Day at the festival: October 21

The first day of competition and out-of-competition programmes has arrived. Each day of the Festival, our website will provide an overview of the main screenings and events.

 After the opening ceremony, the Festival’s audience and guests of our film festival now have the opportunity to immerse themselves fully in its extensive programme. With more and more events and screenings each day, there is plenty to choose from.

 So, what’s planned for Saturday? The day can begin with a trip to the Word Order bookshop, where two events take place in the afternoon: a screening of films by Petr Pospelov and a meeting with members of the Message to Man’s National Competition jury, filmmakers Umida Akhmedova and Oleg Karpov (Uzbekistan).

 Petr Pospelov, a pioneer of parallel cinema who passed away suddenly on August 27, 2023, is remembered through the screening of his short filmMyrtha or Giselle” (2023). The film was made by the director after a 30-year hiatus (his previous work in cinema was completed in 1993). 

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the shooting the film “Sobelman, Founder of Saltykovka”

A mini-retrospective of the director’s early films are also featured: “Reporting from the Land of Love” (1987-1989) and “Sobelman, Founder of Saltykovka” (1990-1992).


Umida Akhmedova and Oleg Karpov present two documentaries: Neither Live nor Die in Tashkent which chronicles the cultural life of Tashkent and “Grandmother of Russian Feminism”, dedicated to Olga Lipovskaya, a cult feminist figure in St. Petersburg.

Day at the festival: October 21


Screenings of the National and International competitions begin at Dom Kino on Saturday. In the afternoon viewers have a chance to watch the Canadian film “Geographies of Solitude”. Later, they can choose between viewing a short film or the documentaryArtem & Eva”, showing the dark side of popularity on a certain website.

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Geographies of Solitude”

“Geographies of Solitude” delves into the life of ecologist, scientist, and naturalist Zoe Lucas on Sable Island, a tiny piece of land in the Atlantic Ocean. She has lived there for more than 40 years in complete solitude among wild horses, seals, and island vegetation. From the island, she meticulously records the customs and manners of people of the Anthropocene epoch.


Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Sonnenhof”
Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Artem & Eva”

The evening screenings of films in the International and National competitions will be followed by Q&A sessions.

More about “Artem & Eva”:

A not-to-be-missed highlight is the Russian premiere of the film dedicated to actor Michael Douglas. The documentary is based on the story of the American movie celebrity, the eldest son of the great Kirk Douglas.

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Michael Douglas, the Child Prodigy”

The film portrays how Michael Douglas, a two-time Oscar winner and recipient of six Golden Globes, emerged from the shadow of his legendary father to conquer his own heights. The screening which is part of the Panorama.Doc programme takes place in the Blue Hall of Dom Kino on October 21 at 19:10.


Other out-of-competition programmes are also commencing. Two screenings from the Superreal Cinema section represent two fascinating figures of Russian and international auteur cinema.

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “About Dry Grasses”

Firstly, it is the drama “About Dry Grasses” by Cannes 2014 winner, Turkey’s Nuri Bilge Ceylan, tells the story of Samet, who is completing his fourth year of compulsory service as a teacher in a remote village in Anatolia. After events that he can hardly make sense of, Samet loses hope of escaping the bleak life he seems to be stuck in. Is it possible that meeting fellow teacher Nuray helps him overcome his anxiety?


Secondly, it is the feature film “New Wonder” by Alexandra Strelyanaya, who previously won one of the Message to Man prizes. The plot is all the more exciting: Polina takes her first steps towards independent life, embarking on a journey into the wild taiga with her new friends. As they venture deeper into the forest, they stumble upon a settlement of mutant humans, grappling with the consequences of an ecological disaster. Monke, who has lived in the taiga since childhood, becomes Polina’s most important summer acquaintance, as well as her love and challenge.

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “New Wonder”


For those interested in more “classic” stories and cinematic history, the Workshop program, curated by Petr Shepotinnik, featuresVittorio D.”, a documentary about the classic Italian neorealist Vittorio De Sica (“Bicycle Thieves”, “Marriage Italian Style”).

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Vittorio D.”

Any aspect, even the most famous, runs the risk of creating a partial and limited image of him. His ability to approach different cinematic genres is unique. His great ability to achieve success and recognition through works completely different from each other has become a unique phenomenon, the heart of De Sica’s mystery. What is left of him today? To what extent are his films still a fundamental example for those in any part of the world who want to start working in cinema?


As close as possible to the tradition of “midnight” screenings comes the special programme of NST Horror Fest, which takes place at Velikan Park. Audience-oriented films that have made their mark at major world festivals are coming to St. Petersburg.

Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Cat Person

Viewers have the opportunity to see Susanna Fogel’s psychological thriller “Cat Person”, adapted from a story by Kristen Roupenian, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. According to film critic Egor Moskvitin, Programme Director of NST Horror Fest, “Cat Person” is not only an entertaining movie, but also a profound social study of abusive relationships, the persistent inequality between women and men, an incredible story that is a must-see for all twenty and thirty-year-olds.


Day at the festival: October 21
Picture: still from the film “Blaze”

Another addition to the NST Horror Fest special programme is the Australian thriller, Blaze. This festival hit promises to captivate viewers who see cinema as a gateway to their childhood. The film was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival (NIFFF), Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), and others.


Saturday, October 21: Schedule

  • Dom Kino, Grand Hall, 12 Karavannaya Street

International Competition 1
16:00 “Geographies of Solitude”, directed by Jacqueline Mills. Canada, 2022, 103 min.

International Competition 2
18:30 “Dentures”, directed by Siddharth Potade, Nikhil Lama. India, 2023, 15 min.
“Sonnenhof”, directed by Tatjana Fanny. Switzerland, The Netherlands, 2023, 22 min.
“The Castle”, directed by Martín Benchimol. Argentina, France, 2023, 77 min.

Q&A with directors Siddharth Potade, Nikhil Lama.
Q&A with director Tatjana Fanny, online.

National Competition 1
21:20 “Artem & Eva”, directed by Eugeny Milykh. France, Georgia, Estonia, 2023, 96 min.

Q&A with director Eugeny Milykh.

  • Dom Kino, Blue Hall, Karavannaya Street, 12

Panorama.doc 1

19:10 “Michael Douglas, The Child Prodigy”, directed by Amine Mestari. France, 2023, 52 min.

  • Rodina, Grand Hall, Karavannaya Street, 12

Superreal Cinema 1

17:20 “About Dry Grasses”, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Turkey, 2023, 197 min.

  • Aurora, Grand Hall, 60 Nevsky pr.

Superreal Cinema 2
19:00 – “New Wonder”, directed by Alexandra Strelianaya. Russia, 2023, 95 min.

Meeting with the creative team.

  • Aurora, Small Hall, 60 Nevsky pr.

Workshop 1

16:00 – “Vittorio D.”, directed by Mario Canale, Annarosa Morri. Italy, 2009, 93 min.

  • Velikan Park, Small Hall 3, Alexandrovsky Park, 4-3

NST Horror Fest special programme

22:00 – “Blaze”, directed by Del Kathryn Barton. Australia, 2022, 101 min.

  • Velikan Park, Small Hall 4, Alexandrovsky Park, 4-3

NST Horror Fest special programme

21:40 – “Cat Person”, directed by Susanna Fogel’. USA, France, 2023, 118 min.

  • Word Order bookshop, 15 Fontanka Embankment

Films by Petr Pospelov
15:00 – “Reporting from the Land of Love”, directed by Petr Pospelov. USSR, 1987-1989, 45 min.
“Sobelman, Founder of Saltykovka”, directed by Petr Pospelov. Russia, 1990-1993, 41 min.
“Myrtha or Giselle”, directed by Peter Pospelov. Russia, 2022-2023, 10 min.
“Birds”, directed by Petr Pospelov. Russia, 2023, 2 min.

Films by Umida Akhmedova and Oleg Karpov
18:30 – “Neither Live nor Die in Tashkent”, directed by Oleg Karpov.  Uzbekistan, 2015, 73 min.
“Grandmother of Russian Feminism”, directed by Umida Akhmedova, Oleg Karpov. Uzbekistan, 2007, 32 min.

Q&A with directors Umida Akhmedova and Oleg Karpov.