• Opening of the 29th Message to Man film festival
  • Palace Square
  • September 14th, 7 PM
  • Free admission

On September 14th, Palace Square will become the venue of the opening ceremony of the 29th Message to Man film festival. Its guest of honour is Udo Kier, a leading German actor and a protégée of Rainer Werner Fassbinder who has played in several films of Lars von Trier. During his career in cinema, Udo Kier has starred in over 230 films, including Mark of the Devil, Blood for Dracula, My Own Private Idaho, Johnny Mnemonic, Blade, Armageddon and Grindhouse. Udo Kier will launch the 29th Message to Man film festival on the Palace Square and on September 15, he will present the Russian première of Václav Marhoul’s The Painted Bird, a film based on the novel by a Polish-American writer Jerzy Kosiński, in Aurora cinema.


Message to Man’s red carpet will welcome various actors, film directors and cultural figures, such as Kazuo Hara, a Japanese documentary film director; Pirjo Honkasalo, a renowned Finnish documentary and feature film director whose film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival’s main competition; Izabela Plucinska (Poland), a winner of the Golden Bear of the Berlin Film Festival and Grand Prix of the Krakow Film Festival; and Linda Jensen (USA), a CEO of Amediateka.

The ceremony will be opened by a welcoming address delivered by Aleksei Uchitel, a film director and the president of the festival and its international competition, and Johanna ter Steege, an award-winning Dutch actress.

Music for the festival will be performed by Tavrichesky International Symphony Orchestra, headed by Mikhail Golikov, its art director and principal conductor, People’s Artist of the Kabardino-Balkar Republic.

The ceremony will be hosted by Blondinka Tanya and Denis Krasin, star presenters of 1+1 Show on Nashe Radio on 104.0 FM.

The official part will be followed by the screening of Diego Maradona, a two-hour-long documentary by Asif Kapadia, that will be shown on a 100+ m² screen.

Asif Kapadia is a British film director of Indian origin. His films won numerous awards: The Sheep Thief (1997) was awarded at the Cannes Film Festival, The Warrior (2001) won the 2003 BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year, while Senna (2010) won a BAFTA Award for Best Documentary and an award of the Sudan Film Festival.

Even those who know well the life story of the Argentinian football player will find it informative thanks to its outstanding (even for a documentary) volume of archive footage, from the recordings of principal games to unique material from family archives. The film world premièred at the Cannes Film Festival; Russian première will be held at Message to Man film festival.

At midday on September 15, Udo Kier will launch the festival’s screenings by firing a cannon from the Naryshkin Bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress. Films will be screened in Velikan cinema centre, Aurora cinema, at Lendoc, Lenfilm and other city venues.



Opening ceremony and cannon firing at noon require separate accreditation! Applications must be sent to no later than September 12, 6 PM. Camera crews must indicate vehicle registration numbers.

Photos, videos, posters and pictures for announcements, as well as information about programmes, films and directors can be found at

Regarding information partnerships, accreditation, individual material preparation, provision of screeners for guide preparation, interviews with organizers and participants, please contact Praskovia Shishkoyedova by phone +7-921-753-752-1 or email

The festival’s programme and schedule are available on its website

Festival programme


Competition and Special Programmes


Festival Archive