The Media Forum, which is organized by Roskino, will combine a market with a program of public screenings and events.
Photographer Vladimir Fridkes, who is a member of the media group AES+F, worked together with Mtsitouridze to express the spirit of St. Petersburg, “a city that combines classical architecture with a vibrant urban pulse, a city eagerly looking to the future,” Roskino said.
Fridkes said: “We decided that our characters had to resemble the people for whom the Media Forum has been created — the young, the creative, the ambitious. The SPIMF is primarily a business event and as such it has a strong commercial side to it, but I find it appealing that the organizers are looking to turn it into a vibrant event for the city, and to draw the biggest audiences possible to different venues. I think our poster conveys this notion.”
SPIMF is supported by the government of St. Petersburg, alongside the National Media Group holding, Petromir LLC, Rostelecom and Aeroflot Russian Airlines. The event will run from Oct. 1-10 in the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange, with the aim of promoting St. Petersburg as “an internationally relevant film region and to showcase its advantages in production and digital content development, be it film, TV, or internet projects.”
The market element of the Media Forum will be held from Oct. 6-9, and will be attended by producers, directors, distributors and sales agents from around the world.
Georgy Poltavchenko, acting governor of St. Petersburg, commented: “St. Petersburg is well known to the business community as the traditional venue for the Economic Forum. I am thrilled to welcome the leaders of the international media industry to our city, which we hope will become an important venue for business development and interaction. I have no doubt that the expertise of the organizers, combined with the support of the city, will guarantee the success of the initiative.”
SPIMF will offer attendees an intensive program including panels; master-classes from leading international and Russian specialists; creative laboratories for young filmmakers; a diverse film program curated by Russia’s leading film critics; and red carpet gala premieres featuring the latest American, Asian and European cinema, attended by filmmakers and cast.
Home-grown film will also be celebrated, as an expanded version of the Digital October Open Roskino Screenings (DOORS), previously a section within the Moscow Intl. Film Festival lineup, will showcase an eclectic selection of Russian cinema.
Mtsitouridze said: “We went to great lengths to devise a cross-platform concept, inviting the participants well in advance, preparing a list of films and panel discussion topics, picking out an appropriate location for the film market, and many other things.
“Culture represents a bridge that unites nations and people of good will, and is especially relevant in one of the most beautiful cities of the world. In due time, an annual Forum will allow St. Petersburg to establish itself as an internationally in-demand area for the entertainment industry.”
The SPIMF’s advisory board has enlisted a number of leading entertainment biz professionals, which include the EFM president Beki Probst, media entrepreneur Jay Penske (owner of Variety magazine), director, producer and Lenfilm Studio head Fedor Bondarchuk, co-chairman of the Film and TV Producers Assn., Alexander Akopov, the State Hermitage Museum director Mikhail Piotrovsky, and many others to help fulfil the goals set out for the event.
The SPIMF program will consist of the following sections:
The Birth of a Nation (curated by film critic Alexey Medvedev)
Formed in collaboration with the embassies and cultural institutes of the respective nations, this program will demonstrate the success of national film projects. This year, SPIMF is presenting a program of new British cinema.
Non-Fiction/Documentaries (curated by Alyona Bocharova and Kirill Sorokin)
A line-up of high profile award-winning, festival favorites.
Teen Spirit (curated by Alexey Medvedev, film critic)
Developed to encourage a new generation of Russian cinemagoers, this international selection aims to expose teenagers and young adults to a broad variety of films.
Trofey (curated by Mikhail Trofimenkov, film critic and historian)
Five films from five different genres and periods, which address hot social and political issues.
Kor-Kor (curated by Vasily Koretsky, film critic)
A selection of films that offer insight into the diverse life of a society that is completely shut off to foreigners. The program also includes films from the “Golden Age” of North Korean cinema when film lover Kim Jong-il was in charge of cultural affairs.
Mamentum (curated by Alexander Mamontov, Festival of Festivals general director)
The top five films from Cannes 2014, as selected by Mamontev.
N-L-Po (curated by Boris Nelepo)
A collection of iconic sci-fi movies.
Locarno Local (curated by Boris Nelepo)
The best of the Locarno Film Festival 2014.
Word Order (curated by Konstantin Shavlovsky, film critic)
A line-up of films and TV drama pilots created by renowned critics, in partnership with Seance magazine.
FILM, TV AND NEW MEDIA CONTENT MARKET
The DOORS International Travelling Film Market (in collaboration with the Cannes Marché du Film)
Following on from the event in 2013, the Travelling Film Market will be part of SPIMF, expanding invites to leading buyers and sellers internationally.
The Co-Production Market
The Co-Production Market, which is aimed at Russian and international companies interested in developing co-production projects, has been co-organized by the Northern Seas Forum.
TV Content Market
In collaboration with the World Content Market, and with the participation of the Russian and international TV content production companies.
Global Russians will showcase the top 50 shorts directed by Russian film school graduates over the past five years (2010-2014). These will be made available in the digital library of the Forum. Co-organized by Roskino and the Youth Center of the Russian Filmmakers’ Union.
P.O.V. Film Development Fund
Sergey Selyanov’s P.O.V. Film Development Fund will grant awards to the winners of the development funding competition held from July 1 to Aug. 1.
The TV Showcase
The TV Showcase, co-organized by Amediateka, will exhibit Russian and international dramas produced by leading studios and TV channels.
Start-Up Alley is a digital, new media and entertainment industry start-up market, co-organized by Rambler & Co, the RusBase platform and Variety Russia.
C.L.A.S: CINEMA LAB BY ALEXANDER SOKUROV
A team of professionals headed by filmmaker Alexander Sokurov will spend a week with directors whose works have been preselected via the program website. The campus program has been tailored for 100 participants. The aim of the workshop is to help these talented non-professionals to find their way in the world of cinema, and to expose them to the many possibilities of contemporary filmmaking and its various processes. Creative workshops will be supplemented by master-classes from leading industry specialists, and a professional jury is to select the best projects.
CROSS-PLATFORM PANELS ADDRESSING CURRENT ISSUES WITHIN THE INDUSTRY
A total of 12 panels, including discussions on:
Competing for the VOD market and alternative content distribution strategies. (With the participation of the Film and TV Producers Assn.)
The internet as a piracy battlefield. (With the participation of the Federal Supervision Agency for Mass Media and Communications, the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service and the Motion Picture Association of America.)
Crowd-funding: Making the most of minimal budgets. (With the participation of PopUp Cinema in the U.K.)