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Jury and Competition of the 9th SIFF “ON THE EDGE. EAST”

Jury and Competition of the 9th SIFF “ON THE EDGE. EAST” August 19, 2019


The 9th Sakhalin International Film Festival “On the Edge. East” will take place in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk from 23 to 30 August.


The main competition features 10 films made with contributions from 15 countries of the world ranging from Afghanistan to Luxembourg. The out-of-competition screenings are grouped in 13 theme programmes including both the well-known programmes “The most important thing” и “How to learn watching movies?” and completely new ones - “Sakhalin.Midnight” and “Undiscovered Hindustan”. A remarkable feature of this year’s programme is its unique geographical diversity.


“Without our planning it, the IX International Sakhalin Film Festival has become a record-breaker in terms of the number of the participant countries. There are 40 of them – from Canada to Columbia, from Ireland to South Korea, from Finland to Senegal, from Nepal to Australia. All continents, all parts of the world are represented, except, of course, Antarctica. This means that our festival is becoming international.

In early years (and it was reasonable) we paid more attention to the cinema of our neighbors – Japan, South Korea, China and other Asian countries. We looked for some common ground between European and Asian cultures. We formulated and formed a single cultural context which revealed our similarities and differences. Now the horizons are expanding, and not only the nominal Asian “exotics” come into curators’ radar screens, but stories from all parts of the globe. And while earlier one of the informal mottos of our festival was “The center is where you are,” now we have grown to feel that the center of existence is everywhere and our task is to capture the echoes of the world processes events which resonate in their own way in any place of the world”- Aleksey Medvedev, SIFF “Edge of the World. East” Programme Director  

Jury and Competition

The SIFF “On the Edge. East” competition programme is made up of 10 films, three of which represent Russia – “Beanpole” by Kantemir Balagov was won the FIPRESCI award and the Best Director award in the Cannes’ Special View competition (the film will be presented by actor Igor Shirokov).”Great Poetry” by Alexander Lungin, which received the Best Director award at Kinotavr (the film will be presented by Alexander Lungin) and Alexander Zolotukhin’s “A Russian Youth” which premiered at the Forum programme of the Berlin Film Festival (to be presented by director Alexander Zolotukhin).

Also, the competition programme features:

- the documentary drama “Gods of Molenbeek”, a feature-length debut film by the Finnish director Reetta Huhtanen (the film will be presented by the film’s cameraman and producer Hannu-Pekka Vitikainen);

- intellectual horror movie “Vivarium” by the Irishman Lorkan Finnegan, winner of the International Critic Week at Cannes 2019 (the film will be presented by its producer Brendan McCarthy);

- the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival winner “The Father” by Bulgarian directors Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov, whose previous film “Glory” took part in the SIFF “On the Edge” competition two years ago (“The Father” is going to be presented in Sakhalin by script co-writer Decho Taralezhkov who also co-authored the script for “Glory”);

- “Belonging” by the Turkish director Burak Cevik frrm the Berlinale’s Forum programme (the film will be presented by director Burak Cevik);

- the retro drama film “The Orphanage”, the second film of the Afghan writer and director Shahrbanooh Sadat, which premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes;

- “Thirty” by Simona Kostova, a low-budget (only 5000 EURO) debut film from Germany which produced a sensation at International Film Festival Rotterdam (to be presented by director Simona Kostova);

- the docufiction film “Family Romance, LLC.” by Werner Herzog, a classic of German cinema, which has become the Opening Film of the 9th SIFF “On the Edge. East”, along with taking part in the competition programme (the film will be presented by Roc Morin, the film’s producer and author of the article that Herzog’s film is based on).


The films taking part in the competition will be judged by the jury chaired by director and screenwriter Alexander Mindadze whose films have repeatedly become participants and winners of national and international film festivals. From 1977 to 2003 he worked in partnership with director Vadim Abdrashitov. Together they created films that have become the classics of Soviet cinema -  “The Train Has Stopped”, “Planet Parade”, “Plumbum, or The Dangerous Game”, to name just a few. In 2007 he debuted as a film director. In that capacity he has shot three feature films - “Otryv”, “Innocent Saturday” and “Lovely Hans, Dear Peter”.


Among the jury of the 9th SIFF are the Russian actor and producer Alexander Robak, who has played more than 120 roles in films and TV series, independent Chinese director Jialing Zhang, winner of the Sundance festival Grand-Prix for  the film “One Child Nation” and Olga Khlasheva, a producer from Kazakhstan, extensively working with director Adilkhan Erzhanov, whose films “Owners” and  “The Gentle Indifference of the World” have twice participated in the competition programme of “On the Edge. East”. Over the festival’s history, the fifth member of the jury is a well-known local lore expert, researcher, archeologist, anthropologist, historian and traveller Igor Samarin.


Unfortunately, the jury of the 9th SIFF “On the Edge. East” has experienced some changes – due to technical reasons the earlier announced director Teona Mitevska and composer Vladimir Martynov are not going to be able to take part in the festival.

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