About the Third Sochi International Film Festival & Awards

December 11 – December 16, 2018


Sochi International Film Festival & Awards - is proud to announce its third world class event celebrating Russian, British and International film making for cinema that rises above the international political agenda.

The Awards has already received immense international media attention. The event will be attended by seasoned industry professionals and distinguished guests from around the globe.


Lubov Balagova - Sochi International Film Awards - Founder and President
Anatoly Pakhomov / Анатолий Николаевич Пахомов

Dear Participants and
Guests of the Festival!

On behalf of the administration and the residents of Sochi, I welcome you to the Olympic capital of Russia!

Sochi has again confirmed its leading status as the country’s festival centre, where the most promising projects in the field of culture are realised.

I am very pleased that this First International Film Festival is taking place in Sochi; that the organisers’ initiative has been taken up by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and by leading figures in cinematography in our country and in Great Britain.

I'm sure that every day of this wonderful project will contribute not only to greater international cultural cooperation, but also to an increase in interest in the European audience in Russian cinematography.

I wish the participants of the festival success in the competition, the organisers fruitful work and effective collaboration, and the guests of the resort vivid impressions and pleasant emotions!

Mayor of Sochi, Anatoly Pakhomov

Pakhomov signature




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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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