27th Annual

Message to Man International Film Festival

September 15, 2017 to September 22, 2017

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nab. Kanala Griboedova 27, kv. pom3-N
Saint-Petersburg 191186
Russian Federation
Phone: +7 (812) 570-6151

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International documentary feature films
Any non-fiction film of international origin with a running time from 40 to 120 minutes.
International documentary short films
Any non-fiction film of international origin with a running time under 40 minutes, including the credits.
International fiction short films
Any fiction film of international origin with a running time under 30 minutes, including the credits.
International animation short films
Any animation film of international origin of any genre with a running time under 30 minutes, including the credits.
National documentary films
Any documentary film under 120 min. directed by Russian director and/or (co-)produced by Russian producer.
International experimental films
Short experimental films (no longer than 15 minutes) in any genre, which are technically suitable for screening in a regular cinema and were produced after 1 January 2015.


The goal of the festival is to support independent, innovative, intelligent filmmaking. The main focus is on documentaries, but all kind of shorts are also welcome. Sidebars are often dedicated to films blurring the line between documentary and fiction.


The XXVII International Documentary, Short, and Animated Film Festival Message to Man competition sections include full-length and short documentaries, fiction shorts, animation shorts and experimental films. The total prize fund is around $20,000. The festival takes place in one of the most beautiful cities of the world.

• Founded in 1989, the “Message to Man” International Film Festival is one of the few Russian film forums with a global reputation: in 2015, the festival received over 5,500 applications to participate from nearly 100 countries.
• This is a unique platform for all kinds of genuine auteur cinema, including documentaries, shorts, animation or experimental films.
• Alexei Uchitel, a Golden Globe nominee for his film Krai (The Edge, 2010), is the festival's president.
• Many great fillmmakers have been our guests, participants and members of the jury: Erwin Leiser, Tonino Guerra, Alexander Sokurov, Victor Kossakovsky, Garri Bardin ,Volker Schlöndorff, Agnès Varda, Godfrey Reggio, Emir Kusturica, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Ulrich Gregor, Leo Hurwicz, Gerrit van Dijk, Sergey Dvortsevoy, Sergei Loznitsa, Mira Nair, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Ulrich Seidl, Semih Kaplanoglu, Abdellatif Kechiche, Bill Plympton, Alan Berliner, Niko von Glasow, Helena Trestíková, Marina Goldovskaya,Vitaly Mansky and many others.
• In 2015, “Message to Man” celebrated its 25-th anniversary, and this was an especially colorful and diverse edition with attendance and participation of many important filmmakers, including Brillante Mendoza, Alice Rohrwacher, Pietro Marcello, Vincent Pérez and Nastassja Kinski among others.
• “Message to Man” 2015 successfully presented over 200 films to an audience of 30,000 people.
• The festival's main venue is the VELIKAN PARK cinema center, the city's new cultural hotspot. This modern cinema has 1,000 seats in six screening rooms and is located in Alexandrovsky Park, a few minutes’ walk from the Peter and Paul fortress.
• The festival's prize fund is more than $20,000. The Grand Prix is worth $3,000.
• The festival has been accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF, Paris).


The Festival is being organized with support from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, the St. Petersburg City Administration, the Committee of Culture of St. Petersburg, the Russian Filmmakers’ Union, and the Federal Foundation for Social and Economic Support of National Cinematography.

The Festival is held under the supervision of the Non-Commercial Partnership for the Promotion of Cinema and Theatre MESSAGE TO MAN.

All materials must be submitted to the Festival office by 20 June 2017. The list of films selected for the competition programme will be published on our website on 1 st August 2017.

The producers and creators of the selected films will be notified in advance by email.The decisions of the Selection Committee are final.

Shipping, Return of Copies, and Insurance

Screening copies of selected films should be delivered to our office by 1 September 2017 or uploaded to our FTP server by 20 August. If the copy is not received by this deadline, then the Festival shall remove the film from the programme.

The participant is responsible for paying for the delivery of a copy of the film to the Festival, including insuring the shipment. There may be exceptions as agreed by the Organizing Committee of the Festival. The Festival is liable for insurance costs during the period between the time the copy is received and its return, as well as for the costs of returning the copy. Copies will be sent back to the addresses provided in the application within three weeks of the end of the Festival.

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 (with the approval of the Organizing Committee of the Festival) to another member of the film crew.

The Festival will supply the representatives of the competition films with an invitation to receive free visas and hotel accommodation for two nights. Unfortunately, as a rule, the Festival cannot cover the travel costs of participants; however, in some cases, this possibility will be considered on an individual basis.

By tradition, the Festival reserves the right to invite distinguished guests; participants in non-competition screenings, theatre and other programmes; workshop leaders; leading actors from pictures screened at the Festival; members of the media; and representatives of various cultural organizations. Payment for accommodation and travel are considered and agreed on a case-by-case basis.


International Competition

• Golden Centaur Grand Prix and USD 3,000 for best film

• Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best full-length documentary film

• Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best short documentary film

• Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best short fiction film

• Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best short animated film

• Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best debut film*

National Competition of Documentary Films

• Centaur Prize and 50 000 Rubles for best film of National Competition

• Jury Prize - Centaur Prize and 30 000 Rubles (with motivation)

If a film receives the Golden Centaur Grand Prix, the best film nomination in respected category is not awarded (for instance, if an animation receives the Grand Prix, the prize for best animated short film is canceled).

In Silico International Competition of Experimental Films • Centaur Prize and USD 1,000 for best experimental film

The Organizing Committee of the Festival, partners, sponsors, and various social organizations also award special prizes.

* A debut film is any film produced by a director while a student at a film school, or the first or second film of a director who has not received any special education.

Screenings at the Festival and Broadcasts on Television and the Internet

The Festival may use excerpts from competition films (up to 10% of the length of the film, but no more than three minutes) to promote the Festival on television and the Internet.

The Festival has the right to show a film that has been selected to be included in the programme up to five times during the Festival.


Acceptance and Acknowledgement of the Terms

By sending your electronic application to participate in the Message to Man Festival (through the Festival website, the Festhome platform, or other authorized resource), or by completing a paper copy of the application, you certify that you are an authorized representative of the film's rights holder and agree in full to the above paragraphs of these Regulations.