On October 10, St. Petersburg saw the closing ceremony of the International Media Forum, organized by ROSKINO with the support of the Government of St. Petersburg under the personal patronage of St. Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko

During the 10-day event, over 25 thousand people attended Media Forum's 50 film and TV premieres, screenings, presentations, workshops, conferences, round tables, and debates. Overall, SPIMF participants numbered 2700 people from 57 countries, including the USA, France, Germany, China, Venezuela, Sweden, Belarus, the Philippines, Portugal, Kazakhstan, the UK, Norway, Ukraine, North Korea, Australia, Italy, Finland, Israel, the Czech Republic, Columbia, and Belgium.

The Media Forum's public vote gave the People’s Choice Award to French drama The New Girlfriend by François Ozon, which prior to its St. Petersburg screening had only been shown at two film festivals – in Toronto and Saint Sebastian. 

The People’s Choice Award is a statuette depicting two bridges, which symbolize the Forum's main concept: the unity of different media fields on one hand, and the unity of industry professionals and cultural figures from around the world on the other.

SPIMF's general producer Katya Mtsitouridze said during the ceremony that  «We deliberately rejected the idea of an official competition since the main message the Media Forum sends is different. It is to organize a current  platform for the media industry, and at the same time organize a real festival for the viewers in the city. The People's Choice Award is important for us, because the opinion of the audience, unlike that of the jury, is never biased.»

During SPIMF's closing ceremony, the Press Jury - consisting of leading journalists from Moscow and St. Petersburg - also had its say. After watching 32 films and TV-series of 2013-2014, the Press Jury, headed by Andrey Kolesnikov and comprised of Stanislav Zelvensky, Mikhail Klochkov, Andrey Konstantinov, Anton Merkurov, Yana Miloradovskaya, and Yury Yarotsky, gave two awards and one diploma

The SPIMF's Press Award for best film was given to the documentary Aim High in Creation (2013), by Australian director Anna Broinowski from the Kor-Kor program. The Press Award for best TV series went to Homeland (of the TV channel Showtime). 

The Press Award for best TV series went to Homeland (of the TV channel Showtime). The world premiere of the new season opener was held as part of the Gala.TV Series program, supported by Internet platform Amediateka. 

The SPIMF's Press Jury gave a special diploma to the pilot of new TV series Londongrad (СТС Media), screened in the Gala.TV-series program.

At the end of the closing ceremony, Alexander Sorukov, the director and head of the C.L.A.S. cinema lab and a member of SPIMF’s trustees board, concluded: "A truly St. Petersburg tradition of Enlightenment. The Enlightenment is the symbol of our city. Culture is the symbol of our city. Education is the symbol of our city. I'm sure that next year, we'll continue our work, and the Media Forum will open again, and so will the cinema school, which will gather young people from all over Russia. My great gratitude to everyone who allocated funds, who understood that without the expansion of young talented people we wouldn't be able to continue our film tradition. Great gratitude to the whole Media Forum team, which made the event world-class. Now it needs to develop and move forward with the support of the state.

SPIMF’s general producer Katya Mtsitouridze invited Tribeca Film Festival’s artistic director Frédéric Boyer on stage during Friday’s closing ceremony, where she expressed interest in a it was announced that SPIMF and Tribeca started negotiations on a possible collaboration for next year, both within the Market and Alexander Sokurov’s Cinema Laboratory (C.L.A.S.)

Frederic Boyer said «I sincerely believe that the St. Petersburg Media Forum has all the premises to become an important international event. The lineup of this year's cross-platform market and the level of public screening programs themselves allow us to conclude that the Forum has been a success

Before the Media Forum ended, leading members of the Russian and international culture community shared their opinions about the event. 

Mikhail Piotrovsky, head of the State Hermitage and  member of the SPIMF board of trustees: 

"The Media Forum has a good recipe – a combination of high-level arthouse approaches, like Sokurov and festival projects, and on the other hand, TV series and the media market. Katya Mtsitouridze can persuade people -  although it didn’t take long to persuade me – and I’m sure that we did the right thing by supporting the Forum, because well-coordinated work combines great intellectuality and wonderful films, and I hope the great deals as well as the interesting people brought a new aura to the city.  State support is important for the Forum. Our city, which is often regarded as conservative, did the right thing by supporting this event. Actually, this city provided funding and held the Manifesta festival and the Media Forum, which are events that bring very important new things to St. Petersburg and put it in a new context on the cultural map of the world."

Sergey Selyanov, head of the CTB film company, co-chairman of the Film and TV Producers Association: 

"The title of the cultural capital is not forever, it needs to be developed, this status has to be maintained. St. Petersburg has never seen anything like the Media Forum - neither in terms of the lineup, nor regarding its organization. Well, actually Russia, too, has never seen anything like it. This is especially nice for me – I'm actually local to St. Petersburg."

Alexander Akopov, president of the Amedia company, co-chairman of the Russian Film and TV Producers Association, member of the SPIMF board of trustees:

«Helping this event was very easy, because it involved five things beloved to me – St. Petersburg, Katya Mstitouridze, cinema, TV, and the Internet. We go to all the main film markets of the world, and I can say for sure that the level at which the Media Forum was organized absolutely meets international standards. We met and set up a real dialogue with people from different countries, also with those from the Internet, meeting with whom would be unlikely in any other format.»

Jérôme Paillard, executive director of Cannes' Le Marche du Film, member of the SPIMF board of trustees: 

«The idea to screen a film at the Hermitage is unique by itself. I joined the SPIMF board of trustees because I'm sure this is the right place and the right combination of formats. Given the energy and professionalism of the organizers' team from ROSKINO and with appropriate support from the state, the St. Petersburg market has great potential to become an important event in the industry.» 


A press release about the work of the cross-platform Media Market held at the SPIMF will be released in the coming days. The press office is collecting information about deals from all the sections, negotiations, and potential projects that emerged during the market's work.


François Ozon achieved cult status with his first feature film Sitcom (1998) – a harsh parody of TV sitcoms. The 46-year-old director has made 14 features, the most famous of which are 8 Women (2003) with Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert and Fanny Ardant, and the English-language Swimming Pool (2003) with Charlotte Rampling.

Anna Broinowski is a leading Australian documentary film maker. She has released four documentaries, including a film on Japanese subculture (Hell Bento) and a super hit about literary fraud Norma Khouri (Forbidden Lie$).

Homeland is a TV series produced by Showtime which has been broadcast since 2011. The show tells a story about a standoff between America’s No. 1 terrorist and a psychologically unstable CIA analyst (Claire Danes). Homeland's 4th season takes the action outside of U.S. territory, playing around an acute political agenda. A new relationship comes into the life of the heroine, as well as a new assignment to uncover the plans of enemies of state in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Londongrad is the first joint project between CTC and Mikhail Idov, a screenwriter and the creative director of film company Art Pictures. By chance, three Russians end up tied together with family circumstances and start working as a well-coordinated underground detective agency in a new city. Each of them follow their dreams: money, independence, education at the best architecture school. On the way to these goals, they have to solve the many problems of wealthy clients: break into a police-guarded office, take the blame in a petty theft, deliver a neurotic teenager to his performance in the London Conservatory, and more. Broadcast starts at the end of October 2014.

Alexander Sokurov is a Russian film director, an Honoured Artist of the Russian Federation, People's Artist of Russia, winner of the Bronze Leopard of the Locarno Film Festival (1987), and  the Golden Lion of the Venice Film Festival (2011). He's been nominated many times for the Palme d'Or of the Cannes Film Festival. In 1995, the European Film Academy decided to include Alexander Sokurov in the list of the top 100 directors of world cinema.

Catherine Mtsitouridze is the SPIMF concept developer and general producer, Channel One film expert and Variety Russia Editor-in-Chief. Сatherine graduated from Tbilisi State University with an MA in history and film studies. She is the author and narrator of This Is Cinema, a regular show on Russia’s Channel One. She has been ROSKINO CEO since 2011. Her portfolio includes the film festivals in Cannes and Venice and the AFM market in LA. Catherine is a member of FIPRESCI, the Russian Filmmakers’ Union, the Russian and International Union of Journalists and the National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Russia. She holds an MA in History. 

Additional information:

Head of SPIMF press office,

ROSKINO media relations officer

Elena Barkova

+ 7 985 428 48 48

SPIMF Press Office Saint Petersburg 

Mikhailov & Partners. Strategic Communications

Ilya Schneider

+7 911 156 65 13

Irina Ushakova

+7 921 995 55 78

SPIMF Press Office Moscow 

Sarafan PR

Natalya Rogal

+7 985 220 15 45

Alina Nazarova

+7 925 363 63 19

Ekaterina Tsarik

+7 917 528 01 66