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Jerome Paillard, Fedor Bondarchuk, Jay Penske Board St. Petersburg Media Forum

LONDON — The board of trustees of the St. Petersburg Intl. Media Forum, which will bring together 1,200 media professionals, has been joined by several leading figures from the entertainment biz.

Among the trustees of SPIMF, which is organized by Roskino with the support of the government of St. Petersburg, are Jerome Paillard, the executive director of the Cannes Market, Russian director and producer Fedor Bondarchuk, who also chairs the board of directors at Lenfilm Studios, and Jay Penske, Penske Media Corporation’s founder and CEO, and owner of Variety magazine.

Other board members are Alexander Akopov, president of pay TV company Amedia, and co-chairman of Russia’s Film and TV Producers Assn., Katya Mtsitouridze, head of Roskino, editor-in-chief of Variety Russia and SPIMF’s general producer, and Mikhail Piotrovsky, director of the State Hermitage Museum. Further board members are to be added.

In a statement, Penske said: “Today the Russian media and entertainment markets are quickly ascending. It possesses huge potential and upside for those with patience and a strategic global view. Therefore it’s critical that this event takes place in St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia, and the city with the illustrious architecture, rich culture and leading business executives.

“I’m proud that the creator of SPIMF is Katya Mtsituridze — the editor-in-chief of Variety Russia. We have enjoyed our alliance with Katya for years, and watched her professionalism and smarts as a thought leader in both cinema and media. I’m convinced that Media Forum will become an important platform for global media discussion, networking, and leading execs, cinematographers, producers, directors from around the world and much more.”

Bondarchuk added: “The Russian media industry is becoming more and more integrated into the global media industry, and is gradually starting to participate in discussions on key questions and trends as a full member. I’m sure that St. Petersburg’s Media Forum will become a platform for international business, a festival with a rich and diverse program, and a market for new media technologies, uniting Russian and international professionals and audiences.”

SPIMF’s board of trustees, which is headed by Georgy Poltavchenko, St. Petersburg’s acting governor, sets out strategic goals, and makes key decisions regarding the Forum’s program.

The Forum’s opening and closing ceremonies will be staged by Vasily Barkhatov, a renowned theater director, it has been revealed. Together with Mtsitouridze he is developing the script for a technological show about contemporary media, cinema and TV. The staging is to be carried out by Show Consulting, a leading company in this field. The company has also been working on constructing the international cross-platform media market, to be held on the site of the Stock Exchange.

The Forum will run Oct. 1-10.

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