Moscow International Film Festival

Moscow International Film Festival
The Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) is the second oldest major film festival in the world (after the Venice Film Festival), as well as one of the top competitive film festivals accredited by the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations). It is held every year in the Russian capital of Moscow.

The inaugural MIFF was held in 1935 under the name Soviet Film Festival in Moscow, with the famous film director and film theorist Sergei Eisenstein as the chairman of the jury. The competition featured 65 movies from 9 countries.

The first festival, however, was a one-off event. The official festival history is usually traced back to 1959, when the Moscow International Film Festival was reborn as a regular event thanks to Yekaterina Furtseva, who would be appointed the Minister of Culture a year later. The revival of the festival coincided with the peak of the so-called Khrushchev’s Thaw when repression and censorship in the Soviet Union were relaxed.

The MIFF was accredited by the FIAPF in 1979. From its inception to 1997, it was held biennially on odd years, alternating with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. In 1997, it was announced that the MIFF would become an annual event. After a brief hiatus, the Moscow International Film Festival has been held every year since 1999, with Nikita Mikhalkov as its president. The event is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

The MIFF’s Main Competition features at least 12 films from different countries. The winning film is chosen by the Grand Jury made up of prominent filmmakers from around the world. It receives the festival’s main prize named Golden George after Saint George, the patron saint of Moscow who’s portrayed on the city’s coat of arms. The statue depicts Saint George slaying the dragon. The Silver George Award is presented in the following categories: Special Jury Prize, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Along with the Main Competition, the MIFF hosts the Short Film Competition and the Documentary Competition. Each competition has its own jury that bestows the Silver George Award upon the best film. In addition to the three competitions, the festival program includes the non-competitive Russian Film Program, the opening and closing films, out of competition programs, and special screenings.

The Moscow International Film Festival is usually held over ten days in late July, although this may vary. Festival screenings take place at various cinemas across Moscow. For a long time, the Pushkinsky Cinema was the main venue of the MIFF. After it was converted into a musical theatre in 2012, the Oktyabr Cinema was chosen as the new main venue.

Moscow International Film Festival





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