About the Festival

International Documentary, Short Feature and Animated Film Festival «Message to Man»

The festival was created in accordance with Resolution No. 29 of the USSR Council of Ministers, dated Jan. 16, 1989:

«…to accept the proposal of the USSR State Cinematography and the USSR Filmmakers’ Union, with the support of the Leningrad Executive Committee, on holding in Leningrad the first International Documentary Film Festival on the dates of Jan. 25–31, 1989, under the motto ‘Message to Man’ … to approve the composition of the organising committee…»

It was founded by Mikhail Litvyakov, who is now the Honorary President of the Festival. Since its foundation, the festival has received financial and organizational support from the Russian (formerly USSR) State Cinematography Committee, the Russian Ministry of Culture and its cinema department, and the St. Petersburg Government and its Committee for Culture. Recently this list has been supplemented by the Federal Foundation for the Social and Economic Support of National Cinematography.

The festival has received accreditation from the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), France.

Since 2010 Alexey Uchitel, director of documentary and feature films, People’s Artist of Russia, is the President of the Festival.

It is held annually in St. Petersburg since 1989. The opening ceremony of the Festival takes place in the Palace Square. Each year, up to 40.000 spectators attend the festival.

The name of the festival is a reference to the universal humanist values promoted in the Bible.

In accordance with regulations it has:

  • The International Competition (full-length and short documentary films,  short fiction and animated  films)
  • The National Competition of Documentary Films
  • International Competition of Experimental Films In Silico
  • Special programs

The basis of the festival

Alexey Uchitel

The president

Film Director, Producer, People's Artist of Russia

"The Infant Centaur"

The emblem of the festival and its prize is based on The Infant Centaur, a drawing by Nadya Rusheva.

Mikhail Litvyakov

Honorary President

Founder of The Festival, director-documentary

Festival programme


Competition and Special Programmes


Festival Archive