SIFFA Press Conference in Moscow
The Second Sochi International Film Festival and Awards (SIFFA) press conference took place at the Russia Today International Information Agency on November 13th.
The press conference was held by SIFFA’s Founder and President Lubah BALAGOVA, SIFFA’s Artistic Director Kirill RAZLOGOV and President of the partner film festival Amur Fall Sergei NOVOZHILOV.
Organizing committee members, Natalia Ivanova, Vera Glagoleva’s producer, filmmakers and film critics were also in attendance. Svetlana SCHERBAKOVA was moderating.
A documentary about SIFFA-2016 and a trailer about SIFFA presentations in Europe (at Cannes Film Festival, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts - BAFTA, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development - EBRD, Rossotrudnichestvo UK, as well as Cheltenham, Sochi's sister city) were screened.
Lubah Balagova said that the Administration of the City of Sochi and the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic Senator Arsen Kanokov are providing their continued support to the new film festival.
The opening ceremony of the film festival's second edition will take place at the Radisson Blu Paradise Resort & Spa in Sochi on December 11. The closing ceremony will take place at the same venue on December 16.
Most of the jury members are well-known Russian and British filmmakers, including legends such as Roland Joffe and Tony Palmer.
Lubah Balagova noted that the first edition of the festival held in December of 2016 only included a full-feature competition program but this year it will also include short and documentary competition programs.
More countries are represented at the second SIFFA than last year. In addition to Russian and British filmmakers, film submissions were also received from CIS countries and beyond. The competition program will include films from Kazakhstan, India, Korea, Japan, one Russian-Georgian production and others.
SIFFA's Artistic Director Kirill Razlogov added that several films will premiere in Sochi, including, specifically, the world premiere of a Russian-British film.
In addition to the new films, attendees, SIFFA guests and Sochi residents will have a chance to see masterpieces of world cinema. Out of competition screenings will take place at several popular venues.
The festival will also feature a master class by the British film director Tony Palmer, a lecture by the well-known film critic Kirill Razlogov, the legendary TV anchor and documentary filmmaker Vladimir Pozner, as well as evenings with artists, including one with Natalya Varley.
SIFFA confirmed at the press conference that it is establishing a new Vera Glagoleva Award for Contributions to World Cinema.
People’s Artist of Russia and film director Vera Glagoleva was the Jury President at the first festival in Sochi. She received the SIFFA award for directing her film Two Women.
Vladimir Pozner will receive SIFFA's Special Peacemaker Award.
The festival’s VIP guest will be Her Royal Highness the Princess of Jordan Nejla Bint Assem. She will present her exclusive collection of DAMAS jewelry and appeal to humanity with a message of peace.
Responding to a question from a journalist the Secretary of Union of Cinematographers of Russia Sergei Novozhilov said: «I decided to support Lubah Balagova's initiative and was on the jury of the first festival because I am a fan of the British cinema and because I like the idea behind this festival. SIFFA is unique in that it emphasizes cooperation between filmmakers from Russia and Great Britain. I am sure that this project will expand to London after the second Sochi edition”.
Kirill Razlogov, speaking about the festival's program, noted its significance in terms of improving the relationship between Russia and Great Britain and other countries.
«We have to try to build bridges between countries whose relationships are currently not ideal. I hope cinema will help us achieve this goal,” – said Kirill.
“We do not want to be involved in political squabbles and conflicts. Our goal isn’t to pit people against each other but to bring together people of different ethnic groups and political views in the sacred land that is Sochi,” – stressed Lubah Balagova.
SIFFA Press Service
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.