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Nataliya Bondarchuk is film director, actress, screenwriter, producer, recipient of the title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation and of national and international film festival awards. Born in Moscow, she graduated from VGIK’s Department of Acting in 1971, then from VGIK’s Department of Directing in 1975. She studied under Sergey Gerasimov and Tamara Makarova. 

Nataliya Bondarchuk was awarded a prize in Panama for her leading role as Hari in the film Solaris (1972) directed by Andrey Tarkovsky. Her acting career includes over fifty films, of which the most famous are The Star of Captivating Happiness [Zvezda plenitelnogo schastya] directed by V. Motyl, Red and Black directed by Sergey Gerasimov, Peter’s Youth directed by Sergey Gerasimov and Lermontov directed by Nikolay Burlyaev.

In addition to writing and directing ten feature films and over twenty documentaries, Natalya is also working with the younger generation: she is the founder of the Bambi Moscow Professional Children’s Theater.


director, producer, writer (UK),
Honorary member of the Jury

Winner of international film festivals, People’s Writer of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, awarded the Russian Golden Cross (“for the contributions to the Culture of the Fatherland”).

His beginnings in the film industry started with advertising films at J. Walter Thompson (JWT) and MPO studios in Ney York. Then moved to Hollywood in the early seventies and he was best known for his Hollywood television work on such classic series as Mannix and Bonanza. 

He went on to direct such films as “Cherkess”, which won him Best Director and Best film at the Monaco International Film Festival, “Cold Wind”, “The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe” (with Robert Walker and Cesar Romero) and “The Prisoner” (with Julie Cox, Andrey Chernichov, Yegor Paznko James Wallace and Mel Borz). 

Quandour produced several award winning documentaries such as “The Last Horsemen” and “Musical Journey” and others for European TV networks.

Quandour has authored more than 30 historical novels published in the USA and the UK. These were translated into several languages including Russian, Arabic, Turkish, French, Spanish and German. His most popular literary works are: “The Night of the Generals”, ‘The Kafkas Trilogy”,  “Antidote”, “The Plot”, “Revolution”, “The Last Hunt”. 



Frances Barber
Head of the Main Competition Jury

Frances Barber is an award-winning actress whose work has combined leading roles in theatre, film and TV in the UK. She also has two Honorary Fellowships, one from University College North Wales and one from Wolverhampton University.

Seasons at The RSC, The National and London’s West End have seen her play a variety of parts in Shaw, Chekov (Sonya in Uncle Vanya, for which she received her second Olivier Nomination and a TMA award for Best Actress), Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare etc. She toured the US in 2007 in King Lear & The Seagull directed by Trevor Nunn. 

On TV, she has played in drama series. Recent credits include Whitstable Pearl; The Chelsea Detective; The Split; The Queen and I; Father Brown; Mapp and Lucia; Medici: Masters of Florence and Psychobitches. She played Kovarian in «Dr Who» and QC Caroline Warwick in «Silk», for which she was nominated for a prestigious Silver Dagger Award. 

She played the title role in Phyllida Lloyd’s production of Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse. 

In 2019-2020 Frances created the leading role, Billie Trix, in the Pet Shop Boys’ musical, Closer to Heaven for which she won a Best Actress in a Musical Award.

Most recently Frances has completed a sell-out run as Polonius opposite Ian McKellen’s Hamlet at Windsor Theatre Royal. 


Alexander Litvinov
Main Competition Jury Member

Alexander Litvinov was born on October 9, 1950 in the city of Krasnyi Luch in the Ukrainian SSR. He is a film production organizer and producer. He is the recipient of the title of Honored Cultural Worker of the Russian Federation (2001) and of the State Prize of the Russian Federation (2003), as well as full member of the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia, Union of Cinematographers of Russia, NIKA Film Academy, Producers Guild of Russia Board member.

In 1976 Alexander Litvinov graduated from the Simferopol State University, in 1980 — the Continuing Education Courses for Film Сreatives and Managers at the VGIK. He started working at the Mosfilm studio, and in 1990 he became the business development director of Mosfilm Cinema Concern’s Zhanr Production Group under the artistic direction of Vladimir Menshov. Between 1998 and 2008 Alexander Litvinov was executive director of Mosfilm Cinema Concern . The Alexander Litvinov Production Company was founded in  2006.

Alexander Litvinov has been teaching the Film and Television Production class at the High Courses for Scriptwriters and Film Directors since 2018. He is a Golden Eagle Award Expert Council member. 

Alexander Litvinov is also the founder of the Zhanr company headed by Vladimir Menshov, where he works as a producer. In addition, he teaches master classes at the VGIK and training courses for cinematography professionals at Mosfilm. 



Mark (Marat) Akhmedjanov
Main Competition Jury Member

Publisher, Vice-Chairman of Eurasian Creative Guild London

Born in 1976 in Jizzakh, an important Silk Road junction northeast of Samarkand in Uzbekistan, Mark is the child of a Christian Ukrainian mother and Muslim Tatar father. Following Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991, Mark became the Chairman of Jizzakh’s Youth Union, the successor to the Soviet Komsomol, and started learning English. With numerous associates, Mark started Uzbekistan’s first modelling agency, staged the first Uzbek international fashion week, set up an advertising agency and published a fashion/lifestyle magazine for young Uzbeks. Following a spell at a US travel magazine, he was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in publishing through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Chevening Scholarship at the University of Arts in London.

Mark is committed to promoting literature throughout Eurasia. He launched the publishing houses Silk Road Media and Hertfordshire Press to provide global audiences with new perspectives on contemporary society, art, history, traditions and sociology of the Eurasian region. The first Open Eurasia Book Forum first organised by Mark’s team in Bishkek in 2012 has since expanded. Now in its seventh year, the Forum has been staged throughout Europe and Asia. Although based in London, Mark frequently travels throughout Eurasia, where in collaboration with many partners he has organised events in Stockholm, Kazan, Moscow, Minsk, Dushanbe, Simferopol, Tashkent, Almaty and numerous other cities around the world.

In addition to his role as founder of the bilingual publishing houses Silk Road Media and Hertfordshire Press, Mark (Marat) Akhmedjanov is also the Vice-Chairman of the Eurasian Creative Guild, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the development of an open society uniting creative people and writers from across Eurasia.


Alena Khmelnitskaya
Main Competition Jury Member

Alena Khmelnitskaya was born on January 12, 1971 in Berlin and raised in a family of artists. Alena’s parents are ballet dancers. Her father Alexander Khmelnitsky and mother Valentina Savina were dancers at the Bolshoi Theater for 20 years.

After graduating from high school Alena joined the acting department of the Moscow Art Theater School, graduating in 1992, where she studied under Ivan Tarkhanov. In her second year of studies Alena joined the Lenkom theatre troupe at the Moscow State Theater, where she played Conchita in the play Juno and Avos, while also acting in film over the same period. Alena Khmelnitskaya became widely known for her main role of Leoncia Solano in the Russian-Ukrainian adventure feature film Hearts of Three (1992) directed by Vladimir Popkov. The feature was based on the novel by Jack London with the same title.

In 1993 she married director Tigran Keosayan. After having her first child Alexandra, Alena had to leave theater behind in 1994. She hosted several episodes of the musical and entertainment television program Morning Mail on Channel One at Ostankino in 1994. From 2009 to 2010, Alena was hosting the You and Me TV show with Tigran Keosayan about Russia TV channel stars’ family lives. In 2010, the actress had a daughter, Ksenia Keosayan.In 2016-2017 Alena was playing Madame, Cinderella’s stepmother, in the Russian adaptation of the Broadway musical Cinderella, music by Richard Rogers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, based on the fairy tale Cinderella by Charles Perrault. The adaptation was co-produced by Russia, England and USA and directed by Lindsay Posner.




Gulbara Tolomushova
Hed of the Documentary Jury

Gulbara Tolomushova was born in Kyrgyzstan and graduated with a degree in Screenwriting and Film Studies from the Department of Film Studies at the VGIK. Gulbara has been recognized as the honored cultural figure of Kyrgyzstan. She is a member of the Union of Cinematographers of Kyrgyzstan, FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Press) and NETPAK (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema).

Gulbara works as an expert with the Bishkek House of Cinema, part of the Department of Cinematography of the Ministry of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic, and is programming director of the Umut Youth Cinema Forum of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Gulbara is a regular juror at many international film festivals. In February 2020, Gulnara was a guest of the Berlin International Film Festival by invitation of the government of the Federal Republic of Germany and in July 2020 she attended the Cannes Film Festival International Film Market. 

Gulbara is the editor and author of the Cinematography Development Fund’s website, as well as of the Forum magazine, published by the International Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation in Moscow, and the online film magazine.



Elena Demidova
Documentary Competition Jury Member

Elena Demidova is director, screenwriter and teacher, member of the Kinosoyuz Cinematographers Union, the Guild of Film Directors of the Russian Federation and the Non-Fiction Film Guild. Elena obtained her first diploma from the Bauman Moscow State Technical University, then proceeded to study directing at the Internews Films School, Class of Marina Razbezhkina. 

Elena is currently working with the Gorky Film Studio, Kultura TV channel and Finnish YLE TV channel. She made her fiction film debut in 2016 when she co-directed Touch of Wind. In the past Elena was in charge of documentary filmmaking workshops for young directors at the Gorky Studio for Children and Youth and workshops for young documentary filmmakers at the Kinoproba Film Festival. She is currently teaching a film course for the OPENDOC creative workshops and is an instructor at the Internews International Film School.


Vladimir Marin
Documentary Film Competition Jury Member

Vladimir Marin was born in Moscow. In 1994 he was accepted to study at the Department of Geology at the Moscow State University, and in 2002 he graduated from VGIK (Department of Directing, Drama Film Class under the direction of the People’s Artist of the USSR Vladimir Naumov). In 2004 he started working as director of photography on scientific and search and rescue expeditions (in conjunction with the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations), and led 15 marine and a number of land expeditions centered around popular science topics. Since 2009 Vladimir Marin has been the head of the video production studio at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS).

Films such as The Dangerous Baltic, One Hundred Skins of Unshot Bears, Beyond the Kara Straight, The Secret of the White Runaway, The Mir Odyssey, Neseyka: The Youngest Daughter have garnered awards at large Russian and international festivals.



Elena Razlogova
Head of the Short Film Competition Jury

Elena Razlogova is Associate Professor of History at Concordia University in Montreal. She has published articles on film translation and international film festivals, in «Journal of Cinema and Media Studies», «Studies in European Cinema», «SubStance», as well as film festival reports for U.S. and Canadian publications. Her current book project examines transnational networks at Soviet film festivals.


Dmitry Yakunin
Short Film Jury Member

From 2010 to 2015 Dmitry Yakunin was the head of public relations at the Union of Cinematographers of Russia and chief editor of the website. Since 2012 Dmitry has been the executive director of the Youth Center of the Union of Cinematographers of Russia, the producer of the Russia-wide Day of Short Films event and the head of the Russian Youth Cinema Forum.

Dmitry Yakunin has been the director of the Let’s Live! Moscow International Film Festival and the manager of the Moscow International Film Festival’s business platform since 2011. He was executive producer on over 20 debut films, shorts and documentaries for the Muvistart film production center. He is also a member of the Expert Commission of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and of the National Youth Film Awards committee.



Beslan Terekbaev
Short Film Competition Jury Member

Beslan Terekbaev was born on July 21, 1980. He is the CEO of Chechenfilm company, president of the Foundation for the Support and Development of Cinematography of the North Caucasus, and founder of the STEP film school. The first full-length film Beslan Terekbayev was directly involved in was HIRO (2007).

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