that we inaugurated a program for the children this year and happy to see that it attracted the most viewers.”

Lubah Balagova-Kandour, Festival Founder and President: “Sochi is a very active city, with major international, federal and city events. I really hope that the Sochi International Film Festival becomes one of the city`s key cultural events. We are trying to make the festival better every year – we invite eminent filmmakers, directors, screenwriters from Hollywood and Europe, we support the Russian cinema, and most importantly – we are creating a cultural bridge between Russia and the rest of the world. We will try to bring you even more surprises in the anniversary year and hope to continue the fruitful collaboration with the Sochi city administration, businesses and the media.”

The screening slate included over 50 feature, documentary and short films, animation films as part of VGIK`s 100-year anniversary and the Focus on the Region program by the filmmakers from the North Caucasus or about this region. In addition to the screenings the festival also included an educational program: lectures, masterclasses and talks with famous filmmakers, writers and musicians. The classical music concert at the Organ Hall was a big gift to the film festival attendees.

The 4th Sochi International Film Festival closed with the screening of Beanpole by director Kantemir Balagov, selected by Russia as its submission for the Oscars. Festival President Lubah Balagova-Kandour introduced the closing film.

***

The festival is held with support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Culture of Krasnodar Krai, the Administration of the City of Sochi, Rossotrudnichestvo UK, Radisson Collection Paradise Resort & SPA, Sochi Sindika Film Productions Co., as well as renowned filmmakers and cultural figures.

Festival`s media partners: Vesti Sochi, Max FM, Sochi 24, Sobaka.ru Sochi, Proficinema, Kinoafisha.info.

Programme & Catalogue

SIFFA’19 OPENING FILM

THE PRISONER

(UK,Germany, Russia, 2011)

by Director Mohy Quandour

Producers: Luba Balagova & Vesna Jovoneska

SIFFA’19 CLOSING FILM

BEANPOLE

By Director Kantemir Balagov

Producers: Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov

SIFFA’19 MAIN COMPETITION LINE-UP

The BROMLEY BOYS (UK, 2018)

by Director Steve Kelly

Producers: TJ Herbert and Dean Fisher

SCHEMERS (Scotland, 2019)

by Director David McClean

Producers: Alex Weston, Virginia Lee

YOUNG BLOODED WINE (Russia, 2018)

by Director Petr Olevskiy

Producers: Rodion Pavlyuchik, Sergey Fiks, Anastasiya Shipulina

SHYRAKSHY | GUARDIAN OF LIGHT (Kazakhstan, 2018)

by Director Yermek Tursunov

Producer: Kanat Torebay

SONA DHWANDI BHED TE SUCHHA PAHAD | THE GOLD-LADEN SHEEP AND THE SACRED MOUNTAIN (India, 2018)

by Director Ridham Janve

Producer: AKSHAY SINGH, RIDHAM JANVE

MIN URDUBER KYUN KHAHAN DA KIIRBET | THE SUN ABOVE ME NEVER SETS (Russia, Yakutia 2019)

by Director Lybov Borisova

Producers: Dmitry Shadrin, Sardana Savvina

FAGUN HAOAY | IN SPRING BREEZE (Bangladesh, 2019)

by Director Tauquir Ahmed

Producer: Faridur Reza Shagar

KADDISH (Russia/Belarus, 2019)

by Director Konstantin Fam

Producers: Gennady Pavlovich, Tatiana Dovidovskaya, Boris Mints, Konstantin Fam, Egor Odintsov, Katerina Mikhailova

INHALE-EXHALE (Russia, Georgia, Sweden, 2019)

By Director Dito Tsintsadze

Producers: Nadezhda Gorshkova, Rusudan Glurjidze, Peter Krupenin

THE LENIN FACTOR (Russia, 2019)

By Director Vladimir Khotinenkoe

Producers: Sergey Melkumov, Anton Zlatopolsky, Alexander Rodnyansky, Vladimir Khotinenko, Dmitry Litvinov, Vera Malysheva

SIFFA’19 SHORT FILM COMPETITION LINE-UP

AIR (Kazakhstan, 2018)

By Director Aizhana Kassymbek

Producer: Diana Ashimova

FAIR PLAY (Russia, 2019)

By Director Denis Kudryavtsev

Producer: Catherine Semenova

JULIA (France, 2019)

By Director Mike Colquhoun

Producer: Mike Colquhoun (Atelier Mike)

NIGHT WALKS (Latvia, 2018)

By Director Lizete Upīte

Producer: Sabīne Andersone

SALT, PEPPER TO TASTE (Azerbaijan, 2019)

By Director Teymur Hajiyev

Producers: Teymur Hajiyev, Balakishi Gasimov

THE SEAGULL (Armenia, 2019)

By Director Mane Baghdasaryan

Producer: Ararat Grigoryan

THE CARNIVAL OF LIFE (Italy, 2019)

By Director Laura Aimone

Producers: Angelo Santovito, Laura Aimone

ALMIZAN - الميزانTHE SCALE (Jordan, 2019)

By Director Ahmad Khatib

Producer: Luma Hamarneh

BAGATELLE (Russia/USA, 2019)

By Director Daniel Levin

Producers: Tchavdar Georgiev, Lidia Sheinin

BACHA (Abkhazia, Russia, 2019)

By Director Atana Agrba

Producers: Alexander Basarya, Roin Agrba

GEKKO (Russia, 2019)

By Director Nikita Loyk

Producer: Anastasia Rytsina

THE RIGHT TO LIFE (Russia, 2019)

By Director Olga Koleva

Producers: Anastasia Muntyan, Mila Solovyeva, Yulia Pereverzeva

SIFFA’19 DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION LINE-UP

SCHOOL of EXECUTIONERS (Russia, 2019)

Directed by: Alexey Kitaytsev, Ella Tukhareli

Producer: Ilnur Rafikov

BACK TO BERLIN (UK, 2018)

by Director Catherine Lurie

Producer: Catherine Lurie

MEMORY IS OUR HOMELAND (Canada, 2018)

by Director Jonathan Kolodziej Durand

Producer: Jonathan Kolodziej Durand

THE BOOK OF THE SEA (Russia, 2018)

by Director Aleksei Vakhrushev

Producer: Aleksei Vakhrushev

THE UNKNOWN 1917 (Russia, 2019)

by Director Galina Evtushenko

Producer: Galina Evtushenko

A MACULATE NON-CONCEPTION (Russia, 2019)

by Director Inna Denisova

Producer: Inna Denisova, Mila Rozanova

ORTHODOXY IN ALBANIA (Russia, 2019)

by Director Mariya Vilkaste

Producer: Нieromonk Ioann (Kopeykin)

I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, MOMMY (Russia, 2018)

by Directors Svetlana Pechenykh, Anna Rudikova

Producer: Alex Telnov

SIFFA’19 SPECIAL SCREENINGS

For special SIFFA screenings and the full Program check out the SIFFA-2019 Catalogue and Programme.

SIFFA MOMENTS

Videos

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During a tough chapter in UK-Russian relations I was pleased to have been able to attend Luba's special evening... Luba , you are a brave and valiant woman to spearhead such a high-profile project in a hostile environment. But those of us who spent the 23rd with you had the privilege of breathing the same air as the legendary Stephen Frears, the American star Nick Nolte and the superb string ensemble (KANDOUR QUARTET).

Carol Gould,
Political Commentator at British Broadcasting Corporation

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Luba, this is a crucial time for artists to recover their voice, you are helping to restore the connection between all of us, film makers from all over the world. I applaud the philosophy that underpins what you are doing.

Roland Joffé,
the Oscar, BAFTA and Cannes film festival
winning film director of “The Killing Fields” and “The Mission”

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Congratulations on making history, Luba. Thanks to Anatoly Pakhomov, of course! Sochi is the ideal choice for the concept of creating an international film festival designed to restore the face of art to the world through cinema. (…) Russia has always presented to the world the best examples of literature, philosophy, cinema and, in general, culture! And now the new Sochi International Film Awards wrote a new chapter in history with the same concept.

Karl Bardosh,
famous professor of New York university,
director, producer, writer

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A structured and strict concept of a powerful film festival has been formed, and you managed to prove its feasibility. Congratulations on what you have achieved, Luba. You've got proof of concept under your belt now! I thank Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov for supporting the new important film festival.

Elliot Grove,
founder of the Raindance Film Festival
and British Independent Film Awards

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A smashing success! Thank you for bringing Moscow and Sochi delegations, for the unexpected Sochi-wood glamour, the feedback from staff members and external guests was unreservedly positive.

Larry Sherwin,
Deputy Director of Communications of
EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

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Admirable Lubov Balagova-Kandour.
President and Producer of the “IRIDA” First Sochi International Film Awards. Majestic woman and lady of the world. Her motto - nothing is impossible. A woman of words and deeds. Beautiful person and magnificent woman.

Nina Ruchkina
Fashion House owner, dress designer

OUR SUPPORTERS
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