28th Annual

Message to Man International Film Festival

September 15, 2018 to September 22, 2018

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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 2016.


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).


Alexey Uchitel; Anna Solovyeva (Coordinator)


The XXVIII International Documentary, Short and Animated Film Festival “Message to Man” will take place on 15th – 22nd September, 2018 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 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.

Festival Programme
• International Competition, including:
- Full-length documentary films (from 40 to 120 minutes)

- Short documentary films (up to 40 minutes)

- Short and animated films (up to 30 minutes)

All films should be made after January 1, 2017.

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 in length, directed by Russian filmmakers or/and produced (co-produced) by Russian producers, finished after January 1, 2017. For Russian-speaking films selected into the competition English subtitles are required. For films made in other languages Russian and English subtitles are required (only Russian subtitles if the film is made in English).

• In Silico International Competition of Experimental Films, including:
- 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 2016. 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.

• Special Programmes
Special programmes are established and compiled by the Organizing Committee of the Festival. The number of special programmes for each year is determined by the Organizing Committee based on the Festival's current needs and capabilities.

As part of the film festival, various exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, meetings, and workshops which provide an opportunity to screen feature films outside the competitions, as well as other cultural events that are an integral part of the Festival's programme are held.

Submission Guidelines and Selection
Submissions will be accepted from 21 January 2018 to 31 May 2018 (for films that are to be finished in 2018 rough cuts may be submitted for selection).

Entry fee for submission is to be paid via Withoutabox. Submissions to the International Competition are not valid before the payment is received.

The applicant shall cover all postal costs. Submitted materials will not be evaluated or returned.

All materials must be submitted to the Festival office by 15 June 2018. The list of films selected for the competition programme will be published on our website on 1 st August 2018.

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 25 Augist 2018 or uploaded to our FTP server by 14 August. If the copy is not received by this deadline, then the Festival shall remove the film from the programme.

The Festival's official shipper is DHL. We recommend sending screening copies via that company. Copies should be sent to the following address: Message to Man International Film Festival, 27 Kanal Griboedova, St. Petersburg, 191186 Russia.

If you are sending materials from abroad, please mark the package with ‘NO COMMERCIAL VALUE; FOR CULTURAL PURPOSES ONLY’.

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.

Screening Formats
Accepted screening formats: DCP, HD files (Apple Pro Res), or a Blu-ray optical disc (without menus, copy protection, or regional codes). The detailed technical requirements and instructions will be sent to the copyright holders of selected films individually.The screening copy must have hardcoded English subtitles if the language of the film is not English.

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.


By sending your electronic application to participate in the Message to Man Festival (through the Festival website, or through of one the mentioned online platforms, 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.

In 2017 we welcomed the great Claude Lanzmann at the M2M festival, where he presented his new film "Napalm" and received an award for Contribution to Cinematic Arts.