A candidate for Mayor of London has become a member of the jury for the Sochi International Film Festival, 11-18 December 2018


The jury for the main competition of the Third Sochi International Film Festival and Awards (SIFFA), 2018, includes leading British political figure, Elizabeth Jones.  A member of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), she has consistently advocated the improvement of relations between Britain and Russia.  For example, she has called for the UK government, after leaving the European Union, to immediately begin implementing joint projects with Russia in the field of trade and civil engineering.

In the election for the Mayor of London in 2016, Elizabeth Jones, as a candidate, was remembered by voters for her strong election campaign.  This principled and courageous lady politician has many supporters from different social backgrounds.

Elizabeth enthusiastically accepted her invitation to become a member of the jury of this Anglo-Russian film forum, established in 2016 by Luba Balagova, a writer, film producer and screenwriter. 

Ms. Jones said “This initiative from a Russian woman living in the UK in building cultural bridges deserved the respect of the peoples of both countries”.  The politician is already arranging her Russian visa so that from 11 to 16 December she can contribute, within the framework of the film festival, to both the goal of peace and to creative cooperation at the Olympic Park in Sochi.

SIFFA founder and president, Luba Balagova, said “There are true friends of Russia among the politicians of Great Britain.  We are supporting and developing these sincere relations through the medium of top quality cinema.  I am sincerely grateful to Ms. Jones for her solidarity, goodwill, common sense and insight! It is especially pleasing that artistic endeavor is close to her heart, as we saw with her role in the film “Personal Justice”, which received a nomination at the Cannes Film Festival.

The creator of the film festival, held annually in December in this Russian subtropical resort, plans to continue to invite representatives from Russian and British political arena to the High Court of the Sochi International Film Festival, IRIDA.

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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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