General Provisions

Fourth Open Sochi International Film Festival & Awards (SIFFA)

The Sochi Open International Film Festival and Awards IRIDA (hereinafter - Festival) is held as per the Main Events Plan in the Russian Federation and recognized as international competitive feature film festival.

Festival Founder and President:

Lubah Balagova Quandour

Supported By:

Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation;
Ministry of Culture of Krasnodar Krai;
Administration of the Resort City of Sochi;
Rossotrudnichestvo, Russia's Cultural Center in Great Britain.

Festival Partners:

Radisson Blue Spa Resort & Paradise, Adler, Sochi, Russia
Arfa Park Hotel, Adler, Sochi, Russia

Festival Dates and Venue:

November 3-7, 2020
Russia, Krasnodar Krai, Resort City of Sochi, Adler, 65 Pobedy Street

Festival Goals and Objectives:

  • Promote outstanding Russian films in Russia, United Kingdom and on the international markets.
  • Support in establishing partnerships between Russian and British filmmakers, as well as Western European film creatives;
  • Destroy anti-Russian myths and stereotypes among foreign filmmakers and international audiences;
  • Involve Russian and non-Russian filmmakers in depicting Russian society and everyday life objectively;
  • Assist Russian filmmakers in bringing original ideas and projects to fruition;
  • Provide opportunities for emerging Russian and British filmmakers to participate in international film festivals;
  • As part of young professionals exchange, create conditions conducive to artistic cooperation between Russian and British filmmakers, as well as Western European film creatives;
  • Promote the city of Sochi as world-class film festival and center of culture in Europe and worldwide.
  • Support for veterans of the Russian filmmaking industry.

SIFFA Management shall be the highest body responsible for preparing and holding the Festival (hereinafter - SIFFA Management). SIFFA Management, with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Krasnodar Krai and the Administration of the Resort City of Sochi, provides organizational, financial, logistical, informational and all other support for all Festival needs.

Festival Program:

Main Competition;
Documentary Competition;
Short Film Competition;
Out of Competition Section;
Russian and British and Other International Film Section.
Master Classes.
Creative evenings.

Competition Rules:

Those interested in submitting an entry to the Sochi Open International Film Festival and Awards must notify SIFFA officially. Decisions on SIFFA submissions are made by the Selection Committee.
Submissions for consideration by the Selection Committee are accepted via
PayPal (
Submission deadline is October 1, 2020, extended deadline – October 10, 2020.
The Committee's official selection decisions for films submitted via PayPal will be posted on the site no later than the Festival's official press-conference date.
Only films that have not been publicly screened in the Russian Federation prior to the Festival are eligible for the Festival’s competition program. However, SIFFA Management may select films previously shown in the country.
Festival screening schedule is determined by SIFFA Management. Each film will be screened during the Festival a maximum of two times, including press screenings.
Competition programs include only feature and short films that finished production after November 2018.
Preference is given to world and international premieres.
A minimum of 12 films will be included in the Sochi International Film Awards’ Main Competition Program: 6 Russian (1 or 2 from the CIS countries, Baltic states and Georgia) and 6 British (1 or 2 films from other countries that satisfy the strict criteria of the regulations). The number of participants from Russia and the United Kingdom has to prevail, but without being detrimental to the quality of the film festival.
A minimum of 7 films will be included in the Sochi International Film Awards’ Documentary Competition Program: a minimum of 3 Russian (1 or 2 from the CIS countries, Baltic states and Georgia) and a minimum of 3 British (1 or 2 films from other countries that satisfy the strict criteria of the regulations).
A minimum of 7 films will be included in the Sochi International Film Awards’ Short Film Competition Program: a minimum of 3 Russian (1 or 2 from the CIS countries, Baltic states and Georgia) and a minimum of 3 British (1 or 2 films from other countries that satisfy the strict criteria of the regulations). Maximum length of films in this program is 30 minutes.
Submissions to the Festival's competition programs are accepted in quality digital format (file, HDD, USB drive).
Films can be submitted online or on a DVD.
Demonstration copies of the Festival competition films must be in the language of the original and have English-language subtitles if the original language is not English.
Copies of Festival competition films shall be provided to SIFFA Management no later than October 15, 2020.
Films that are part of the out-of-competition contemporary film program may not have been publicly screened within the Russian Federation before the Festival.
The rest of the films shall be in their original format - on 35-mm film or in quality digital format (file, HDD, USB drive...). For films in the original language and with English-language subtitles quality digital format is preferred (file, HDD, USB drive...) if the original language is not English.
The films shall be submitted to SIFFA Management no later than October 15, 2020.
All conditions and deadlines shall be strictly adhered to, otherwise the SIFFA Management reserves the right to exclude the film from the Festival program.

How to submit your film to the Festival:

If you are interested in participating in the Festival’s competition program please fill out the form and submit it for SIFFA Management's consideration online as stipulated on the site (
The entry form for every film confirming attendance at SIFFA must be received by SIFFA Management no later than October 1, 2020.
The following documents shall also be submitted to SIFFA Management:

  • Full text of the film in the original language as well as in one of the following languages: Russian, English;
  • Subtitle cue sheet in English;
  • Synopsis, marketing materials, press kit;
  • Trailer and shots from the film;
  • Materials to be included in the catalogue (information about film creators, pictures, including the picture of the director, film slides).

Shipping and Insuring Film Copies:

SIFFA Management shall be financially responsible for shipping the competition films to Sochi and back (Shipper’s AIRPORT-Sochi-Receiver's AIRPORT).
SIFFA Management will cover the cost of shipping from Sochi of films copies that are part of other festival programs to the receiver's AIRPORT.
Festival program film copy storage and insurance fees shall be covered by SIFFA Management.

Film Festival Participant Lodging and Travel:

Festival guests’ attendance is stipulated in their personal invitations.
Accreditation applications shall be submitted to SIFFA Management no later than October 1, 2020.
Questions relating to guest invitations, duration and conditions of their festival stay and accreditation are at SIFFA Management's discretion.
SIFFA Management will prepare a description of Festival participants’ lodging, food and transportation per accepted categories: *****, ****, ***.

Festival Jury:

An 11-person International Competition Program Jury (Big Jury) will be convened, consisting of prominent film industry members from Russia, Great Britain and other well-known figures of global cinema and art world.
Main Competition Program will be judged by a five-person jury;
Documentary Competition Program will be judged by a three-person jury;
Short Film Competition Program will be judged by a three-person jury.
SIFFA Management will fund the Big Jury's travel expenses to and from Sochi as well as its lodging expenses.

Festival Prizes and Awards:

The Big Jury awards the IRIS statue to Main Competition films:

  • Main Prize - best film (awarded to the film’s producer);
  • Special Jury Prize - (awarded per Jury decision);
  • Best Director;
  • Best Actor;
  • Best Actress;
  • Best Documentary;
  • Best Short Film.

SIFFA organizing committee and management shall award the following prizes:

  • President’s Award – Best Film, reflecting the concept of the film festival or the theme of the film festival for the current year (by decision of the Festival President);
  • Contribution to world cinema;
  • Contribution to building bridges between countries and peoples;
  • Vera Glagoleva prize for the best debut;
  • Prize – CELEBRATING LIFE AND HONORING great representatives of world cinema who have left us forever.

The festival is unique in that it invites the winners as well as films selected by SIFFA Management to Great Britain to a screening before the British audience as part of the FOURTH SOCHI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND AWARDS IN GREAT BRITAIN WEEK the following year, in 2020.

In the United Kingdom, the Days of Sochi International Film Festival and Awards SIFFA UK are held annually in the third decade of March. Additional information is published on the site.
Winners are expected to attend the London award ceremonies personally. Also, every attendee of the previous year's Festival edition is invited to attend the SIFFA Week in Great Britain at their own expense. Accreditation requests must be made in advance.

Any organization supporting the festival's goals and objectives can become the Festival's Sponsor and be involved in funding, organizing and holding it.

Final Rules:

Participation in the Festival requires adherence to all the provisions of these Regulations. In case of any dispute relating to the Regulations the SIFFA Management has the right to resolve all the issues not covered by these Rules in accordance with the FIAPF's International Film Festival Rules and Regulations.
No changes in the competition program are allowed after application submission. Forms and applications not filled out correctly (errors in the title, last or first name of the director, screenwriter, actor, etc.) will result in mistakes in the certificates.
After submitting the entry and the supporting documents by email, the applicants must contact SIFFA Management to confirm receipt.


By submitting your film, you agree that the film becomes publicly accessible. SIFFA Management is not responsible for your intellectual property.

Fourth Sochi International Film Festival Head Office address:
Moscow, Obruchev Street, Building 1, 83

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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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