CONCLUSIONS OF THE 29TH IFF “MESSAGE TO MAN”

The 29th Message to Man International Film Festival draws its conclusions. For many years, Message to Man has remained the leader among Russian film festivals in terms of the number of applications sent and the geography of participants. More than 3,000 applications from 98 countries were sent. 70 of them were selected. On September 20th, the best films of 2019 were announced at the Saint Petersburg Court Chapel.

“Nowhere in the world is there such a competition, such a genre diversity. 98 countries is a unique figure. I hope that next year, at the 30th festival, we will reach number 100. We have many débuts in all competitions, many world and international premières. We are moving forward and today we are becoming one of the most interesting international festivals in Russia and the largest film festival in the Northwest,” says Alexei Uchitel, film director, People’s Artist of Russia, President of the Message to Man film festival.

Guests of the official award ceremony at the St Petersburg Court Chapel included Johanna ter Steege, Thomas Heise, Linda Jensen, Pirjo Honkasalo, Izabela Plucinska, Roland Walters, Alexei Uchitel, Vladimir Khotinenko, Andrei Khrzhanovsky, Konstantin Bronzit, honorary guests, participants and partners of the festival from Russia and over 20 other countries.

Message to Man remains the leader among Russian and many European festivals in terms of the number of films sent for selection. In 2019, directors from 98 countries sent their works to the festival. 70 films were selected for competition.

In addition to competition films, the festival team prepared 7 special programmes with unique content, 2 retrospectives and 6 special screenings. The festival programme also included workshops, meet-the-artist events, discussions, two free multimedia exhibitions and a conference. Special programmes of the IFF Message to Man presented such films as The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul, The Whistlers by Corneliu Porumboiu, The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão by Karim Ainouz, What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? by Roberto Minervini, System K by Renaud Barret and The Lenin Factor by Vladimir Khotinenko.

In total, during the festival week, the audience could see 209 films, among them 34 Russian and 10 world premières.

Screenings were sold out, tickets to some films were impossible to get even at the beginning of the festival week. In 2019, more than 30,000 people attended the festival events.

FESTIVAL PRIZES

International Competition

  • the Golden Centaur Grand Prix Prize and 3 000 USD for the Best Film

Midnight Family, dir. Luke Lorentzen, USA/Mexico, 2019

  • the Centaur Prize and 1 000 USD for the Best Full-Length Documentary Film

Midnight Traveller, dir. Hassan Fazili, USA/Qatar/Canada/UK, 2019

  • the Centaur Prize and 1 000 USD for the Best Short Documentary Film

Trapped In The City of a Thousand Mountains, dir. David Verbeek, The Netherlands/China, 2018

  • the Centaur Prize and 1 000 USD for the Best Short Feature Film

Maria de Los Esteros, dir. Eugenio Gómez Borrero, Colombia, 2018

  • the Centaur Prize and 1 000 USD for the Best-Animated Film

Cat Days, dir. Jon Frickey, Germany, 2019

  • the Centaur Prize and 1 000 USD for the Best Début

Honeyland, dir. Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Macedonia, 2019

  • Special Jury Mention

Zorjana Horobraja, dir. Elita Kļaviņa, Latvia, 2019,

 

National Competition of Documentary Films

  • the Centaur Prize and 50,000 rubles for the Best Film of National Competition

How Big Is the Galaxy?, dir. Ksenia Elyan, Russia/Estonia, 2018

  • the Jury Centaur Prize and 30,000 rubles

The Track, dir. Alexei Evstigneyev, Russia, 2018

 

In Silico International Competition of Experimental films

  • the Centaur Prize and 1000 USD for the Best Experimental Film

Morphology of a dream / Morfología de un sueño,, dir.  Malena Szlam, Canada/ USA, 2018

  • Diploma for “Recognising and not recognising the social reality of the film” to Protocorba, dir. Kirill Khachaturov, Russia, 2019
  • Diploma for “Pointing out the viscous post-Soviet reality of today’s world” to Comrade woman, dir. Doplgenger collective, Serbia, 2018

 

Other prizes:

Students’ Jury Prize

Where Did Your Bride Go?, dir. Tair Polad-Zade and Filipp Zadorozhny, Germany/Russia, 2018

Russian Press Jury Prize

  • Best Short Documentary Film

Connected, dir. Aleksandra Maciejczyk, Poland, 2018

  • Best Full-Lenght Documentary Film

Midnight Family, dir. Luke Lorentzen, USA/Mexico, 2019

FIPRESCI Prize

Midnight Traveller, dir. Hassan Fazili, USA/Qatar/Canada/UK, 2019

 

SPECIAL PRIZES

  • Special prize for an outstanding contribution to the documentary cinema

to Andrei Khrzhanovsky “For unbound artistic creativity that enriched Russian and world cinema”

  • Honorary President’s Prize

“For attention and love to humans” and a certificate for 1,000 USD

Lonely Hearts, dir. Angelina Morozova, Russia, 2019

  • Special prize of the festival’s general sponsor Ilim Group

Kind Souls, dir. Nikita Efimov, Russia, 2019

  • International Federation of Film Societies’ Prize

Midnight Family, dir. Luke Lorentzen, USA/Mexico, 2019

  •  Dan Revival Projects Association Prize – Danya Gurevich Prize

The Track, dir. Alexei Evstigneyev, Russia, 2018

  • Bellona Environmental Law Organization’s prize

Honeyland, dir. Ljubomir Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska, Macedonia, 2019

  • Alexander Rastorguev Prize

The prize was divided between two films:

  1. The Fourth Question, dir. Alexandra Matveyeva, Russia, 2018. Diploma “For clear and easy direction that rushes the viewer to the question, ‘what is man’”

  2. How Big Is the Galaxy?, dir. Ksenia Elyan, Russia/Estonia, 2018. Diploma “For a protagonist that gives hope: our sun shall not go out!”
  • Kultura TV channel Prize

The Last Year, dir. Zaka Abdrakhmanova, Russia, 2019

  • NASHE Radio Radio Station’s Prize

Robin Chicas, dir. Denis Slepov, Russia, 2016

 


Festival programme

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Competition and Special Programmes

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Festival Archive

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