skip to Main Content


Director – Russia

Honorary Jury Member
Director, Producer, Composer

NATALIA IVANOVA (Features and Documentaries)
Producer – Russia

Musician – Russia

Writer, Director, Producer – Russia

Film Scholar, Script Editor – Russia

Singer, Director, Producer – UK

Actress, Writer, Producer – UK

Actor, Director, Screenwriter, Producer, TV presenter- Russia

PETER FERRIS (Documentaries)
Actor, Composer, Musician, Writer, Director, Producer, Teacher – Ireland

Actress, Singer – Russian

STEPHEN MAO (Short films)
Producer – USA

KARL BARDOSH (Short films)
Director, Producer, Writer, Editor – USA

Back To Top

Vladimir Khotinenko is a film director, screenwriter, and producer. He has been recognized as People's Artist of the Russian Federation, the country’s high artistic distinction - and is a  member of the European Film Academy.

He heads the Department of Film Direction at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography (VGIK), where he also teaches Khotinenko’s Workshop. Vladimir has for many years been teaching university-level High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors, and lecturing at the Nikita Mikhalkov Academy since 2015.

Mr. Khotinenko was born in 1952 in Slavgorod, in Russia’s Altai region. He graduated from the Sverdlovsk Architecture Institute in 1976, and later, in 1981, from the High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors.

His films have earned awards at prestigious film festivals for works including: Mirror for a Hero (1987), Patriotic Comedy (1992), Makarov (1993), A Moslem (1995) (Special Grand Prize of the Jury at the Montreal World Film Festival), Passion Boulevard (1999), 72 Metres (2003), and The Priest (2009).

Vladimir Khotinenko's films have garnered NIKA and Golden Eagle prizes, awarded by Russia’s two prestigious national film academies.

His The Fall of the Empire TV series (2005) won the national TEFI television award, Russia’s equivalent to an Emmy.

His filmography includes works based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Dostoyevsky (2010) and The Possessed (2014) – which received Golden Eagle Awards. Both films not only evoked historical events; they provided modern interpretations of Dostoyevsky’s classic novels, delving into the philosophy of good and evil, faith and doubt, and noble and ignoble acts.

His film Successors (2015), which addresses issues faced by modern Russia, was awarded the Grand Prix at the Vmeste International TV and Film Forum.

The Lenin Factor (2019) was awarded the Anchor Award for Best Film at the UK’s Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival 2020.

Vladimir Khotinenko is a member of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch's Council for Culture.


Film director/producer and author/screenwriter, Mohy Quandour is a veteran award winning filmmaker with over 30 years of film experience in Hollywood and in Europe. He has some 24 novels published in the USA, UK and in translation in Russian, Turkish, French and Arabic. He cut his teeth in the film industry starting with advertising films and documentaries at MPO studios in New York. Then moved to Hollywood in the early seventies and he was best known for his Hollywood television work on such classics as Mannix and Bonanza. His recent films are “Cherkess” (2010), “The Prisoner” (2012) and “Facebook Romance” (2013).

On 31 May, 2005 Quandour was awarded the medal and prize of the Golden Cross in Moscow for his contributions to the "Culture of the Fatherland". He was also awarded the title of "Author of the people (Narodni Pesatle) in the Russian Federation on April 5th, 2008.

Quandour is an American of Circassian origins who lives with his wife and two children in Berkshire, England but travels extensively to do research for his historical novels. He partners with his wife Luba Balagova in their company Sindika Productions based in Windsor, Berkshire.

Natalia Ivanova is a Russian film producer and has been head of the production company «Horosho Production» since 2002. Natalia has been working in the film industry since 1986, including as a cinema manager, and has been producing films since 2002. Natalia is a member of the European Film Academy, the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, the Guild of Producers of Russia, the Union of Cinematographers of the Russian Federation. Natalia is a recipient of the Certificate of Honour of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation «For an outstanding contribution to the development of culture.»

Selected filmography:

Feature films

The Clay Pit, 2018, dir. V. Glagoleva (Russia)
Teli and Toli, 2015, dir. A. Amirov, debut (Russia with the participation of Georgia, Canada, Greece)
Two Women, 2014, dir. V. Glagoleva (Russia-France-Latvia with the participation of Great Britain)
Gulf Stream Under the Iceberg, 2011, dir. E. Pashkevich (Latvia-Russia) «Presumed Consent», 2011, dir. F. Abdullaev (Russia-Tajikistan)
One War, 2009, dir. V. Glagoleva (Russia)
Not Gonna Get Us, 2006, dir. I. Shilovsky (Russia)
Order, 2005, dir. V. Glagoleva (with the participation of GVI – Group)

Non-fiction films

Growing Up School, 2019, dir. Yuri Bazhenov (Russia) «The Greek of the Russian Empire», 2018
Diary of a Drug Addict, 2013, dir. S. Stasenko.
Thy Right Hand, 2012, dir. K. Afanasyeva.

Russian Way, 2012, dir. A. Nikitinskikh.
Bella Akhmadulina’s Day-Raphael, 2011, dir. A. Khrzhanovsky.
Selfish Interest, 2011, dir. F. Abdullaev.
Twilight of Consciousness, 2011, dir. F. Abdullaev.
A Diary From a Burnt Ghetto, 2011, dir. E. Tsymbal is a BAFTA laureate (Russia - Canada).

Valery Vorona is one of Russia's leading contemporary cultural figures. He is the Director of the Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov State Musiс Pedagogical Institute; President of the Russian Performing Arts Fund; Honored Artist of the Russian Federation; soloist at the Moscow Philharmonic; founder and artistic director of the Moscow Youth Chamber Orchestra; artistic director of the Oci Ciornie Russian-Italian Culture Society in Montecatini Terme, Italy;  opera director in Hersones International Music Festival in Sevastopol, Russia; member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences and the International Academy of Informatisation.

The Russian Performing Arts Fund was founded  in 1992 to carry out national and international projects for preserving and developing Russian performing arts. Projects include the International Music and Music Education Award; Stars in the Kremlin television series, the Russia-Japan Cultural Bridge; Sofia Gubaidulina International Festival of Contemporary Music; Russia on Tour Programme; the Golden Talent Scholarship and Award Programme; anniversary gala concerts by star performers in honour of Mstislav Rostropovich and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; the Borodin Quartet; Young Musicians from Russia and Denmark Project and many others.

Valery Vorona is an active concert violinist, playing at major venues in Russia and in many countries across the world and participating in prestigious music festivals. Among those he has performed with are Yuri Bashmet, Maxim Vengerov, Sergey Kravchenko, Victor Tretyakov, Vadim Repin, Saulius Sondeckis, Vladimir Ponkin, Paolo Vaglieri, Miles Ungerer, Dora Schwarzberg, Valery Afanassiev, Boris Frumkin, Borislav Strulev, Pavel Dombrovsky, Boris Andrianov, and Denis Shapovalov.

The Moscow Youth Chamber Orchestra has become very popular, successfully touring in Russia and abroad.

Valery Vorona has been actively teaching for many years, has served on the jury of many international competitions, teaches masterclasses in Russia, Spain, Italy, Israel, the United States, France, South Korea, Japan, Greece, Denmark, and Malta.

In 2007 Valery Vorona was designated Person of the Year by the Muzykal’noe Obozrenie newspaper. He was awarded the Golden Icarus Award by the Hamburg Academy of Music for contributions to the development of Eastern European culture.

Roseita Royce started her career with Modeling and Acting at a very early age and ever since she has continued in the field throughout her education and work in the fashion and film industry.

After graduating from the university, Roseita chose to become a writer, director, and producer.

She is very well known for her 63 comedy and romance stories and screenplays. She has chosen her own genre in storytelling. She believes people need more happiness and love in their life than horror and killing each other in action films, she is the writer-director who is trying to teach people to live in peace with each other through her stories and her films.

She also is known for being the founder of several film festivals all around the world. She has been the president of the British Film Festival and British Fashion Festival for years, where Roseita is the jury’s expert president, in charge of carefully judging all the films submitted to the festival, with a keen and trained eye. She has hosted many important events in the film and fashion industries all around the world.

As the president of the British Film House and the CEO of Big Ben Studios, Roseita is one of the key producers in the UK and USA with a focus on the international film market. She is an experienced businesswoman who has been working in the entertainment industry for more than 20 years.

Roseita always takes an open and honest approach to revealing the secrets behind the scenes and tricks of the trade in the film industry to the young new filmmakers. She also teaches key secrets of her success in managing events and festivals to many students and volunteers from around the world every year.

One of the most important things which makes her highly qualified is the fact that she started her own professional life internationally at an early age, making her understand the needs of students who want to learn and start their own career.

Tatiana Yakovleva is a film scholar, professor at VGIK (Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography), PhD in Art History. After graduating from the Department of Screenwriting and Film Studies at VGIK in 1986, she went on to obtain her post-graduate degree there in 1986. In the 1990s she taught a course on the history of film at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. In 1992-1997 she was Vice President of Skip-film television and film studio. She was the script editor on the films Dostoyevsky (2011), The Possessed (2014), Successors (2016), The Lenin Factor (2019) and others.

Born in Mississippi, USA, Dee Anderson came to London as a child, growing up in a world of celebrity and entertainment.

Dee is the daughter of the famous husband and wife team Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the creators of the cult television series Thunderbirds, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Joe 90, Captain Scarlet and Space 1999.

She has appeared in numerous television and theatre productions across the UK and worked alongside legendary actors and performers, and her recent return to her singing career has been extremely successful, with her album Love in a Dark Place being favourably reviewed in the national press.  Dee has also toured numerous jazz venues throughout the country, and guesting on national TV and Radio.

Since lockdown, Dee has launched WONDERBIRDS a new hit chat show alongside her show biz friends Debbie Arnold, Sherrie Hewson and Harriet Thorpe.  The show, which has grown from a seed of an idea from Debbie Arnold, has already been viewed by over four million people, and they have been heralded as the pioneers of internet chat shows for women of their generation.

Debbie Arnold is an actress, an author, an altruist, a writer and a voice artist and has enjoyed a successful career in television and theatre. She is the only actress in the UK who has appeared in every major TV soap in the last 30 years as a regular character.
She’s appeared in everything from Holby City to Miss MarpleMinder (both the series and the movie) to Birds of a Feather. Debbie has starred in the West End opposite Omar Sharif in The Sleeping Prince, for which she received many awards and accolades.
Most recently Debbie has been playing mum to Lee Ridley in the new Radio 4 series Ability.
Debbie is currently Ambassador of the National Bullying Helpline, The Retired Police Railway Dogs and Buses4homeless regularly contributing to both BBC and ITV news and current affairs items, including several appearances on ITV’s This Morning and the Alex Salmond Show. As well as a distinguished TV, stage and voice over career Debbie is also the producer of Soap at Sea for Saga Cruises and hosts The Amazing Wonderbirds three times a week with her friends Sherrie Hewson, Harriet Thorpe and Dee Anderson.

Vladimir Shevelkov is a Soviet and Russian theatre and film actor, a film director, screenwriter, producer and TV presenter. He was awarded the distinction of an Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation (2018).

Vladimir Shevelkov was born on 8 May 1961 in Leningrad.

He came from a modest family. His father was a lathe operator and his mother a housewife.  His father was a lifelong learner. He received three higher education degrees and changed his profession.

In 1978-1980 Shevelkov studied at the Leningrad Electrotechnical Institute. He graduated from the All-Union State Institute of Cinematography (1984, Yevgeny Matveev’s workshop). He has been an actor at the Lenfilm studio since 1984.

Vladimir became famous for the lead role in the film directed by Nikolai Lebedev and Ernest Yasan I Ask You to Blame Klava K. for My Death.

He came to film by chance. While studying at the Leningrad Electrotechnical Institut, his physical education teacher advised him to go to a Lenfilm audition because he looked like someone there. Volodya went and ended up on his first shoot. He got the lead role - this was when he was a young man of just 17 - and he was very surprised to meet Lyubov Polishchuk and Veniamin Smekhov on the site.

Since 1989, Vladimir Shevelkov has been in the advertising business. He worked as art director of the DA&N agency in St. Petersburg. He set up the Production Centre agency, which has shot more than 300 adverts. He received the Moscow International Advertising Festival best video award for Remember the Most Important Thing (1999) and awards at the London Advertising Festiva for the videos Airplane (1998) and Bochkarev (1999).

In 1993, Vladimir Shevelkov starred in two Hungarian films directed by Gabore Sinetare.  Since 1997 he has been shooting films and television series. He is a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia. He has filmed music videos for Tatiana Bulanova. From May 2017 to February 2018 he was the host of the Petersburg Meetings programme on the Russia-Culture channel (St. Petersburg).

Peter Ferris was born in Belfast in 1967 and lived there throughout the worst of the “Conflict”.
Throughout Peter’s 30 year career as an Actor, Composer, Musician, Writer, Director and Producer in the Film, TV, Theatre and Music Industry and as a Teacher training many famous names, Peter has been recognised for his work using Screen Acting and Theatre Acting Exams and New Technology Film Making and Smart Phone Filmmaking to inspire both students and adults to open up and tell their stories bringing segregated communities together alongside victims and Ex servicemen suffering from PTSD from the Northern Irish Conflict and into the current Delicate Post Conflict years. Peter’s innovative work has been recognised over the years throughout the world such as, giving speeches regarding Smartphone Filmmaking at the very first Smartphone filmmaking panel at SXSW in Austin Texas 2012, also the at SXSW Eco and the Marbella Film Festival and Inspiring Entrepreneurs and Digital Doughnut at The Royal Geographical Society and Tech Entrepreneur Week in London. But in December 2016 Peter was humbled to be chosen as one of the Top 50 teachers in the world, for the Varkey Global Teachers Prize and Peter is now proud to be one of their Varkey Global Teachers Ambassadors.

Peter was humbled to be invited as one of the few Top 50 Global Teachers in the UK to the prestigious annual Education Conference at Cambridge University to share his views on how society is changing and what we need education to deliver for that society; in September 2019 Peter was deeply humbled to be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for World Peace Relations, Education and Arts from the AFI and especially from HRH Princess Dame Angelique Monet at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. In 2020 he was invited to be a judge of the Short Documentary Films at the Ramsgate International Film and TV Festival in the UK. Peter is incredibly proud to return this year to the Board of the SIFFA Jury judging Documentaries following last year being a judge for the Main Feature Films. Peter is unique. He may be one of the few people in the world who can teach the differences of how a director needs to talk to an actor or a composer or an investor etc or vice versa as I have been in all of these positions; from each side and can now teach them misunderstandings and miscommunications that can occur in auditions, meetings and worse collaborations; due to not understanding each other’s language and then of course egos...

Oksana Stashenko's filmography contains over 110 credits, including among others:  Vozvrashchenie Mukhtara, Snaypersha, Jamaica, Teschiny bliny, Nakhalka, Krasnaya ploschad’, Perestroika (US), Mesto pod soltsem, Yeger, DMB, The History of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), and Kuryozy.

Host of a number of Russian TV programmes - Istanbul through Russian Eyes, Vesely pogrebok, Tam gde sobirayutsa zvezdy since 1999, and Vkusno programme since 2014.

Oksana Stashenko has received awards and been a continuous supporter of the following film festivals:  Amur Autumn, MIFF, SIMFEST (Romania), SOL RUSSIAN FILM FESTIVAL (Spain), Sozvezdie, East & West, Russkoye Zarubezhye, Zolotoy Vityaz and Kinoshok.

Over the years she has served on the jury of a number of film festivals, including Kino detyam, Rolan Bykov, Listopad, Amur Autumn in Dalyan, Orlyonok, Alye Parusa, Animayevka, Brigantina, Korona Karpat, and More-Sol.

She was on the main competition jury at SIFFA 2018.

Oksana has recorded five song albums. She is also the author of books in the Travelling Actress's Journeys series.


Oksana was born on 24, October, 1966 in the city of Kuybyshev (now Samara).


1982-1986 – Saratov Ivan Slonov Drama School

1986-2001 – actress at the Moscow Region Drama Theatre and the Benefis Drama Theatre (over 27 roles).

Non-repertory theatre actress since 2001.


Honoured Artist of Russia, People's Artist of South Ossetia, National Treasure Gold Medal recipient, National Medal recipient, “In Commemoration of the 850th Anniversary of Moscow”

Stephen Mao is an American film producer and is President of Studio Mao a film production, distribution, and finance company.

Both Studio Mao and Stephen Mao support women in film championing women filmmakers, directors, writers, and producers. Studio Mao upholds the values of equality for all individuals regardless of race, gender or beliefs.

Mao executive produced the Academy Award® winning film Skin that was directed by Israeli filmmaker Guy Nattiv. The film won the 2019 Academy Award® for Best Live Action Short and was acquired by Fox Searchlight. Mao co-produced the feature version also entitled Skin, starring Danielle Macdonald, Jaime Bell, Vera Farmiga which will be released July 29 in North America. The feature film was released by A24/DirecTV.

Mao produced Irvine Welsh's acclaimed film Filth directed by Jon Baird and starring James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, and Imogen Poots. The film was nominated for 21 awards and won three Best Actor awards of which one was a Scottish BAFTA. The film was distributed by Lionsgate UK and reached number one in the charts opening weekend.

Other films Mao produced or collaborated on include The Kindergarten Teacher starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and directed by Sara Colangelo, Andrea Arnold's American Honey (Sasha Lane, Shia LaBeouf) which won the Jury Prize at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Mao co-produced Human Capital (Liv Schrieber, Marisa Tomei), Ten Thousand Saints (Ethan Hawke, Hailee Steinfeld, Asa Butterfield, Avan Jogia, Emile Hirsch), Trudie Styler's Freak Show (Alex Lawther, Bette Midler, Abigail Breslin, Anna Sophia Robb, Ian Nelson), Fritz Bohm's Wildling featuring Bel Powley and Liv Tyler, and Kristen Wiig's film Girl Most Likely.

In addition to the traditional film business, Mao is actively engaged in supporting charities through the donation of archival museum quality photographs from his personal collection. Some of the charities Mao supports are amFAR for cancer and AIDS research, the Rainforest Fund protecting the rights of the indigenous people of the rainforests, and the Global Gift Foundation supporting underserved women and children.

Prof. Karl Bardosh of New York University is an award-winning director, producer, writer, editor of features, shorts, television series and documentaries with over 30 years of professional experience in Europe, Asia, Brazil, Hollywood and New York.

Prof. Bardosh has been a trendsetting pioneer in many areas of film and television: he had initiated the world's first network television educational series on the Aesthetics of Film (Hungary, 1968), pioneered a new genre, Poetry Music Videos with Allen Ginsberg (USA, 1984) and had written, directed and edited the first American documentary on Bollywood and Indian Parallel Cinema for the American Public Broadcasting System (Bombay, 1992). Former Hollywood star, Rita Gam, was the Host/Producer of the television series.

Prof. Bardosh was the Co-Producer/ Writer of 'Forced March', the first and only international dramatic feature film co-production about the Nazi labor camps in World War II (1990).

Championing ethnic television in America, Prof. Bardosh had started Hungarian American Television in 1978.

Prof. Bardosh had directed the very first experimental multi-camera live switching broadcast streamed on the Internet for the Microsoft Corporation featuring interviews with various stars of Broadway ('Backstage at the Tony Awards', 1997).

In 2004, 'The Sit Down', a multi-camera live-on-tape reality show pilot directed by Prof. Bardosh, was nominated for the 'Rose d'Or', the oldest and most prestigious award in international television.

Prof. Bardosh has also pioneered Cell Phone Cinema in India, in co-production with Executive Director Sandeep Marwah at the Asian Academy of Film and Television (Film City, Noida, January 2007).

In his book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Digital Video, published by Penguin-Alpha Books, Prof. Bardosh has introduced the concept of filmmaking with an unbroken chain of digital software, starting with Digital Screenwriting (November 2007).

In addition, Prof. Bardosh has been frequently serving as Script Doctor, Creative Consultant and Dramaturge on international co-productions and as Artistic Director, Judge and Panelist for international film festivals and competitions, including the Filmmaking Marathon of the CinePecs International Film Festival under the aegis of the European Union. Prof. Bardosh introduced Cell Phone Cinema at the first Mobile Screenfest of Australia, and at the new Beverly Hills Festival of Film, Television and New Media.

Prof. Karl Bardosh has been teaching 27 different courses during his 17 years tenure at the New York University-Tisch School of the Arts Kanbar Institute of Film and Television.