2018 Archive

Mohy Quandour

(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”.

Elena Tsyplakova

(Main Competition)

People's Artist of Russia, winner of international and Russian film festivals.

Being a schoolgirl, she began to act in films with the director Dinara Asanova. The film "Woodpecker does not Have a Headache" was released in 1974, and in 1978 it was awarded as the best foreign film in Cuba.

In 1978 she graduated from the Acting Department of the A. Lunacharsky State Institute of Theatrical Art, in 1979 - the Acting Department of the Russian Film Institute (VGIK), in 1985 - Department of Film Directing of VGIK.

Actively starred in the 1970-1980s, played more than forty roles. Worked at the Maly Theater.

She has shot her first full-length feature film "Reed Paradise" in 1989 - in 1990, the film was awarded the prize for directing and the prize of film critics at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Dean of the Faculty of Film and TV at the Natalia Nesterova Academy.

Elizabeth Jones

(Main Competition)

A member of the Independent Party (UKIP), she has consistently advocated improving relations between the UK and Russia. In 2016, she participated in the election of the Mayor of London.

Elizabeth Jones is a lawyer of the highest category; She has been working as a family lawyer in London for twenty years.

Previously, as a producer and actress, she participated in feature film projects. Her films “Personality of Justice” and “Love on the Higher Side” were selected at the Cannes Film Festival.

She has been writing and broadcasting as a music critic for the Classical Source magazine.

Oksana Stashenko

(Main Competition)

Honored Artist of Russia, People's Artist of the Republic of South Ossetia. Awarded: the gold medal “National Treasure” given by the International Charitable Foundation “ Maecenas of the Century”, Award of the Guild of Actors of the Russian Cinema “Kind Heart”.

Graduated from the I. Slonov Saratov Theater School. Worked at the Lipetsk Youth Theater, the Kamensk-Ural Drama Theater, N. Ostrovsky Moscow Regional Drama Theater, Moscow Theater "Benefit". She played more than 45 major roles in different performances.

She was the TV host of the program "Istanbul through the eyes of the Russians" - on Turkish television, “Where the stars gather” and the author’s program “The Merry Cellar” - on Russian TV channel “Daryal TV”, the culinary program “Tasty 360°” and the program on traveling around Moscow “Rest 360°” - on Russian TV channel “360°”.

Starring since 1991: she has performed over 100 roles, including roles in foreign films - in the USA, Hong Kong.

In 2000, she released the music album “Romances + Retro”.

Since 2007, as a singer of popular songs recorded 5 CD-albums.

In 2012, the first book from the series “Traveling of a wandering actress” - “My Nepal” (printed edition and video version) was published.

Since 2015 she has been playing in a theater entreprise.

Katerina Mikhailova

(Main Competition)

Winner of international and Russian film festivals.

A graduate of the Moscow State University of Foreign Affairs (MGIMO, Russia) and the Bodø Graduate School of Business (HIBO, Norway).

She studied drama at the Scriptwriting course of the Journalist School (High School of Economics); also studied at the Cinemotion Film School (work experience in the online magazine Cinemotion lab, which specializes in covering various aspects of film business and screenwriting skills), as well as in the Cultbureau Production Lab.

Producer on the distribution of short films, producer of feature films. In 2017, she acted as executive producer of the film “Violin” from the “Witnesses” almanac (2017), which was nominated for the Academy Award Oscar and nominated for the Russian Film Academy Award Golden Eagle, Moscow International Film Festival and Hollywood Film Festival in 2017.

CEO of Vega Film.

Temina Tuaeva

(Short Film & Documentary Competition)

Honored Artist of Russia, Honored Worker of Culture of the Republic of North OssetiaAlania, laureate of the K. Khetagurov RNO-Alania State Prize and the National Prize "Apple Narta", holder of the Order of Friendship of the Republic of South Ossetia, winner of national and international film festivals, member of the Union of Cinematographers and the Union of Journalists of the Russian Federation.

She graduated from the North Ossetian State University and Film Studies faculty of the Russian Film Institute (VGIK).

She worked as a film editor at the North-Ossetian television, editor of the film magazine “North Caucasus”, director of the North Caucasus branch of the Cinema Center, head of the film concert department of the Ministry of Culture of RNO-Alania.

Head and producer of "Nart-Art Studio". She created about 160 films as a producer and director. One of the main directions of creative activity is the history of the Ossetian-Alans.

Yeşim Güzelpinar

(Short Film & Documentary Competition)

The founder of the International Film Festival "Golden Island" in Cyprus, the founder of "Balik Arts" and the head of the first edition of "Taste of Anatolia - films of the Turkish festival" in Cambridge. She is a programmer for the Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh.

She graduated with a Masters in European Social Policy from the London School of Economics and Social Policy. Filmmaking workshops, screenings and transnational partnership projects are among the main projects she runs.

Paul Andrews

(Short Film & Documentary Competition)

A recognized professional in the field of cinema, television, global brand marketing, as well as a successful entrepreneur working in several directions at once, including real estate investments. Uses a multi-faceted experience in creating creative and competitive film projects for both beginners and large investors.

He acted as executive producer of 5 films, as well as a producer of 2 films, the last of which - “Boogie Man” - in 2018 won Best Feature Film at the Cardiff International Film Festival as well as 4 other awards to date.

Currently Paul is working on two movies with Barry Navidi, Al Pacino’s Producing partner, as well as developing another twelve movies under the GlobalWatch Films umbrella. Four of those movies are with friend and legendary author Thomas Keneally, the Booker Prize winner for the novel Schindler's List.

As a talented story teller he gets involved with the development of all the screenplays as well as building the teams for the films and fundraising.

Before being involved in the Film Industry Paul produced a successful Documentary called Inside Russia, which explored the changes that Russia has undergone since the Soviet era.

He was involved also in assisting with the launch of the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation with the Former President of Nigeria. The Foundation was set up to promote Youth Employment and Empowerment, Feed Africa by increasing Agricultural capacity and confront other key issues. Provides active support to sports projects - sponsored and promoted international table tennis competitions. The events featured World, Olympic and European Champions and helped to raise money for charity.

Agnese Zeltina

(Short Film & Documentary Competition)

Graduated from the Theater Department of the J.Vitola Latvian Academy of Music and began her career in the Latvian theater “Daile”.

In 1999 theater director Alvis Hermanis invites her to join to the New Riga Theatre troupe, which has become one of the leading European theater troupes.

From 2004 till 2008, she lived and worked in Moscow, where played in films by such directors as Yuriy Moroz, Radion Nakhapetov, Alexey Muradov, Elena Rajskaya, Vladimir Derbenev, Anna Legchilova and others.

In 2008 she moved to Hollywood and played the main role in the film “I Want Your Girl!” From 2011 till 2013, she worked in Italy on the American television channel QVC, as well as a journalist for OK! magazine - Latvia.

In 2013, she returned to Latvia and founded the jewelry brand “Soulstones by Agnese Zeltiņa”. Actress of the Latvian theater "Daile". Engaged in performances: “Milady” by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt (key role), “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf” by Edward Albee (Martha, the role noted by critics as “strong professional work”).

Igor Chernitsky

(Short Film & Documentary Competition)

Academician of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, member of the Union of Cinematographers, Union of Theater Workers, Union of Russian Writers, Guild of Film Directors and the Guild of Film Actors of the Russian Federation.

He graduated from the Russian department of the Drama Faculty at the I. Karpenko-Kary Kiev Institute of Theatrical Art, and from the Higher Literary Courses at the A. Gorky Moscow Literary Institute.

Worked as an actor of the L. Ukrainka Kiev Academic Russian Drama Theater, as an actor and production director of the A. Dovzhenko Kiev film studio of feature films.

He created full-length feature and television films: "Ivin A." (1990), "In that area of ​heaven ..." (1992), "Farewell echo" (2003), " Junkers" (2007), " Junkers" (2009) , “Mama's boy” (2010), “Second Lieutenant Romashov” (2012).

Production director, general producer, artistic director of the film studio "Cheromafilm".


Main Competition

Main Prize

«Horizon», director Tinatin Kajrishvili (2018, Georgia - Sweden)

Special Prize 

«Clay Pit», director Vera Glagoleva (2018, Russia)

Special Jury Diploma

"Exciting Life", director Anna Yanovskaya (2018, Russia) -- "For the extraordinary combination of genres"

Best Film Director

"Strangers of Patience", director Vladimir Alenikov (2018, Russia)

Best Original Screenplay

"Love Possibly", scriptwriters Michael Boccalini, Michael Coburn, Che Grant, Kew Lin (2018, United Kingdom)

Best Director of Photography

"Pilgrim", DOP Svyatoslav Bulakovsky (2018, Russia)

Vera Glgoleva Prize for the Best Debut

«Deep Rivers», director Vladimir Bitokov (2018, Russia)

Best Actor

"Exciting Life", actor Alexey Yudnikov

Best Actress

"Strangers of Patience", actress Maja Szopa

Best Production Designer

"Horizon", Production Designer Georgy (2018, Georgia - Sweden)

Best Music

"Pilgrim", composer Alexey Aigi

Best Costume Designer

"Kathrine of Sinai", Costume Designers Annie Curtis-Jones; Margaret McMasters; Stanley McMasters (2018, United Kingdom)


Documentary Film Competition

Best Documentary

«A Thousand Girls Like Me», director Sarah Mani (2018, Afganistan-France) -- for professionalism, bravery, objectivity and taking a principled stand on human rights and support of the international women's movement


Special Mention

"Sharkwater Extinction", director Rob Steawrt (2018, Canada) -- for sending a clear message to humanity and for the author's civilian act of bravery


Best Short Film

"Black Mamba", director Amel Guelatty (2018, Tunisia)


Special Mention

«Scream»director Toma Stenko (2018, Russia-Georgia) -- for cinematographic expressiveness, humanity and compassion in exploring the vicissitudes of human life


«Verka Fouettés», director Inna Shcherban (2017, Russia-Spain) -- awarded to actress Anna Nakhapetova for spirited flamenco dancing


SIFFA President’s Award

To Paulina Simacheva, Anna Nakhapetova and Vera Glagoleva for inspired approach to transcending the limitations of time with arts.


SIFFA / SIFFA President's Diplomas

for Kandinsky Ocean - for visualizing poetry in film


to producer Anastassia Razlogova for intrepidly seeking out new combinations of genres on the other side of drama and non-drama films


To Susanna Alperina, the producer of «Into_Nation of Big Odessa» (dir. Alexandr Brunkovskiy) for the creative approach in thinking about the local and the global at once


Contribution to building bridges between countries and peoples

YEŞIM GÜZELPINAR, producer, Turkey-United Kingdom


SIFFA Management Awards

«The Greek of the Russian Empire» directed by Svetlana Muzychenko For preserving the cultural heritage and historical memory

to producer Zlatina Filipova, film «Runaway Smartphone» - for creating and advancing films for childre

Special Press Awards

goes to Kostadin Bonev - director of the feature film Away from the Shore - for discussing the theme that never goes away: balancing art and power

goes to Igor Poplaukhin, director of the short Calendar - for highlighting a very topical issue - that of the right of the modern women to go beyond her daily chores

goes to Svetlana Stasenko, director of documentary «SHAMANIC LESSONS FOR BEGINNERS» - for using simple language to discuss a mystery-filled topic and for showcasing the traditions of the peoples of the Russian Federation

Programme & Catalogue

SIFFA 2018 Programme

SIFFA 2018 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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