The second Sochi International Film Festival & Awards (SIFFA) took place December 11-16, 2017 in Sochi.

The new film festival is held thanks to the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Culture of Krasnodar Krai, the Administration of the City of Sochi, Rossotrudnichestvo UK, Kabardino-Balkaria Republic Senator Arsen Kanokov as well as acclaimed film filmmakers and cultural figures.

The festival closed on December 16 at the Radisson Blu Paradise Resort & Spa, the festival's partner, with a ceremony that began with stars and honored guests walking down the red carpet and ended with a generous reception at Casino Sochi.

SIFFA president and founder Luba Balagova warmly welcomed guests and attendees. She thanked the Administration of the City of Sochi, and personally the Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov and Vice-Mayor Irina Romanets. And of course, words of gratitude were addressed from stage to all the partners and sponsors, first and foremost to Senator Arsen Kanokov.

The honored guests included People's Artist of RSFSF Alexander Mikhailov, Meritorious Artist of RSFSR Natalya Varley, wonderful film director Irakli Kvirikadze, famous singer and composer Katya Semenova and other stars. The festival's special guests were members of the family of the People's Artist of the Russian Federation Vera Glagoleva - Kirill Shubsky, Anna Nakhapetova, and her producer Natalia Ivanova.

Prizes, diplomas and other awards were presented at the Sochi International Film Festival and Awards’ official ceremony.

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.

After the official film festival closing ceremony attendees and guests were invited to the SIFFA's partner Casino Sochi, where they enjoyed the Sochi Casino's chef Ilya Zakharov's signature dishes in the VIP hall.

SIFFA Press Service
VKontakte group - schedule, updates, pictures:

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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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