The Pacific Meridian is the annual International Film Festival of Asian Pacific countries, established in 2003. The festival is held annually in early autumn in Vladivostok, on the shores of the Sea of ​​Japan.

The festival in Vladivostok

Vladivostok has a very unusual history: in the tsarist times it was an open port and the city-fortress, in the Soviet times it had the status of the military base and closed city, and today it is on the way to becoming a free port again. Vladivostok is the city that is sure to become a hub, connecting Europe and Asia, a place where every year the international cinematic community meets to share its best films.

The Pacific Meridian is a significant cultural event in the Far East, a great excuse to explore the Pacific Russia. Cinema is the most powerful and accessible art form, through which the festival introduces the audiences to contemporary culture. The festival supports the positive development of relations of local, national and Asian filmmakers. The festival always presents only the best and unique films. The Pacific Meridian venues are where new projects emerge, filmmaking professionals meet the audiences, and young directors and actors find recognition.

For 18 years of its work the film festival has shown about 2,500 movies, seen by more than a million spectators. Every year the festival brings together film professionals (actors, directors, producers and film critics) from around the world, attracting audiences from other Russian regions and enables young people to gain practical experience by participating in organizing the festival.

Throughout each year, the festival team works on organizing this international cultural event, and the preparation is carried out from the end of the current festival, and till the beginning of the next. By the time of the festival opening more than 100 people, including volunteers, participate in the work of different venues of the film forum.

The Pacific Meridian Mission

We provide access to the most powerful films of our time and develop the culture of shared viewing, making the audience connected with the development of the art of cinema of the Pacific Rim countries. With the help of the art of cinema, we are transforming the world around us, making the local community more informed and involved in the film festival movement.

In accordance with this mission the objectives of the festival team are the following:

To maintain the organization of the festival at the highest level, meeting the world standards in accordance with the recommendations of the FIAPF;
To promote the audiences’ understanding of the world culture through selecting and presenting the best examples of the art of cinema;
To ensure accessibility to the audience films and educational programs, involvement and informational awareness of the regional community;
The Pacific Meridian is the only Russian film festival, which focuses on the cinema of the APR countries. Actively participating in the development of cultural exchange, the festival brings together more than 60 countries in Southeast Asia, North and South America and the Pacific Rim. Every year the film festival opens and shows the audiences modern films.

The Pacific Meridian IFF remains open, accessible and friendly for a wide and diverse audience. The slogan of the festival is “Films for all, films for every one”.

The Festival’s Juries

Since 2003, the international jury of the festival consists of the best representatives of the professional community of Russian and international filmmakers. The international jury determines the winners and awards prizes in the following nominations: Best Feature, Best Short Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and The Special Jury Award.

Since 2011, the Pacific Meridian IFF features NETPAC (Association for Promotion of Asian Cinema) Jury. NETPAC is an international organization that brings together 30 member countries, established with the support of UNESCO in 1990. This Pan Asian cinema and cultural organization brings together film critics, filmmakers, organizers and curators of film festivals, film distributors and teachers. NETPAC is considered a leading authority on Asian cinema; it participates in selecting films for Asian cinema programs of several international film festivals, introduces filmmakers from Asia to the world audience, publishes books, and organizes seminars and conferences. It has also established a special NETPAC Award, Best Asian Film, which is given at 44 film festivals around the world.

Since 2013, the festival features the international FIPRESCI Jury. FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, established 90 years ago, brings together film critics and film experts around the globe. The main goal of the organization is to support cinema as an art and as a bright and independent way of expressing vision of the world. The award of this organization is of great importance in the cinematic world.

The Festival’s Program

During each festival about 200 films are screened in its venues. Films of all genres, length and formats find their place in its various programs. COMPETITION program includes 8 full-length and 8 short films produced in the Asia-Pacific region this year. Each year, the number of incoming applications is increasing, but only 16 films are selected for the competition.

Non- competition programs present new world and Russian cinema. PANORAMA program is devoted to the most prominent film events in Russia and abroad. IN FOCUS program presents masterpieces from one of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, or of one genre. Over the years the festival has acquainted its audience with the films from Australia, Laos, North Korea, Russia, China and South Korea, with spy thrillers and horror films. Great attention is paid to retrospectives of prominent filmmakers.

The festival also embraces different cultural and business events: round tables, discussions on specific films, lectures, workshops, art exhibitions, Cinetour and meet-the audience sessions.

The main jury of the Pacific Meridian International Film Festival of Asia Pacific Countries award prizes in the following categories:

Best Feature Award (SEA-SHELL and Diploma)
Best Short Film Award (SEA-SHELL and Diploma)
The Special Jury Award (STARFISH and Diploma)
Best Director Award (SEA-SHELL and Diploma)
Best Actress Award (STARFISH and Diploma)
Best Actor Award (STARFISH and Diploma)
The Audience Choice Award for the Best Russian Film (ILLUSION Cinema Network Prize and Diploma) is awarded to the best Russian film, which received the most votes. The opinions of critics, selectors and audiences often differ, and with this award the audiences vote for the Russian film in the festival programs which they think is the best. The Award is given by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ILLUSION Cinema Network Eduard A. Korin.

9288 km Award from the Governor of Primorsky Territory (SEA-SHELL and Diploma) was established in honor of the enormous human feat that brought into being The Great Siberian Way. It is 9,288 km that The Trans-Siberian Railway stretches from East to West. It is from Vladivostok that a journey across Russia to Lake Baikal, to Novosibirsk, across the rivers Amur, Irtysh and Ob, and finally to Moscow, begins. The award is given for outstanding contribution to cinema.

Yul Brynner Award (STARFISH and Diploma) is established in memory of the Hollywood actor, Oscar winner, who was born in Vladivostok on July 11, 1920 under the name Yuliy Borisovich Briner. The award is given for exceptional acting debut. It is presented by Rock Brynner (son of Yul Brynner) to a Russian actor, selected from the films in the festival program.

One of the main achievements of the festival is that it features FIPRESCI (The International Federation of Film Critics) and NETPAC (the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema) Juries.

FIPRESCI Jury gives FIPRESCI Award (the Film Critics’ Choice Award)

The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) is an international organization of film critics and film experts, established on June 6, 1930 in Paris. The basic purpose of the organization is to promote the development of world cinema, defending the interests of the professionals who write about films.

NETPAC Jury awards the Best Asian film

NETPAC (the Network for Promotion of Asian Cinema) is an international organization that brings together 30 member countries and has existed for 25 years. It was created with the support of UNESCO in 1990, at a conference on Asian cinema, organized by CINEMAYA, The Asian Film Quarterly, in New Delhi. This Pan Asian cinema and cultural organization brings together film critics, filmmakers, curators and organizers of film festivals, film distributors and teachers.

Regulations the 19th “Pacific Meridian” International Film Festival of Asian Pacific Countries in Vladivostok (September 10-16, 2021)

1. Festival Program

1.1. Competition:
• Full length feature, documentary, animated films
• Short films (up to 30 minutes)

1.2. Out of Competition:
• Panorama
• Russian Cinema
• Special Screenings
• Retrospective Screenings of World Cinema Masters
• Seminars and workshops

2. Participation

2.1. Festival participation:
2.1.1. Films presented by film companies, film studios, independent producers, distributors or any copyright holders are eligible to participate in the Festival;
2.1.2. Anyone willing to present their film for participation in the Festival should indicate their wish to do so by filling out the entry form available at no later than June 10, 2021;
2.1.3. The online screener link with password for preview or download should be made available to the selection committee no later than June 10, 2021;
2.1.4. Film selection and screening schedules are determined by the Festival's programming department;
2.1.5. Applicants will be notified if their film has been selected for one of the Festival programs no later than July 10, 2021;
2.1.6. Screening copies of the selected films in their original format should be received by the Festival before August 25, 2021;
2.1.7. Each film may be screened not more than 5 times during the Festival;
2.1.8. There will be no exceptions relative to the deadlines.

2.2. Competition participation:
2.2.1. The Festival’s Competition program consists of full length and short feature, documentary, animated films completed on or after January 1, 2020 presented in the following formats: DCP, FormatHD (mpg4, mkv, avi). All films should have English subtitles;
2.2.2. Films earlier presented at other festivals are eligible to apply;
2.2.3. The Competition program consists of no less than 12 films.

2.3. Out of Competition participation:
2.3.1. Out of Competition program consists of films presented in the following formats: DCP, Format HD (mpg4, mkv, avi). All films should have English subtitles.

3. Documentation

3.1. All the following documents and marketing materials for each selected film should be received by the Festival no later than uly 15, 2021:
• Dialogue list (via e-mail);
• Catalog materials: a brief synopsis, stills, director’s photos, biography and filmography (via e-mail);
• Trailer and/or teaser trailer sent on a DVD or uploaded to a server (if available);
• Other press materials.

4. Shipping and Insurance

4.1. Shipping costs associated with delivering the film selected for Festival screenings to the Festival are covered by the Festival;
4.2. Storage and insurance costs for films selected for the Festival during the Festival are covered by the Festival.

5. Guests

5.1. All questions regarding the invitation of guests and participants to the Festival and the terms of their stay are considered by the Festival on an individual basis;
5.2. Presence of at least one representative from each film in Competition is required;
5.3. The Festival covers the cost of travel and stay for the representatives for the length of the Festival;
5.4. A completed accreditation application form confirming participation should be sent to the Festival no later than August 1, 2021.

6. Jury

6.1. Films are judged by an International Jury of five members, FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) jury of three members and NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) jury of three members; the Festival covers all expenses related to the Jury Members’ travel and stay;
6.2. Anyone involved in production or commercial distribution of films selected for the Competition program cannot be considered for a Jury Member position.

7. Prizes

The International Jury awards the following prizes:
• «Sea-shell» prize - Best Feature award (presented to the director);
• «Sea-shell» prize - Best Short Film award (presented to the director);
• Special Jury award «Star» prize (presented according to jury's decision);
• «Sea-shell» prize - Best Director award;
• «Star» prize - Best Actor award;
• «Star» prize - Best Actress award.

Also the following prizes are founded at the festival:

The FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) jury award – for the Best Feature and Best Short Film;

The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema ) jury award - for the Best Asian film;

• ‘9,288 km’ award of the Primorsky krai Governor;
• Audience Choice award «Star» for the best Russian film;
• Yul Brynner award «Star» for the Best Acting Debut.

It is expected that the winners will personally attend the Award Ceremonies.

8. Final clause

8.1. Participation in the 18th “Pacific Meridian” VIFF implies the acceptance of the foregoing;
8.2. Any issues not covered by the rules and regulations will be solved by the Festival on an individual basis;
8.3. The Festival follows FIAPP (International Federation of Film Producers Associations) recommendations.