The closing ceremony of the 44th Moscow International Film Festival took place in the Rossiya Theater. The actor Dmitry Dyuzhev, the actresses Ekaterina Klimova, Katerina Shpitsa, Ekaterina Volkova, Ekaterina Vulichenko, Yanina Studilina, Aleksandra Rebenok, Anna Churina, Zara, Regina Todorenko, Sofia Kashtanova, Dariya Kalmykova, the actors Pyotr Todorovsky, Sergey Ursulyak, the actress Anna Snatkina, the actor Viktor Vasilyev, the actresses Lyubov Tolkalina, Maria Konchalovskaya, Lianka Gryu, Irina Bezrukova, Maria Lobanova, the members of the jury and the participants of the MIFF competition programs walked down the red carpet leading to the theater.
Aleksey Agranovich became the voice of the ceremony. He said that 49 films from 25 countries had been shown within the competition programs of the current MIFF edition. The Moralny Kodex band provided the musical support of the ceremony.
The first festival prize was awarded for the best short film. The winner was announced by the director, scriptwriter and the competition jury member Michael Zampino: "We were honored to see 18 films representing quite different cultures. We noticed that one of the main themes of the program was the difficulty of communication. And one of the films managed to offer a strong, elegant presentation of the topic of modern painful loneliness, with great passion".
Silver St. George for the best short film – "The Breeze", Iran, director: Hamidreza Ghasemi.
"I am honored to receive this prize. This work took five years of studying at VGIK, which would not have been possible without my masters – Aleksander and Vladimir Kott, and I am very grateful to them for that. The main task of my film is to find a way to communicate with the audience, so that they feel both myself and my character", said the director Hamidreza Ghasemi receiving the award.
The Malaysian filmmaker, the competition jury chair U-Wei Bin Haji Saari awarded the prize for the best documentary.
Silver St. George for the best documentary – "The Holy Archipelago", Russia, director: Sergey Debizhev.
"Russian documentaries are not frequent winners at the Moscow International Film Festival. It seems to me that it's high time we moved to the bright side of life and stopped scaring and thrilling the spectator. It's time to address their soul, and we will do our best to do it".
The head of the jury, director Sergey Ursuliak awarded the prize for the best film of the new Russian Premieres competition.
Honorable Mention of the Russian Premieres competition jury – "Kath", Russia, director: Boris Akopov.
Silver St. George for the best film of the Russian Premieres competition – "Intensive Care", Russia, director: Pyotr Todorovsky.
"Thank you so much to the jury. It's a great honor to receive this prize, especially in such a very challenging competition. I would just like to say "thank you" to those people who believed in me," said Todorovsky receiving the prize.
Golden St. George for the contribution in world cinema art – the composer Eduard Artemyev.
The director Sergey Ursuliak awarded the prize.
"44 is not a simple number. 4 and 4 makes 8. The sign of infinity. And I feel that we have been caught in an infinite whirl of creations, disappearances and then creations again. And there is great happiness in that. More so because every creator builds a reality that didn't exist," said Artemiev receiving the prize.
The main competition jury: the producer, marketing and media industry expert from South Africa Thandi Davids, the Turkish and Russian cinematographer and director Hayk Kirakosyan, the Iranian filmmaker Rasoul Sadrameli, the Russian director Andrey Kravchuk and the chairman of the jury, People's Artist of Russia, Artistic Director of the State Theater of Nations Evgeny Mironov.
Silver St. George for the best actor – Kostel Kashkaval, "The Voice Crying in the Wilderness", Romania
The producer Thandi Davids (South Africa) awarded the prize. The producer of the film Laura Irina received the prize on behalf of the actor.
"Thank you to the jury for choosing this film. Thank you to everyone who came to watch it and liked it. Thank you to the Lord, who brought us here. And thank you to Father Kalce Dumiatrias, to whom we dedicate this film", said Laura Irina.
Silver St. George for the best actress – Pegah Ahangarani, "No Prior Appointment", Iran
The Turkish and Russian cinematographer Hayk Kirakosyan awarded the prize. The director of the film Behrooz Shoaibi received the prize on behalf of the actress.
Special Jury Prize Silver St. George for Truth and Humanity – the director Juboraj Shamim, "The Instinct", Bangladesh/Netherlands
The Iranian producer and director Rasoul Sadrameli awarded the prize. The director Juboraj Shamim received the award.
"This is my first feature film. And I was surprised that it was selected for the Moscow International Film Festival. It's already a great honor and I didn't expect more. And then suddenly it received a prize. I can't even tell you how I feel. I'm immensely grateful to the audience, the jury and the festival for this award".
Silver St. George for the best direction – Sinisa Cvetic, "The Beheading", Serbia
The Russian director Andrey Kravchuk awarded the prize. Sinisa Cvetic received the award.
"When I was 12 years old, my grandfather was about to die of cancer, and on the day before his death he had a dream that one day I would stand on stage in front of an audience in Moscow. And this is happening. Today you can add a "special" tag to anything, but I think only real things can be called special, things like a festival, an award, art", said the director.
Chairman of the jury Evgeny Mironov: "How good it is to see young, happy faces of people on this stage, the people who are just starting their creative journey. It so happened that we opened this festival with the sad news and three days ago we heard the tragic news that Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev had passed away. He loved creative people, and he was one himself, an open person with a big heart, sometimes very trusting, sometimes indecisive. But he was never afraid to talk about his mistakes. Many say he didn't keep up with the time, or maybe he was ahead of it. History will judge. But, most importantly, he knew how to love and was faithful to his woman, his one and only love".
Golden St. George for the best film – "No Prior Appointment", director: Behrooz Shoaibi, Iran
The jury chair Evgeny Mironov awarded the prize. "It was hard work. We watched 13 films. All of them are not plain and intricate, but they all have one thing in common: these people know their dreams, but professionalism and courage took their victories".
The director Behrooz Shoaibi received the prize. "We were sure that we were making a film to tell everyone once again that the main path to salvation is through love. For me, it is probably the most significant film work, for which I thank the entire crew who worked on this film for two years".
This marked the official closing of the Festival announced by the jury chair Evgeny Mironov.
Mercury jewelry company became a partner of the Moscow International Film Festival again, keeping up the tradition to support the most important cultural events in Russia, including projects in the cinema field.
Mercury jewelry company created the main prizes of the film festival – the statuettes of St. George riding a silver horse, striking a dragon with his spear. The Golden St. George figure is made of gilded silver and the Silver St. George figure is made of pure silver. The base of the statuette is made of serpentine stone bearing a golden Mercury logo.
The Golden St. George is awarded for the best film of the competition program and for excellence in cinema art. Laureates in seven nominations are awarded with Silver St. George statuettes.
As a distinction of the key role of the jury chair of the Moscow International Film Festival, Mercury created a chain with three medallions made of gilded silver showing Moscow's main symbols: the Spasskaya Tower, St. Basil's Cathedral, and St. George.
The special award for excellence in acting and commitment to Konstantin Stanislavsky's concepts "I Believe. Konstantin Stanislavksy" stands out with its original design.
The Mercury jewelry brand is known for its elegant and classic jewelry design, high quality precious stones with international certification, and the craftsmanship of its jewelers. All Mercury products are created from gold and precious stones: diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. The brand's collection includes unique precious stones and high jewelry art products, which make the house truly proud of its creations. All stones are internationally certified, and the products come with a Mercury's authenticity certificate.
START video streaming service became the MIFF's partner this year.
START video streaming service showing premieres online is the Festival's partner again. It offers users from around the world original TV show and films in the Russian language. All START films and TV shows are available anywhere in the world without ads and extra payments in Full HD and 4K quality on all platforms, including START.RU website, mobile devices, and Smart TVs. iOS and Android users can download the content they like and enjoy it on the go, even without Internet access. New users get free access for 7 days. The service was founded by the Yellow, Black and White studio.