Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival

Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival
The Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival is an annual film festival that has been held every December since 1995. It is the only film festival in Russia that aims to encourage filmmakers who create films focused on human rights. The festival traditionally opens on Human Rights Day (December 10). On this day in 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russian filmmakers began to explore the topic of Stalinist repressions, political prisoners and dissidents. This creative interest encouraged the founders of the human rights film festival to name it Stalker. The name was taken from the science fiction novel Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. In the novel, stalkers are people who regularly enter the so-called Zone. According to the organizers, the Stalker Film Festival is an attempt to enter and explore the exciting “Zone” of human rights films.

Inspired by the novel, Soviet film director Andrei Tarkovsky created his famous science fiction art film Stalker, loosely based on Roadside Picnic. The organizers of the Stalker Film Festival based the philosophy of the event on ethical values highlighted in Tarkovsky’s film – personal and societal responsibility, mercy and love for one’s neighbors. Stalker is a non-commercial and apolitical project.

The Stalker International Human Rights Film Festival was founded by the Russian Film Directors Guild. The president of the Guild Marlen Khutsiev is the honorary president of the festival. The festival board also includes humans rights activist Vyacheslav Bakhmin, journalist Vsevolod Bogadnov, human rights activist and film producer Ivan Bannikov, and executive director of the Film Directors Guild Igor Stepanov.

Stalker is a competitive film festival. A professional jury made up of film directors, screenwriters, producers, distributors and film critics presents awards in several categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Non-feature Film, Best Debut in Feature Film. There also are several special awards.

Alongside the feature and documentary human rights film competition, the program of the festival includes special screenings (Russian film panorama, international film panorama, etc.), special projects, exhibitions, performances, and other events. Admission to all screenings and events is free, but some events require pre-registration due to limited seating.






Related Articles