The 34th Message to Man International Festival of documentary, short fiction, animated, and experimental films is scheduled to take place from 18 to 27 October 2024 in St. Petersburg, Russia.

With its history spanning three decades of cinema development, Message to Man was founded in 1989 in Leningrad by filmmaker Mikhail Litvyakov, who now serves as the Honorary President of the Festival.

In 2010, Alexei Uchitel, a renowned director of documentaries and feature films, assumed the role of the Festival's President.

Over the years, the Festival has hosted distinguished figures of world cinema, including Werner Herzog, Ulrich Seidl, Claude Lanzmann, Isabelle Huppert, Fanny Ardant, Agnès Varda, Mira Nair, Paolo Sorrentino, Alan Berliner, Eric Roberts, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Abdellatif Kechiche, Udo Kier, and many others.

The Festival programme revolves around three competitions: international, national, and experimental, providing a platform for both full-length and short films to vie for the Festival's Grand Prix. Message to Man consistently draws thousands of cinema enthusiasts to St. Petersburg each year. In 2023, the Festival attracted over 10,000 spectators, and its competition and out-of-competition programmes featured around 200 films from across the globe.

“The Festival team was pleasantly surprised by the success of the last year's Message to Man. There is no need to state the obvious that we live in a challenging time, by all measures. Cinema has gained increased significance as a unifying language and as a way to reach out to one another. We believe that was the reason why in 2023 the Festival attracted so many viewers. So, when people scrambled to get tickets for the screenings, it was, quite honestly, very heartwarming and important. This wasn't just about the sold-out tickets, but about solidarity.

It was equally important to bring together filmmakers from various countries: auteurs from Sweden, Spain, Belgium, Greece, India, Colombia, and Japan visited the Festival, emphasizing its global reach.

Therefore, the Message to Man Film Festival is pleased to announce a new competition in 2024. Our team firmly believes that good cinema is always an invitation to humanity,” says Mikhail Ratgauz, Programme Director of the Message to Man Film Festival.

In 2024, the winners of the 33rd Message to Man International Film Festival will be awarded in the following categories:

Golden Centaur Grand Prix and 250, 000 RUB (approx. 3,000 USD) prize for Best Film: awarded by the International Competition jury.

Three Centaur Prizes in separate categories and 80, 000 RUB (approx. 1,000 USD) along with each prize: awarded by the International Competition jury.

Centaur Prize and 50,000 RUB for Best Documentary Film in the National Competition: awarded by the National Competition jury.

Jury Centaur Prize and 30,000 RUB for a film in the National Competition with explanatory wording: awarded by the Jury of the National Competition.

Jury Centaur Prize and 80, 000 RUB (approx. 1,000 USD) in the In Silico International Competition for the Best Experimental Film.

In addition, special prizes and diplomas from the Festival’s jury, organizing committee, partners, sponsors, and various public organizations can be awarded.

• International Competition includes:

- Full-length documentary films (from 40 to 120 minutes)
- Short documentary films (up to 40 minutes)
- Short fiction and animated films (up to 30 minutes)

All films should have been completed after January 1, 2023 (Except In Silico International Competition of Experimental Films). English subtitles are required for all films with dialogue unless English is the original language of the film.

• In Silico International Competition of Experimental Films includes:

- Short experimental films (no longer than 20 minutes) in any genre, which are technically suitable for screening in a regular cinema and were completed after January 1, 2022. English subtitles are required for all films with dialogue unless English is the original language of the film.

• National Competition of Documentary Films includes:

Documentary films up to 120 minutes by Russian directors or co-produced by Russian producers, completed after January 1, 2023.

Overall Rating
  • We are very proud for showing our anti-war short film HOLD ON FOR DEAR LIFE by Simone Fiorentino at Message to Man 2023!

    October 2023
  • Sofia Gutman

    What a great festival. I was very happy to participate with my film Night train. The festival team was very professional and well orgenized.

    November 2022
  • Gulistan Mirzaei

    We were very happy to have our film at IFF Message to Man as part of an excellent lineup of films. Thank you and the jury for the recognition of our film. I hope we can attend in person one day.

    November 2021
  • Tom Ehrhardt

    Thanks for recognizing our film "Ashes Wood and Stardust". Although the festival had been plagued by increasing restrictions due to Covid, the team reacted swiftly and set up solutions for everyone. Still, I would have loved to be there!

    November 2021
  • Bea de Visser

    Hospitality, its visitors and communication! Thanks, festival team and visitors

    October 2019