Start page Aeroflot Roskino Moscow Government Department of Culture





On May 18 the Russian Pavilion hosted the presentation of the 1st Sochi International Film Festival (SIFF), scheduled for December 10-16, 2016.


The festival is partnered with the British Film Institute (BFI) and the Raindance Film Festival (London, UK).


SIFF has been founded by Lyubov Balagova, producer, poet, scriptwriter, doctor of letters and president of the festival. The selection committee is headed by Mohy Quandour, director, producer, and writer. The festival team points out that Sochi has been selected as the location of this international event because of its unique infrastructure and the technological capacity of the state-of-the-art venues constructed for the Olympics which will allow to hold the screenings, conferences, and industry events at the highest level.


Mohy Quandour, Head of selection committee:Leo Tolstoy’s words about the exceptional impact of writers are relevant for filmmakers as well. We do not deal with politics but we do much more: we deal with the people’s souls. And we think that the diverse landscape and modern infrastructure of Sochi make it a unique location to be shared with international film professionals.’


Lyubov Balagova’s initiative of holding an international film festival in Sochi was supported by Mikhail Shvydkoy, Special Envoy of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cultural Cooperation, joined by Arsen Kanokov, Senator, as well as the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Russian Embassy in Great Britain.


The symbol and the main prize of SIFF is the figure Iris, divine messenger of the Greek gods, the mediator between Mount Olympus and the Earth who disperses clouds and conjures up rainbows. Apart from the award itself, the winner of the Sochi festival will get the chance to participate in the Russian cinema week of the Raindance Film Festival in London.


The festival organizers perceive their annual event as an opportunity to integrate Russian cinema into the British and wider European cultural space. Leading Russian and international filmmakers and media will be invited to participate in the festival.


Lyubov Balagova, SIFF President and founder: ‘I believe cinema to be the key metaphor of the whole life. Film language includes poetry, art, and music. When it unites the Russian and the European peoples, we shall consider our mission fulfilled. Our territory is of course hardly limited to Russia and Great Britain alone. The selection committee includes experts from Asia and America while the participants will come from all over the world.’

Additional information and visuals:

Elena Barkova

Press Officer


+33 6 47 52 83 89