The 33rd International Documentary, Short and Animated Film Festival Message to Man will take place on October 20 – 28, 2023 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 is held annually.
The Festival is supervised by 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 live-action and animated films (up to 30 minutes)
All films must be completed after January 1, 2022. 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.
IN SILICO INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION OF EXPERIMENTAL FILMS, INCLUDING:
- Short experimental films (no longer than 20 minutes) in any genre, technically suitable for screening in a regular cinema and produced after January 1, 2022.
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), directed by Russian filmmakers or/and produced (co-produced) by Russian producers, completed after January 1, 2022.
For Russian-speaking films selected into the competition, English subtitles are required. For films made in other languages, both Russian and English subtitles are required (only Russian subtitles if the film’s language is English).
Jury and prizes
Selected films for each category are to be evaluated by the jury that consists of leading Russian and foreign cinema experts – directors, producers, cinematographers, screenwriters, cinema scholars, and film critics – a minimum of 3 persons in each jury category.
The composition of the jury for all competition programs changes annually. Individuals involved in the production or commercial distribution of any of the films submitted for the competition programme cannot be part of the jury. All jury members commit to refrain from making any public statements about films in the competition programme, including but not limited to mentioning or directly referencing the prize-winning films, publishing references to or reviews of the prize-winning films, or providing any other references to the competition winners before the official award ceremony and announcement of the winners.
In 2023, the winners of the 33rd Message to Man International Film Festival will be awarded in the following categories:
- Golden Centaur Grand Prix with a prize of RUB 240,000 for Best Film: awarded by the international competition jury;
- Three special Centaur prizes with a prize of RUB 80,000 each: awarded by the international competition jury;
- Special Centaur prize with a prize of RUB 50,000 for Best Documentary Film of the National Competition: awarded by the national competition jury;
- Jury’s special Centaur prize with a prize of RUB 30,000 (with explanatory wording for a film in the national competition): awarded by the national competition jury;
- Centaur Prize of the Jury in the In Silico experimental film competition with a prize of RUB 80,000 for Best Experimental Film.
Additionally, special prizes and diplomas may be awarded by the Festival’s jury, organizing committee, partners, sponsors, and various public organizations.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES AND SELECTION
Submissions are accepted from June 18, 2023 to August 20, 2023 (for films that are to be completed in 2023, rough cuts may be submitted for selection).
No fee is collected for applying to participate in the National Competition.
Application fee for the In Silico Experimental competition is 5 EUR (or the equivalent in Russian Roubles at the rate of the Central Bank of Russia).
Application fee for the International Competition must be paid in the amount of:
20 EUR (or the equivalent in Russian Roubles at the rate of the Central Bank of Russia) for full-length documentary films (40–120 min);
10 EUR (or the equivalent in Russian Roubles at the rate of the Central Bank of Russia) for short live-action films (up to 30 min);
7 EUR (or the equivalent in Russian Roubles at the rate of the Central Bank of Russia) for short documentary films (up to 40 min);
7 EUR (or the equivalent in Russian Roubles at the rate of the Central Bank of Russia) for short animated films (up to 30 min).
Payment is made through the websites of online platforms when applying through those systems. The application is considered incomplete if there is no corresponding payment and, in this case, will not be considered by the selection committee.
WAYS OF SUBMITTING FILMS FOR SELECTION
- via the Entry Form on the Festival’s website, or
- via online platforms:
The list of films selected for the competition programme will be published on the Festival’s website no later than 2 weeks before the Festival.
The producers and creators of the selected films will be notified in advance by email. The Festival does not pay license fees for screening films selected for the competition.
The decisions of the Selection Committee are final and non-negotiable. Thank you for your understanding.
SHIPPING, RETURN OF COPIES, AND INSURANCE
Screening copies of selected films should be delivered to our office by August 20, 2023, via the Internet. Only digital media will be accepted for screening. If the copy is not received by this deadline, the Festival may remove the film from the programme.
Accepted screening formats: DCP (preferred) or HD files (Apple ProRes). Detailed technical requirements and instructions will be sent to the copyright holders of selected films individually. The screening copy must have burned-in English subtitles unless English is the original language of the film.
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 to another member of the film crew with the approval of the Organizing Committee of the Festival.
The Festival will provide representatives of the competition films with an invitation for free visas and hotel accommodation for three nights. While the Festival usually cannot cover travel costs, exceptions may be considered on an individual basis.
Traditionally, the Festival reserves the right to invite distinguished guests, participants in non-competition screenings, theatre and other programmes, workshop leaders, leading actors from films screened at the Festival, media representatives, and representatives of various cultural organizations. Coverage of accommodation and travel expenses is to be discussed and agreed upon on a case-by-case basis.
SCREENINGS AT THE FESTIVAL AND BROADCASTS ON TELEVISION AND THE INTERNET
The Festival may use excerpts from competition films (up to 10% of the film, but not exceeding three minutes) to promote the Festival on television and the Internet.
The Festival reserves the right to perform up to three screenings of a film that has been selected to be included in the programme during the Festival, and may additionally screen films from the competition programme up to two times within six months from the date of the Festival in St. Petersburg on October 20–28, 2023. These additional screenings may only be performed as part of cultural events related to the Message to Man Film Festival.
ACCEPTANCE AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE TERMS
By sending the electronic application to participate in the Message to Man Festival (through the Festival’s website, or through Festhome / FilmFestivalLife / FilmFreeWay, or other authorized source), or by completing a paper copy of the application, the applicants certify that they are authorized representatives of the film’s rights holder and agree in full to the above paragraphs of these Regulations.
SPECIAL PROGRAMMES and special screenings
Special programmes are developed and compiled by the Festival’s Organizing Committee. The number of special programmes each year is determined by the Organizing Committee based on the Festival’s current needs and capabilities.
Films selected for special programmes and special screenings are to be requested by the programme’s curator from the rightsholders of the films. The Festival will cover the screening fees upon receipt of the invoice sent by the rightsholders. Screening fees are not established and may vary in each individual case.
Transportation of the copies for the special programmes and special screenings during the Festival is covered by the Festival. Expenses for insurance of the copy in the period between receiving the copy and returning it, as well as expenses for the copy return, are covered by the Festival.
The return of the film copies to their rightsholders is carried out within three weeks after the Festival’s official closing date.
INVITATION OF SPECIAL GUESTS
Authors of films selected for special programmes and special screenings are invited to present their works at the Festival. The Festival provides representatives of films in special programmes and special screenings with visas, airline or train tickets and hotel accommodation for the period of the special programme or special screening within the Festival.
The Festival’s Business Programme consists of exhibitions, talks, round tables, workshops and masterclasses that may include out-of-competition screenings of full-length feature films, as well as other cultural events that are part of the Festival’s programme.
All guests of the Business Programme are invited by the Festival; transportation, accommodation and visa support expenses are covered by the Festival.
See you at the Message to Man Film Festival!