The 34th Message to Man IFF Opens Applications for Competition

The Message to Man International Film Festival of documentary, live-action short, animated and experimental films announces its dates and opens the call for participant applications. One of Russia’s largest and most prominent film festivals, it will take place in St. Petersburg for the 34th time in 2024. The Message to Man programme traditionally presents more than 150 films from all over the world, created by filmmakers of diverse cultural backgrounds and aesthetic perspectives. The films will be screened at the city’s main cinema venues from October 18 to 27.

Additionally, from November 1 to 30, Echoes of Message to Man, a programme of regional film screenings including the best films in competition, will once again be presented in six Russian regions.

In 2023, over 10,000 people attended film screenings and other events of the Festival, confirming the audience’s enduring interest in meaningful, vivid and topical cinema.

Programme Directorate’s selection committee of the 34th Message to Man Film Festival is now accepting applications to participate in three competitions: International, National and the In Silico Experimental Film Competition.

Applications are accepted from January 23 through July 15, 2024.

 The Festival team underwent changes this year.

Mikhail Ratgauz, a journalist, curator and film scholar, has taken on the role of Programme Director for Message to Man. Vasily Stepanov, a film historian and editor-in-chief of the Seance magazine, heads the selection committee for the International Competition.

“The Festival team was pleasantly surprised by the success of last year’s Message to Man. There is no need to state the obvious that we live in a challenging time, by all measures. Cinema has gained increased significance as a unifying language and as a way to reach out to one another. We believe that was the reason why in 2023 the Festival attracted so many viewers: by our account, we had over 10,000 attendees. So, when people scrambled to get tickets for the screenings, it was, quite honestly, very heartwarming and important. This wasn’t just about the sold-out tickets, but about solidarity.

Nearly 200 films were presented at the 2023 Festival. It was equally important to bring together filmmakers from various countries: auteurs from Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Greece, India, Colombia, and Japan came to St. Petersburg, emphasizing the global reach of Message to Man.

Therefore, the Message to Man Film Festival is pleased to announce a new competition in 2024. Our team firmly believes that good cinema is always an invitation to humanity,” says Mikhail Ratgauz, Programme Director of the Message to Man Film Festival.

The Festival’s jury will evaluate films in the following nominations:

  • Golden Centaur Grand Prix and RUB 250,000 cash prize for Best Film: awarded by the jury of the International Competition
  • Three special Centaur Prizes and RUB 80,000 with each prize: awarded by the jury of the International Competition
  • Special Centaur Prize and RUB 50,000 cash prize for Best Documentary Film of the National Competition: awarded by the jury of the National Competition
  • Jury’s special Centaur Prize and RUB 30,000 cash prize (with explanatory wording to a film in the National Competition): awarded by the jury of the National Competition
  • Centaur Prize of the Jury in the In Silico Experimental Film Competition and RUB 80,000 cash prize for the best experimental film.

Applications for the film’s participation may be submitted:

Applications will be accepted from January 23 through July 15, 2024 (for films produced in 2024, applications may be submitted at the film’s offline editing stage).

No application fee is charged for participation in the National Competition.

There is a EUR 5 (or RUB 500) application fee to be paid when applying for the In Silico Experimental Film Competition.

Application fees must be paid to participate in the International Competition:

– EUR 20 (or RUB 2,000) for full-length documentaries (40 to 120 min);

– EUR 10 (or RUB 1,000) for live-action short films (up to 30 min);

– EUR 7 (or RUB 700) for short documentaries (up to 40 min);

– EUR 7 (or RUB 700) for short animated films (up to 30 min);

– EUR 5 (or RUB 500) for films submitted to the In Silico Experimental Film Competition.

Payment is to be made via online platforms when applying through them. The application is considered incomplete if payment is not made and, in this case, will not be considered by the selection committee.

The Message to Man Film Festival Administration kindly asks you to carefully study the Festival rules at in the Regulations section.

In addition to the main competition programme, the Festival will traditionally present out-of-competition programmes and retrospectives, organize industrial roundtables and professional discussion panels, master classes, and meetings with well-known filmmakers.

Of particular interest is the Industrial Day programme, where Russian platforms will showcase their documentary novelties for the third consecutive year and discuss trends in Russian documentary filmmaking.

The Festival will commence with a press conference featuring jury members, followed by the traditional screening of the opening film. The opening ceremony, presenting the entire programme of the 34th Message to Man Film Festival, will be available to the general audience through an online broadcast.

Stay updated with the Festival news by visiting, and follow the Festival account at and Telegram channel at

Administration of the 34th Message to Man International Film Festival