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The Winner of the 4th Sochi International Film Festival is Guardian of Light from the director Yermek Tursunov. Muratzhan Mukazhanov, who acted in the film, accepted the golden Irida statuette.

The 4th Sochi International Film Festival and Awards (SIFFA) has officially closed with an awards ceremony on November 20th at the Radisson Collection Paradise Resort in Sochi. In attendance at the ceremony were Lubah Balagova-Kandour, Mohy Quandour, Kim Ki-duk, Maya Aimedova, Peter Ferris, Richard Deakin, Sylvie Bolioli, Zlatina Filipova, Larisa Luzhina, Vladimir Alenikov, Ekaterina Semenova, Nina Romodanovskaya, Olga Sherwood, Dmitry Ribero, Tamara Globa, Elena Borscheva, Dmitry Nesterov, a delegation from the city of Cheltenham headed by Martin Kimber, as well as competition film representatives.

The 4th Sochi International Film Festival Awards and Certificates:

  • President`s Award “For an inspired exploration of the life of women in contemporary society” – director Dito Tsintsadze and actress Salome Demuria for Inhale-Exhale;
  • Best Film – The Guardian of Light (director Yermek Tursunov; Kazakhstan);
  • Best Director – The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Actor – Fedor Bondarchuk in The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Actress – Nina Usatova in Guardian of Light (director Yermek Tursunov; Kazakhstan);
  • Best Costume Design – Regina Khomskaya for The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Production Design – Sergei Ivanov for The Lenin Factor (director Vladimir Khotinenko; Russia);
  • Best Music– Yegor Romanenko for Kaddish (director Konstantin Fam; Russia, Belarussia);
  • Best Screenplay– The Sun Above Me Never Sets (writer Lubov Borisova);
  • Best Cinematography– The Sun Above Me Never Sets (Director of Photography Semen Amanatov);
  • Best Producer – Schemers (producers Alex Weston, Virginia Le);
  • Best First Film(Vera Glagoleva SIFFA Award) – The Sun Above Me Never Sets (director Lubov Borisova);
  • Special Jury Prize– In Spring Breeze (director Tauquir Ahmed; Bangladesh);
  • Best Documentary Film – Memory is Our Homeland (director Jonathan Kolodziej Durand; Canada);
  • Best Short Film– Bagatelle (director Daniel Levin; Russia, US);
  • Special Short Film Competition Jury Mention– Night Walk (director Lizete Upīte; Latvia);
  • Certificate “For the in-depth exploration of the spiritual world of modern man”– The Scale (director Ahmad Khatib; Jordan);
  • Certificate “For paying attention to children”to Vladimir Alenikov for the film Class Love (directors Alina Aparina and Andrey Tukhtamanov; Russia);
  • Certificate “For the lively and elegant representation of the culture of the people of the Kabardino-Balkaria Republic”to the director of the Shagdi ensemble Zarema Unazhokova;
  • Festival certificate “For dedicating many years to teaching”to Bishop Metropole of Volokolam Hillarion;
  • Festival certificate from the press to Katerina Shpitsa, Valeria Bourdejois and Yekaterina Volkova for being part of a spectacular team of actresses, Young-Blooded Wine (director Petr Olevskiy (Russia);
  • Festival certificate “For exploring difficult pages of history”to the film School of Executioners;
  • Festival President`s Certificates– to the STEPANETS Fashion House founder and head designer Alexandra Stepanets and the STEPANETS Fashion House accessory designer and head stylist Natalya Malyutina;
  • Certificate “For contributions to world cinema” – Kim Ki-Duk;
  • Certificate“For maintaining the honor and dignity of the acting profession” – Maya Aimedova;
  • Certificate“For establishing peacebuilding bridges” – Peter Ferris;
  • Anniversary Certificate“For many years of contributions to the promotion of the film festival movement” –Sergei Novozhilov.

Kim Ki-duk, chairman of the festiva`s main competition jury: “All the members of the jury were stunned when they saw the work of the director from Kazakhstan. While we had some disagreements when deciding on other nominations, the festival`s main prize decision was unanimous. It is a very beautiful film, very deep and sad. We would like to thank the creators of the film for letting us see it.”

Mohy Quandour, co-founder, festival`s main competition jury:“I would be lying if I said that it was an easy choice to make. We spent hours debating the competition program films. Luckily, we had a wonderful team, we are all from the film industry, and we are sure that the decision we made was fair and correct.”

Muratzhan Mukazhanov, lead actor in Guardian of Light: Dear guests of the Sochi International Festival! I would like to thank the organizers and the viewers for the warm welcome and members of the jury assessing our film so positively. I am honored to be receiving this prize.”

Maya Aimedova, co-chairman of the main competition jury:“I am happy to be presenting the prize to the wonderful actress Nina Usatova. She had a small part in the outstanding film from Kazakhstan but it was a real gem, which we could not but notice. I would also like to mention the work of the festival organizers – creating a festival with such an interesting program, attracting directors, actors and producers to it, obtaining the support of the city and the sponsors – requires true commitment, love and hard work. Congratulations Luba on holding this fourth edition of the festival, this is a colossal undertaking and this is just the beginning.”

Nina Kochelyaeva, festival`s Program Director: “As the person who is directly involved in putting the festival`s program together I am very happy that the jury found the competition films interesting and that they generated active discussions. While I absolutely agree with some of the voting results, some others came as a complete surprise. I am very happy for Lubov Borisova’s film The Sun Above Me Never Sets, which won several awards, including the Vera Glagoleva SIFFA Award as Best First Film. I support the decision to bestow the festival`s Gran Prix to the film from Kazakhstan Guardian of Light and the festival President`s Award to Dito Tsintsadze`s film Inhale-Exhale. It is disappointing that the Indian film The Gold-Laden Sheep and the Sacred Mountain did not win anything, as it was just nominated for the Asian-Pacific Screen Award. Very proud of the fact that we inaugurated a program for the children this year and happy to see that it attracted the most viewers.”

Lubah Balagova-Kandour, Festival Founder and President: “Sochi is a very active city, with major international, federal and city events. I really hope that the Sochi International Film Festival becomes one of the city`s key cultural events. We are trying to make the festival better every year – we invite eminent filmmakers, directors, screenwriters from Hollywood and Europe, we support the Russian cinema, and most importantly – we are creating a cultural bridge between Russia and the rest of the world. We will try to bring you even more surprises in the anniversary year and hope to continue the fruitful collaboration with the Sochi city administration, businesses and the media.”

The screening slate included over 50 feature, documentary and short films, animation films as part of VGIK`s 100-year anniversary and the Focus on the Region program by the filmmakers from the North Caucasus or about this region. In addition to the screenings the festival also included an educational program: lectures, masterclasses and talks with famous filmmakers, writers and musicians. The classical music concert at the Organ Hall was a big gift to the film festival attendees.

The 4th Sochi International Film Festival closed with the screening of Beanpole by director Kantemir Balagov, selected by Russia as its submission for the Oscars. Festival President Lubah Balagova-Kandour introduced the closing film.

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