2017 Archive

Roland Joffé

CHAIRMAN OF THE JURY (Main Competition)

Roland Joffé is an English-French film director known for the Oscar-winning movies The Killing Fields and The Mission. His career started in television. His early television credits include episodes of Coronation Street and an adaptation of The Stars Look Down for Granada. The series Bill Brand and factual dramas for Play for Today gained him a reputation for hard-hitting political stories. He then went on to direct the play The Spongers for the BBC, which won the prestigious Prix Italia award. He later moved to directing and won Oscars for The Killing Fields and The Mission. The Killing Fields, about the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, was awarded 3 Oscars, most notably - Best Supporting Actor for Haing S. Ngor, who had had no previous acting experience. The film won eight BAFTAs, including Best Film and Best Actor in a Leading Role, at the 38th British Academy Film Awards. In 1999 the British Film Institute voted The Killing Fields the 100th greatest British film of all time. The Mission was a story of conflict between Jesuit missionaries in South America and the Portuguese and Spanish colonisers. The film won the Palme d'Or and Technical Grand Prize at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival. It achieved six Academy Awards nominations—including for Best Picture, Best Director, and Ennio Morricone's acclaimed Best Original Score — and won one, for Best Cinematography. Joffe’s 2011 release, There Be Dragons, garnered press attention as it dealt with the Catholic organisation Opus Dei. His recent work includes all episodes of Texas Rising for the History channel and of Sun Records for CMT, as well as the recently completed The Forgiven, starring Academy Award Winner Forest Whitaker and Eric Bana. The Forgiven is part of the Official Selection of the BFI London Film Festival 2017. Joffe also serves on the Board of Operation USA, a non-profit organization helping overcome the effects of disasters, disease, violence and endemic poverty.

Svetlana Toma

CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE JURY (Main Competition)

Meritorious Artist of Russia, People's Artist of Moldova, theater and film actress, recipient of many national and international film awards.

Mohy Quandour

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Main Competition)

Winner of international film festivals, People's Writer of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, awarded the Russian Golden Cross (“for the contributions to the Culture of the Fatherland”).

His beginnings in the film industry started with advertising films at J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and MPO studios in Ney York. Then moved to Hollywood in the early seventies and he was best known for his Hollywood television work on such classic series as Mannix and Bonanza.

He went on to direct such films as “Cherkess”, which won him Best Director and Best film at the Monaco International Film Festival, “Cold Wind”, “The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe” (with Robert Walker and Cesar Romero) and “The Prisoner” (with Julie Cox, Andrey Chernichov, Yegor Paznko James Wallace and Mel Borz).

Quandour produced several award winning documentaries such as “The Last Horsemen” and “Musical Journey” and others for European TV networks.

Quandour has authored more than 30 historical novels published in the USA and the UK. These were translated into several languages including Russian, Arabic, Turkish, French, Spanish and German. His most popular literary works are: “The Night of the Generals”, ‘The Kafkas Trilogy”, “Antidote”, “The Plot”, “Revolution”, “The Last Hunt”.

Jerome St John Blake

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Main Competition)

After 20 years as a musician, Jerome made the transition to acting via modelling, TV commercials and the Actors Institute. A speculative audition for Kennedy’s Children brought him to the attention of Emmy award winner, Charles Serio. After several years and numerous productions with The Serio Ensemble, he met and formed a continuing working relationship with director Craig McCall including award-winning projects for EMI Records and General Motors.

He broke into feature films with First Knight, appearing as a member of the royal guard to Sean Connery’s King Arthur. Next came The Fifth Element which heralded the start of a long involvement with creature-effects work which would later include all three of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (The Phantom Menace, Attack Of the Clones and Revenge Of The Sith) and the feature film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

His most recent theatre work was appearing as Chief Bromden opposite Christian Slater’s R.P. McMurphy.

His latest project is the interactive movie console game The Bunker.

Sergei Sholokhov

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Main Competition)

Sergei Sholokhov was born on September 27, 1958 in Leningrad. He attended a school that taught English and Hindi and then the Leningrad State University's Languages Department. He obtained his graduate degree at the Leningrad Institute of Theater, Music and Film Studies in 1986. He has a Ph.D. in Art History. In 1987, Sholokhov began his career at the Leningrad TV as editor at the Cinema Department becoming popular at the end of the 1980-ies as one of the authors and presenters of the Fifth Wheel news show. He has been a writer and anchor of the Tihii Dom (Quiet House) show since 1991 (Rossiya Chanel in 1991-1998 and Channel One since 1998). In 1997 Sergei Sholokhov became Deputy Chairman of the Peterburg State TV and Radio Broadcasting Company. He has been working as Director General of the Peterburg-Kultura Production House since 1998. Sholokhov has authored 16 documentaries, including Looking for Happiness (about A. Balabanov), Aleksey German - Heart of a Lion, Kirill Lavrov - Grandfather and Grandson and I am Walking and Marching (about Nikita Mikhalkov). His work has been published in the Avrova, Ogonek, Iskusstvo Kino magazines, as well as Moscow News, Vedomosti and Argumenty Nedeli newspapers. Sholokhov is the Nika Film Academy member.

Alexei Pischulin

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Documentary Competition)

Writer, artist, director and producer.

Member of the Academy of Russian Television.

Member of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia, member of the Union of Artists of the Russian Federation. TEFI Award recipient.

Vadim Tsalikov

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Documentary Competition)

Film director, screenwriter. Meritorious Artist of the Republic of North Ossetia - Alania, member of the Board of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia and of the Documentary Film Association Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation.
Vadim Tsalikov’s films have been shown and received awards at over 40 Russian and international film festivals.

Artem Mikhalkov

CHAIRMAN OF THE JURY (Short Film Competition)

Actor, film director, scriptwriter, TV presenter, General Director of Kinodom Ltd. Graduated from the Directing Department of VGIK, Marlen Khutsiev class in 1998. Founded Kinodom, specializing in documentary and fiction film, music clip and advertising video production in 2001. Kinodom has produced, among others, documentaries such as Passions on Russia, Collection of Russian Classics and K-324.
Since 2009 - Board Chairman of the Russian Union of Rights Holders Russian Public Organization.
Since 2013 - President of the annual Movement Debut National Film Festival, supported by Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Omsk Oblast.
Since 2016 - Executive Secretary of the Board of the Russian Musical Union Russian public association.
Since 2015 - Vice-Chairman of the Public Council of the Department of Internal Affairs at the Troitsk and Novomoskovsk Administrative District of the Head Office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for Moscow
Since 2017 - Member of the Public Council at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia.

Mikhalkov directed the following films:
2015 Betting on Love
2009 Moscow, I love you!
2003 Passions on Russia
1999 A Stop

Anna Yanovskaya

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Short Film Competition)

Graduate of the Russian Institute of Theater Arts (GITIS) Department of Directing in 1998 (Mark Zakharov class) and of the Higher School of Screenwriters and Directors in 2014 (Vladimir Grammatikov and Alexander Borodyansky class). Yanovskaya was involved in many international theater and film projects as an actress. She has played over 25 roles in film and on television. She is a screenwriter and feature and documentary film director. Yanovskaya has participated in many Russian domestic and international film festivals and is a recipient of numerous awards.


SIFFA Winners

  • The festival's Grand Prix went to best feature film by director Jenny Lu from Taiwan for The Receptionist.
  • Best Documentary Film - Rina Castelnuovo and Tamir Elterman for Muhi - Generally Temporary (Israel-Germany).
  • Best Short Film - I See You by Dennis Kudryavtsev (Russia).
  • Hannah Stevenson was recognized as the best producer for In Another Life.
  • The Russian film Son received two prizes: director Slava Ross for best directing, and the lead actor Arseny Romashin - for best debut.
  • Sergey Maksimov received the award for best cinematography in Touch of Wind.
  • Touch of Wind also received a second award - this time, for best costume design.
  • The jury recognized Judi Dench as best actress, who played the leading role in Victoria & Abdul (UK-USA).
  • Ali Fazal, Judi Dench's partner in the film Victoria & Abdul, received the Best Actor Prize.
  • Best Screenplay prize went to Rusudan Glurjidze for House of Others.
  • Best Production Design was awarded to Rustam Odinayev for the film Returnee from Kazakhstan.
  • Best music - Children Of Genghis (Mongolia), composed by Ulziibayar Shatar.

SIFFA President Luba Balagova gave the Best Actor Award.

Actor Baek Seo-Bin, who played the main character of the Bible-related film Sermon on the Mount (South Korea), received the Best Actor Award.

Film festival president's diplomas were awarded to:

  • Vladimir Vorokov, director and screenwriter, holder of multiple titles and winner of numerous awards, for his film Land of Magic about the Kabardino-Balkaria Alpine Natural Reserve.
  • British director and screenwriter Maeve Murphy for her 10-minute film Siobhan.
  • Director, screenwriter and producer of the short The Mystery of White Ray Valentin Vyatkin for his enthusiasm and children’s talented acting.

The new Vera Glagoleva SIFFA Award, established this year to commemorate the wonderful actress, was presented to director Konstantin Fam for his cinematic novella Violin.

The Feature Film Competition jury awarded a diploma to Oleg Ageychev, director and producer of Dominica, for original idea.

Documentary Film Jury diplomas:

  • Stanislav Stavinov and Andrey Timoschenko for original approach to exploring the topic of work in the film Life with Bacteria.
  • Galina Leontyeva for telling a story about a contemporary in a poignant way in the film Marina's Circle Dance.
  • Ken Kamara and Arianna Marin for eloquent laconic expression exhibited in Mastermono.

Short Film Competition Jury awarded the following diplomas:

  • Danil Grinkin for emerging director's mature approach in Monk.
  • Sergey Novozhilov for producer's healthy sense of adventure in the film Once Upon a Time in Rezekne (Russia-Latvia).
  • Konstantin Fam for preserving history in the cinematic novella Violin.
  • Matt Harlock for depiction of artistic talent in his film Ink, Cocks & Rock 'n' Roll
  • Toma Stenko for director's bravery in acquiring the difficult art of fishing in the film Fish (Georgia).

Toma Stenko was also awarded the Sochi Mayor's Prize.

Special Press Prizes were awarded to:

  • Director Igor Grigoryev for his documentary Rokossovsky: A Man, A Monument. The diploma was awarded to Constantine Atamanyuk, the late director's student, who completed the film.
  • Actress Katerina Shpitsa, who performed the main role in the Latvian film What Nobody Can See, for her acting talent and dedication she exhibited during the making of the film.
  • Andrey Troitskiy, who directed the short Mira, for a touching story presented in a concise yet convincing manner.

The following jury chairmen and members awarded the competition winners:

outstanding English-French director, Oscar winner Roland Joffe; Meritorious Artist of Russia Svetlana Toma; CEO of Kinodom, actor, director and screenwriter Artem Mikhalkov; Hollywood veteran, director and producer Mohy Quandour; Nika Film Academy member Sergei Sholokhov; director and producer Alexei Pischulin; director and screenwriter Vadim Tsalikov and popular actress Anna Yanovskaya.

Vice Mayor Irina Romanets presented the Mayor’s Prize to Kandour Quartet, in Sochi from London for the festival. During the awards ceremony filmmakers and cultural figures noted the significance and the important objectives of the new festival and were predicting a great future for it.







Programme & Catalogue

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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

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