Regulations 2019

The XXIX International Documentary, Short and Animated Film Festival “Message to Man” will take place on 14th – 21st September, 2019 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Festival is organized with the support from the Ministry for Culture of the Russian Federation, the St. Petersburg City Administration, the Committee for Culture of St. Petersburg, the Russian Filmmakers’ Union, and the Federal Foundation for Social and Economic Support of National Cinematography.

The Festival is held under the supervision of the Non-Commercial Partnership for the Promotion of Cinema and Theatre MESSAGE TO MAN.


International Competition, including:

  • Full-length documentary films (from 40 to 120 minutes)
  • Short documentary films (up to 40 minutes)
  • Short and animated films (up to 30 minutes)

All films should be made after January 1, 2018.

The production date is determined by the copyright notice indicated in the film or on the video copy. English subtitles are required for all films with spoken dialogue, unless English is the language of the film.

National Competition of Documentary Films:

  • Documentaries up to 120 minutes in length, directed by Russian filmmakers or/and produced (co-produced) by Russian producers, finished after January 1, 2018.

For Russian-speaking films selected into the competition English subtitles are required. For films made in other languages Russian and English subtitles are required (only Russian subtitles if the film is made in English).

In Silico International Competition of Experimental Films, including:

  • Short experimental films (no longer than 15 minutes) in any genre, which are technically suitable for screening in a regular cinema and were produced after 1 January 2018.

The production date is determined by the copyright notice indicated in the film or on the video copy. English subtitles are required for all films with spoken dialogue, unless English is the language of the film.

Special Programmes

  • Special programmes are established and compiled by the Organizing Committee of the Festival. The number of special programmes for each year is determined by the Organizing Committee based on the Festival’s current needs and capabilities.

As part of the film festival, various exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, meetings, and workshops which provide an opportunity to screen feature films outside the competitions, as well as other cultural events that are an integral part of the Festival’s programme are held.

Submission Guidelines and Selection

Submissions will be accepted from 29 January 2019 to 31 May 2019 (for films that are to be finished in 2019 rough cuts may be submitted for selection).

Entry fee for submission to the International Competition and In Silico Experimental competition is 7 EUR (short films – up to 40 min) and 10 EUR (feature films 40-120 min) . The fee is to be paid via online platforms (Festhome, Reelport, FilmFreeWay, Withoutabox, FilmFestivalLife). Submissions to the International Competition are not valid before the payment is received.

Ways of submitting films for selection

Regulations 2019
Regulations 2019
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Regulations 2019
Regulations 2019

The applicant shall cover all postal costs. Submitted materials will not be evaluated or returned.

All materials must be submitted to the Festival office by 15 June 2019. The list of films selected for the competition programme will be published on our website on 1st August 2019.

The producers and creators of the selected films will be notified in advance by email. The decisions of the Selection Committee are final.

Shipping, Return of Copies, and Insurance

Screening copies of selected films should be delivered to our office by 25 August 2019 or uploaded to our FTP server by 14 August. If the copy is not received by this deadline, then the Festival shall remove the film from the programme.

The Festival’s official shipper is DHL. We recommend sending screening copies via that company. Copies should be sent to the following address: Message to Man International Film Festival, 27 Kanal Griboedova, St. Petersburg, 191186 Russia.

The participant is responsible for paying for the delivery of a copy of the film to the Festival, including insuring the shipment. There may be exceptions as agreed by the Organizing Committee of the Festival. The Festival is liable for insurance costs during the period between the time the copy is received and its return, as well as for the costs of returning the copy. Copies will be sent back to the addresses provided in the application within three weeks of the end of the Festival.

Screening Formats

Accepted screening formats: DCP or HD files (Apple Pro Res). The detailed technical requirements and instructions will be sent to the copyright holders of selected films individually. The screening copy must have hardcoded English subtitles if the language of the film is not English.

Invitation to the Festival

Directors whose films have been selected for the programme will be invited to attend the Festival. If the director is not able to attend, his or her invitation may be transferred (with the approval of the Organizing Committee of the Festival) to another member of the film crew.

The Festival will supply the representatives of the competition films with an invitation to receive free visas and hotel accommodation for two nights. Unfortunately, as a rule, the Festival cannot cover the travel costs of participants; however, in some cases, this possibility will be considered on an individual basis.

By tradition, the Festival reserves the right to invite distinguished guests; participants in non-competition screenings, theatre and other programmes; workshop leaders; leading actors from pictures screened at the Festival; media representatives; and representatives of various cultural organizations. Payment for accommodation and travel are considered and agreed on a case-by-case basis.


International Competition

  • Golden Centaur Grand Prix and USD 3,000 for best film*
  • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best full-length documentary film
  • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best short documentary film
  • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best short fiction film
  • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best short animated film
  • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best debut film**

* If a film receives the Golden Centaur Grand Prix, the best film nomination in respected category is not awarded (for instance, if an animation receives the Grand Prix, the prize for best animated short film is canceled).

** A debut film is any film produced by a director while a student at a film school, or the first or second film of a director who has not received any special education.

National Competition of Documentary Films

  • Centaur Prize and 50 000 Rubles for best film of National Competition
  • Jury Prize – Centaur Prize and 30 000 Rubles (with motivation)

In Silico International Competition of Experimental Films

  • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best experimental film

The Organizing Committee of the Festival, partners, sponsors, and various social organizations also award special prizes.

Screenings at the Festival and Broadcasts on Television and the Internet

The Festival may use excerpts from competition films (up to 10% of the length of the film, but no more than three minutes) to promote the Festival on television and the Internet.

The Festival has the right to show a film that has been selected to be included in the programme up to five times during the Festival.

Acceptance and Acknowledgement of the Terms

By sending your electronic application to participate in the Message to Man Festival (through the Festival website, or through of one the mentioned online platforms, or other authorized resource), or by completing a paper copy of the application, you certify that you are an authorized representative of the film’s rights holder and agree in full to the above paragraphs of these Regulations.

See you at the festival!