Press Conference of SIFA at Cannes Film Festival





(December 10-17, 2017)



The presentation of the new Russian-British Sochi International Film Awards festival (SIFA) at the Marché du Film will take place 24th May (Wednesday) from 15:30 to 16:15 at the United Kingdom Pavilion No. 119 in the Village International Riviera-Side.

The SIFA film festival was first announced in May 2016 at the Russian Pavilion - Roskino at the Cannes Film Festival 2016.

The first film festival was successfully held in December 2016 with an extensive international screening program and stars in attendance.

SIFA was founded in 2016 by Lubov Balagova-Kandour, a poet, producer and filmmaker, and Hollywood veteran writer and director Mohy Quandour. This festival was made possible with strong support from Anatoly Pakhomov, the mayor of the Olympic city of Sochi, Arsen Kanokov, one of the leading statesmen of the Russian Federation representative and moral support of the Ministry of Culture of Russia. Their help brought two years of effort to a successful realization of an international world class festival.

Further influential partners include Elliott Grove, the founder of the Raindance International Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards in Great Britain, and Sergei Novozhilov, a founder of the Kinoshok Film Festival in the city of Anapa. The event was hosted by Kasia Madera of the BBC World News and the Russian star Vyacheslav Manucharov.

The film festival prize is the Iris (Irida), named after the ancient Greek goddess who is the messenger of goodness.

SIFA was formally introduced on the international scene in an event that took place in London on February 20-24 of this year at two prestigious venues - the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in the City.

The list of invited guests for the SIFA presentation at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts included esteemed guests from Moscow and Sochi, world-renowned actors, directors, creatives, entrepreneurs, whose invaluable support made the first Sochi International Film Awards possible.

The central London’s event was the screening of the Russian film Two Women; the presentation of two special recognition awards to Vera Glagoleva and the outstanding actor Ralph Fiennes and honoring life of three legends of world cinema: Alan Rickman, Andrzej Wajda and Valdimir Zeldin.Tony Palmer, a well-known British director, the recipient of 15 gold medals and 50 prizes and awards from festivals across the world, including the Oscars, Cannes, BAFTA and others and Christopher Hampton, film screenwriter, recipient of many international awards and others shared their priceless memories with guests.

The Second Sochi International Film Awards festival will take place from December 10 to 17th, 2017. We look forward to welcoming all filmmakers, sponsors and cinema lovers.

All are welcome also to visit our booth at the very heart of the Palais de Festival at Palais- booth 24-07 floor 01.

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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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