Juries

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)

Film director/producer and author/screenwriter, is a veteran award winning filmmaker with over 30 years of film works in Hollywood and in Europe. He has some 30 novels published in the USA, UK and in translation in many languages worldwide. He cut his teeth in the film industry starting with advertising films and documentaries at MPO studios in New York. Then moved to Hollywood in the early seventies and he was best known for his Hollywood television work on such classics as Mannix and Bonanza. His recent films are “Cherkess” (2010), “The Prisoner” (2012) and “Facebook Romance” (2013).

On 31 May, 2005 Quandour was awarded the medal and prize of the Golden Cross in Moscow for his contributions to the "Culture of the Fatherland". He was also awarded the title of "Author of the people (Narodni Pesatle) in the Russian Federation on April 5th, 2008.

Quandour is an American of Circassian origins who lives with his wife and two children in Berkshire, England but travels extensively to do research for his historical novels. He partners with his wife Luba Balagova in their company Sindika Productions based in Windsor, Berkshire.

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.

Tony Palmer

CHAIRMAN OF THE JURY (Documentary Competition)

Tony Palmer’s vast filmography of over one hundred films ranges from early works with The Beatles, Cream, Rory Gallagher, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa (200 Motels), to the famous portraits with and about Walton, Britten, Stravinsky, Maria Callas, André Previn, John Osborne, Leonard Cohen (Bird on a Wire), Margot Fonteyn and Menuhin, as well as feature films such as Testimony, starring Ben Kingsley as Shostakovich. His 7 hour 45 minutes film on Wagner, starring Richard Burton, Laurence Olivier and Vanessa Redgrave, was described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most beautiful films ever made”. Among over 45 international prizes for his work are 14 Gold Medals at the New York Film & TV Festival (the most recent in 2016), awards from the Jerusalem, San Francisco, São Paolo, Chicago, Sofia, Cuenca and London Film Festivals, as well as numerous BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television) EMMY, GRIERSON nominations and awards. In 1989 the National Film Theatre in London staged a major retrospective of his work at, the first maker of ‘arts’ films to be so fêted. He is also a prize-winning opera director, including the Golden Mask in Moscow, recipient of three Platinum and two Gold records, and was awarded a SONY Prize as a radio presenter. A D.Mus (Hon), D.Litt (Hon) and FRGS, he is the only person to have won the PRIX ITALIA three times, and in 2014 was nominated for the Glenn Gould International Prize, unprecedented for a documentary film maker. In 2016 he was awarded the Gold Medal of St. Simeon from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture for services to Bulgarian culture. He is also honorary Professor of East European Cultural Studies at Lesya Ukrainka University at Lutsk in the Ukraine. In 2017 he is to receive the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ in Toronto.
He lives in the most westerly house in England, next to Land’s End.

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

Phillip Bergson

MEMBER OF THE JURY (Short Film Competition)

A Classics Scholar at Balliol College, where he founded the Oxford Film Festival (the first competitive event for features in Great Britain, recognized by the F.I.A.P.F.)--attended by Gloria Grahame, Joseph Octenol Woodlawn, Lina Wertmuller, Walerian Borowczyk, Menahem Golan, Robert Powell, Patrick Mower, and many notable film artistes; on graduating he was selected by The Sunday Times as a "New Critic" and began also broadcasting on BBC Radio, where he has scripted and presented many programmes on cinema as well as regularly interviewing film-makers on the BBC World, UK, and Polish Section, and regularly contributing reportage on festivals to RTBF(in Belgium), France Culture, and Czech Radio, as well as Bloomberg TV and BBC World Service TV and Radio and BBC TV News Channels and BBC 2, as well as BBC Radio London. He assessed screenplays in several languages for the European Script Fund and the Arts Council of England's Lottery Fund, and wrote a film version of "Carmen" that was shot in Andalucia. He has programmed or assisted many international festivals - IMAGFIC in Madrid, Valencia Cine Jove, Las Palmas, Ashdod, Festroia, Islantilla - in different capacities - and was International Consultant from 2001-2005 at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in his native Yorkshire, where he created the "Eurovisions" project, to promote new and classic films from Europe, and helped launch the Magyar Magic Year of Culture in Great Britain. He is a Visiting Lecturer at the Prague Film School and FON University, Skopje and in the Mannheim Meetings, and has served on FIPRESCI and other juries at Cannes, Berlin, Haifa, Leipzig, Lecce, Thessaloniki, Karlovy Vary, Chicago, Rotterdam, Viennale, Bratislava, Cottbus, Pula, Durres, and at the Festivals of European Smiles in Mlada Boleslav in Bohemia, and of Wines and Media in Znojmo in Moravia, and at the TIFF in Cluj-Napoca and at the Golden Carpathian Festival and Fair in Romania, and at the Grossmann Fantastic Film and Wine Festival in Slovenia, and in 2014 and 2015 at the Romania Film Festival and on the FIPRESCI Jury at the Montreal World Film Festival, and twice at the Fisheye Film Festival in High Wycombe. He has written for publications as varied as The Times Literary and Educational Supplements, Variety, Screen International, Downtown, What's On in London, Euro-Movies International, KINO, and Film a Doba, www.filmfestivals.com, www.fest21.com, and was Casting Consultant on the feature films May I Kill You? and The Piano Room and organised UK or international festival premieres of such films as Three Days in September, Polish Roulette, Brancusi for Eternity, His Wife's Diary, Captive, The Stroll, and These Foolish Things, starring Terence Stamp and Anjelica Huston.

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.

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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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What you have achieved in Sochi seems quite remarkable, and I offer many many congratulations.

Tony Palmer,
15 gold medals from the New York film festival
as well as numerous BAFTAs and Emmy Awards

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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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