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October 19-21, 2018, at DCTV (87 Lafayette, Manhattan) & SVA (136 W. 21st St., Manhattan)

Friday, October 19

DCTV, Main Theater (1st floor)

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Festival Opening events

DCTV, Engine Bay Hall (1st floor)

6:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Serge Hollerbach: “From a Personal Point of View”.
Art exhibition dedicated to 95th birthday of Serge Hollerbach, an academic of the National Academy of Design.

DCTV, Main Theater (1st floor)

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
11th independent documentary film festival RUSDOCFILMFEST. Opening Ceremony.
The Opening ceremony will feature a presentation by The Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center, the Russian non-profit organization and philanthropic foundation created for support of civil society, non-governmental organizations and institutions that manifest interests and the will of citizens. (Moscow / Ekaterinburg)

8:00 pm
Andrey Zvyagintsev. The Director

9:00 pm
“Accents of New York” Poetry reading by bilingual New Yorkers
Language: English, Bulgarian, Romanian, Russian.

Saturday, October 20

DCTV, Main Theater (1st floor)

2:30 pm

3:45 pm
Radio “К”
Monkey, Ostrich, and Grave
Minors under 18-year old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian

6:20 pm
Victory over the Victory
Q&A session after screening: Mikhail Fishgoyt, film-director, veteran of WWII

8:40 pm
The Term
In memory of director Alexandr Rastorguev, cameraman Kirill Radchenko and journalist Orkhan Djemal, killed this summer in the process of creating a new film about illegal Russian military groups in Central African Republic
Q&A session after screening: Nadya Azhgikhina, “Free Word” Association of independent journalists and writers (Russia)

DCTV, Studio (3 floor)

1:30 pm
Flight of a Bullet
Minors under 18-year old must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian

3:00 pm
I Have Believed – I Believe

4:00 pm
I Must Tell

5:00 pm
Unknown 1917
Q&A session after screening: Galina Evtushenko, film director

School of Visual Arts

1:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Beyond the Borders: Women in Contemporary Documentaries and Visual Arts
Special program of the RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W with partnership of SVA & National Writers Union.

1:00 pm – 2:20 pm
Keiko Tsuno: 50 years in the American Documentary. Presentation
The Story of Vinh. Political drama (1990)

Q&A session after screening with KeikoTsuno, film director

2:30pm – 4:30pm
Facing the Mirror (2017)
Harmony (2017)

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Round table Beyond the Borders: Women in Contemporary Documentaries and Visual Arts.

Sunday, October 21

School of Visual Arts

1:30 pm
King Lear

2:35 pm
The Trial. The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov

DCTV, Studio (3rd floor)

2:30 pm
“Dream Factory” for Comrade Stalin
Q&A session with film crew

3:50 pm
Short documentaries. «Artist and Spirits».
Q&A with film director Edward Staroselsky & film protagonist Edward Bekkerman.

“Alphabet Diet. Dishiza (1996-2018)”. Installation art.
Q&A with performance artist Irina Danilova

DCTV, White Room (1st floor)

2:00 pm
The Documentary Filmmaker’s Prime Responsibility: Social or Artistic? Round table

DCTV, Main Theater (1st floor)

3:30 pm
Brother Azari

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Era of Lyubimov. Master’s Rehearsals
Q&A session after screening: Elena Yakovich, film director

5:40 pm
Sasha Sokolov. Last Russian Writer

6:50 pm
You Rock
Q&A session after screening: Eugeni Grigoriev, film director; Anna Selyanina, producer

9:00 pm
The festival closing events. Award Ceremony


Andrey Zvyagintsev. The Director

Director: Dmitri Rudakov
Producer: Alexander Rodnyansky
Studio: Non-Stop Production
Country: Russia
2016, 58 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

How did the director make films that became sensations at international film festivals? Andrey Zviagintsev is a star of contemporary film. He has won numerous awards: Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay, César Award for Best Foreign Film, Golden Lion in Venice, Venice Film Festival SIGNIS Award, Cannes Jury Prize, Grand-Prix at the IFF van Vlaanderen-Gent, Golden Globe Award in Hollywood, Russian NIKA Award for Best Film and for Best Director, three Golden Eagle Awards for Best Director (Russia). He is a jury member of the 71st Cannes Film Festival, and an Oscar nominee. This “making of” documentary is Dmitry Rudakov’s directorial debut. This film was made simultaneously with Andrey Zviagintsev’s “Loveless”, and presents an inside scoop. What is the secret of his meteoric rise to stardom? This documentary shows what goes into Zviagintsev’s success: the painstaking work and the profound personal drama that fill the director’s work days. The film also gives a peek inside the director’s process: we see from what tiny details and moving parts Zviagintsev’s intricate mosaic is assembled, as he shows us the life of the hero, and the lack of love and meaning in his life.

Awards: Golden Laurel Award for Best Art-Film.

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Brother Azari

Director: Alexey Burykin
Country: Russia
2017, 60 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

A film-memoir of Azari Plisetsky, brother of the great ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, pedagogue and choreographer. He has lived his life in the shadow of his renowned sister. The film discloses Azari Plistesky’s own enormous talent as a ballet dancer and teacher, who founded the ballet school in Cuba. Plisetsky reminisces about working with Maurice Béjart, about his sister Maya, and about the artistic scene in Moscow, during the “Thaw” of the 1960s. Unique home videos from the Plisetsky family’s personal archive form the basis of this film.

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Era of Lyubimov. Master’s Rehearsals

Director: Elena Yakovich
Country: Russia
2017, 56 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

This film is about the innovative stage director Yuri Liubimov, the founder of the famous Taganka Theater. Liubimov headed his theater for over 20 years, creating its aesthetic and artistic principles. This film was made in honor of the 100th anniversary of the great director, and is built entirely on archival footage, private home videos, footage of Taganka rehearsals, and interviews with Yuri Liubimov himself. The director’s voice still sounds bold and daring, and his ideas have not lost their relevance in today’s Russia.

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I Have Believed – I Believe

Directors: Maria Kosobokova, Polina Zavadskaya
Producer: Darya Khrenova
Studio: Magic Mountain
Country: Russia
2017, 49 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

The film is about the traditional Cossack vocal ensemble “Krugolet”. The group is from the remote border town of Dalnerechensk, in the Far East of Russia. Since settling in the 17th century, the Cossacks have lived in the Primorsky Kray Region, on the border with China. The Cossacks have survived local nature, armed conflicts with local tribes, the blood of the Russian Revolution and the horrors of the Soviet GULAG, and carried their own culture and folklore through it all. This film is about a people who have become accustomed to fighting, and winning. They express their pain and suffering in resonant Cossack song.


Director: Andrey Osipov
Producer: Mikhail Gridin
Studio: Point of View
Country: Russia
2017, 60 min
American premiere

Much has been said about World War II, but even more has not yet been said. This film takes place in Germany, starting before the War, and ending in 1945. The film is entirely built on German footage, and shows the War through the eyes of German soldiers. This is a story about the most horrific war in all of human history; a war that broke the people fighting on both sides of it. A war, from whose ashes nobody arose.

Awards: Golden Laurel Award for Best Art-Film; Special Award of Gild of Film-critics; Grand Prix at the IFF “Window to Europe.”


Director: Lidia Sheinin
Country: Russia
2017, 62 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles

Grandma Nina realizes that her life will soon end. She asks her granddaughter to move in with her, so the kind and compassionate Nadia moves herself, and her four kids, into Nina’s small apartment. The film is, in its own way, an homage to the “communal paradise” of Soviet life. However, it takes place in today’s real Russia. Here, young and old are squeezed into tiny quarters, they could go mad from living this way.. But… At the center of this hell is a grand piano. The old family piano seems to house the soul of this small, beleaguered community of humans. The piano lives, it has sensitivity, it loves. Filmed in a single shot, “Harmony” presents, with astonishing accuracy, the wonderful female characters.

The film is being shown as part of the “Beyond the Borders: Women in Contemporary Documentaries and Visual Arts” special program (screenings and Round table).

Awards: Grand-Prix at IFF «Message to Humanity.”

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The Story of Vinh

Director: Keiko Tsuno
Country: USA
1994, 50 min
Language: English

The screening of this film by the famous American documentary film-director Keiko Tsuno is dedicated to the 50th anniversary of her work in documentary cinema. Keiko Tsuno is the laureate of numerous American and international awards. It is impossible to imagine contemporary American non-fiction cinema without her works. She was there at the inception of American documentary film as part of the generation that formulated the main principles, methods, and aesthetics of documentary movie-making in the USA. Keiko Tsuno’s vivid and bitingly relevant work continues to submerge the viewer in the main problems of contemporary society.
After the Vietnam War ended, over a hundred thousand Vietnamese children left Vietnam, in pursuit of their American fathers. Their new homeland, however, did not greet them very warmly. Most of them ended up rejected by society, and destitute. Today, in the context of current US immigration policy, this film takes on a fresh poignancy.

The director’s presentation is part of the special program “Beyond the Borders: Women in Contemporary Documentaries and Visual Arts” (screenings and roundtable).

King Lear

Director, producer: Denis Klebleev
Country: Russia
2017, 56 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles

Shakespeare was right: all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. Players, performing the role given to them by the Director. This film is about an elderly actor, who is obsessed with the idea of playing King Lear. Subconsciously, he plays out a Shakespearian drama in his own family, unable to comprehend that his actual situation is much simpler than Lear’s, and that he is far from Lear himself. Before the viewer’s eyes, a commonplace family story turns into a great tragedy, and no one will be spared.

Awards: Golden Laurel Award for Best Art-Film (2017)

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Unknown 1917

Director: Galina Evtushenko
Studio: Rosa
Country: Russia
2018, 60 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles

100 years ago, in 1917, life in Russia was not only on the path to civil feuds, shootings, demonstrations, and social conflicts. The many nations of the Russian empire were striving to live peacefully and creatively. This film, which includes historical footage, demonstrates that 1917 was not a pause in the progressive development of Russian thought, culture, art, and way of life. Chaliapin, Eisenstein, Akhmatova — they were also part of Russia in 1917. Until the catastrophe happened.

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Monkey, Ostrich, and Grave

Director: Oleg Mavromatti
Producers: Boryana Rossa, Andrey Sylvestrov, Marat Gelman
Страна: Bulgaria / Israel / USA
2017, 95 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

The subject of this film is a video blogger, a person with limited abilities. He lives in Luhansk, which, since April 2014, has been under the control of the self-proclaimed People’s Republic of Luhansk. His city is in the center of military action; the war determines its denizens’ lifestyles, behavior, and sense of morality. The young man’s unstable psyche refuses to accept the violence of the war, and our hero gets lost in a world of fantasy. His unusual story is a lesson in how inhuman any war is, and submerges us in the pacifist philosophy.

Awards: Special Jury Prize at IFF ARTDOCFEST

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Radio “К”

Director: Julia Gerra
Producer: Olga Shaposhnikova
Studio: Risk-Film
Country: Russia
2017, 37 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

For one hour each week, for three years, a small room in the Kaschenko Psychiatric Clinic in Moscow turns into a radio studio. The hosts and authors of the programs broadcast from there are former patients of the hospital. Society has labeled them insane, and has turned them into outcasts. Their solution was to band together to help others who had been rejected in the same way. In baring their souls together, they fight for their right to speak about what cannot be silenced. For one hour a week. Awaiting the next hour.

Awards: Prize “Audience Sympathy” at the IX International Television Festival “Occupation – Journalist”, Special Prize of RF and UN Human Rights committee at the XXIII IFF “Stalker.”

Facing the Mirror

Director: Sarah Khaki
Country: USA
2017, 50 min
Language: English

The young Iranian-American director Sarah Khaki presents the sector of contemporary American documentary film that deals acutely with social issues. Her film is the story of Kaveh Alizadeh, an American plastic surgeon of Iranian descent. His career in New York unfolded without any problems until he decided to devote his work to helping victims of armed conflicts. Now, his surgical clinic is dedicated to trying to normalize the lives of those whose faces and bodies have been mutilated by war. Dr. Alizadeh is convinced that this will help to rehabilitate these victims’ tortured souls, as well. This is a film about human choice, and about bravery and compassion, which are so sorely lacking in today’s war-torn world.

The film is being shown as part of the “Beyond the Borders: Women in Contemporary Documentaries and Visual Arts” program.

Awards: the SVA Social Documentary and an Alumni Scholarship awards; the «Ready, Set, Pitch!» Prize from CAAM (Center for Asian American Media), «Honorable Mention Award», «Award of Excellence» in Berlin.

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Victory over the Victory

Director: Irina Vasilieva
Producer: Alexander Radov
Studio: Fishka-Film
Country: Russia
2017, 57 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

The well-known Russian philosopher Grigoriy Pomerants was in WWII for its entire duration from 1941, until 1945. He took part in battles, and was with the Red Army when it reached Berlin. His observations and thoughts about the phenomena of war, militarism, and the human at war, are astounding in their candidness and profundity. The film is being screened as part of a trilogy by the RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W laureate, director I. Vasilieva, about the well-known philosopher.

Awards: Golden Laurel Award for Best Art-Film

Flight of a Bullet

Director: Beata Bubenec
Country: Russia / Latvia
2017, 80 min
Language: Ukrainian, Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

This film is about the war in the Donetsk Basin. Embedded with an armed squadron of the Ukrainian army, the film crew shows the everyday lives of soldiers, active military fighting, and the taking and interrogating of prisoners. The film is shot with a constantly rolling camera, and uses the “kino-eye”. The viewer sees a special type of human: homo militaries, a modern “man of war”, who is incapable of existing without weapons and blood. This is the director’s second film about the war in the Donetsk Basin.

Awards: Special Prize for Best Art-Film at the IFF ARTDOCFEST, Golden Laurel Award for Best Art-Film.

You Rock

Director: Eugeny Grigoriev
Producers: Eugeny Grigoriev, Anna Selyanina, Victoria Lupick
Studio: Pervoe Kino Film Company
Country: Russia
2017, 113 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

A film anti-depressant on choosing one’s way in life. A tragicomedy on the 30-something generation. An ironic blockbuster about a dream and the circumstances of the eternally young and eternally drunk. Three musicians chosen by Russian rock stars at a casting session spend 5 years in pursuit of success, encountering visible and invisible obstacles. On the road to their dream they find love, idols, the torments of creativity, poverty and light alcoholic beverages. 100% sharp-witted truth on a film screen.

Awards: Grand-Prix at the FF “Movement,” Special Prize at the IFF “Window to Europe”,” Special Diploma at Flahertiana (Russia), others.

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The Trial. The State of Russia vs Oleg Sentsov

Director: Askold Kurov
Producer: M. Gavrilova, M. Tuula, D. Jabloński, I. Wójcik, V. Kamińska, Alena Müllerová
Studio: Marx Film, Message Film, Czech Television, Polish Film Institute, B2B Doc
Country: Estonia / Poland / Czech Republic
2017, 70 min
Language: Ukrainian, Russian, English, English subtitles

In August 2015 Ukrainian director Oleg Sentsov was sentenced to 20 years in prison in Russia. He was convicted of organizing terrorist acts and a terrorist organization in annexed Crimea. Amnesty International and the Russian human rights center “Memorial” have proclaimed Sentsov a political prisoner. Ukraine has sued Russia in the European Human Rights Court to appeal the sentence. Oleg Sentsov is on hunger strike… The film is based on the real court proceedings during Sentsov’s trial. The world premiere took place at the Berlinale in 2017.

Awards: Special Prize “Audience Sympathy” at the IFF Verzio International in Budapest.

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Sasha Sokolov. Last Russian Writer

Director: Ilya Belov
2017, 60 min
Country: Russia
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

Sasha Sokolov. He is called the Russian Salinger; Vladimir Nabokov wrote elatedly about his novel, “School for Simpletons”; his books were distributed through Samizdat, and published worldwide. His parents disowned him and had him committed, he was banished from the USSR and his citizenship was taken away. A living legend, and a living mystery, the writer determined the direction in which Russian literature would go at the end of the 20th century. The film is built on conversations with the author, family home videos, and over a hundred never-before-published photographs from Sasha Sokolov’s personal archive. Perhaps this film will lay the foundation of a yet unwritten biography of the great shut-in of modern Russian literature, who lives among us, and yet remains so evasive.

Awards: Golden Laurel Award for Best TV-Film

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The Term

Directors: Pavel Kostomarov, Alexey Pivovarov, Alexander Rastorguev
Producers: Pavel Kostomarov, Sarkis Orbelyan, Alexey Pivovarov, Alexander Rastorguev
Studio: “Srok-Production”, “Aviator Production”, and Max Film
Country: Russia, Estonia
2014, 83 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles

This screening is dedicated to the memory of Alexander Rastorguev (1971-2018)

The documentary project The Term was conceived in May 2012. When the directing trio commenced mapping the Russian sociopolitical landscape, the current Russian president had just settled into the Kremlin for his third term. The original experimental format of “documentary bulletins,” which were published daily online, allowed for a wide range of content; in the feature film version, however, the filmmakers focused solely on the members of various opposition groups. This film shows a kaleidoscope of new Russian political opposition leaders and public persons such as A. Navalny, B. Nemtsov, K. Sobchak, Pussy Riot, and others; provides a chilling discourse on democratic rights and freedoms. The questions posed in 2014 received clear answers in 2018.

“Dream Factory” for Comrade Stalin

Director: Boris Karadzhev
Producer: Mikhail Degtyar
Studio: TV-Reporter
Country: Russia
2017, 65 min
Language: Russian, English subtitles
American premiere

A documentary investigation of the history of the project to create a “Soviet Hollywood” in the USSR: a film industry center, based on the American “dream factory” of the 1930s. The film is comprised of archival materials, and journal entries of the leader of Soviet cinematography, B. Shumiatsky, about Stalin’s famous “Kremlin screenings”. The film also features fragments from Soviet films of the 1930s.

Awards: Golden Laurel Award for Best Science-Education Film

I Must Tell

Director: Sergei Kudryashov
Script: Sergei Kudryashov, Dilyara Tasbulatova
Country: Russia
2017, 52 min
Language: Russian, Lithuanian, English subtitles
American premiere

This is a film-monologue of Masha Rolnikayte (1927-2016), a Holocaust survivor, and author of the famous diary, “I Have to Tell You”. As a young girl during World War II, she survived the horrors of the Vilnius ghetto, and Nazi death camps. She survived hell, and her soul was saved for the world.

Awards: Special Prize at the IFF ARTDOCFEST


Director: Levan Gabriadze
Script: Rezo Gabriadze
Producer: Timur Bekmambetov
Country: Russia
2017. 63 min
Language: Russian, Greorgian, English subtitles
New York premiere

Rezo Gabriadze, Georgian famous artist, writer and creator of Marionette theatre in Tbilisi, is an author and narrator of the film. The film is an autobiographical animated documentary questioning ideas of deep humanity, kindness and heartiness during uneasy times after the World War II. Vivid memories of lonely and shy little boy Rezo confront his dreams where Stalin and Lenin meet him at school, frogs teach him to smoke and Leo Tolstoi guards him at the library… Rezo’s story is full of ups and downs but he preserves his unique innocent sensitivity and ability to release beauty from any downside of life.

Awards: Animation festival in Suzdal – “The Best Full-length Feature;” Tonino Guerra Award; “Icarus” Award, the Russian National Award for Animated Film.

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The annual international independent Russian documentary film festival in New York RusDocFilmFest-3W was created by The New Review Inc. in 2007, with the goal of supporting Russian-language documentary cinema and furthering the creative ties among the world film community. The unofficial slogan of the RusDocFilmFest-3W is “What a Wonderful World” and “Free World.”

The festival is held annually by The New Review Inc. in New York. The festival is a non-profit interactive platform for promoting open creative and artistic dialogue among professional documentary filmmakers.

Since 2016, the festival’s General Sponsor is the Zimin Foundation.

The festival is also made possible with support from private American sponsors and The New Review Corporation.

The festival has an international In-Competition Program. The festival accepts submissions of any films that have won awards at international and national film festivals, made in any country, that reflect themes relevant to the Russian-language Diaspora all over the world, as well as Russia, its past and present, and topics of modern inter-cultural dialogue working in the aesthetics of various schools of documentary filmmaking. Each year, the festival accepts submissions of films released in the festival’s current year, or the year prior.

The festival also has an Non-Competition Program that includes award-winning films released in the two years prior to the festival’s current year.

Winners of RusDocFilmFest-3W are determined by a Jury composed of well-known cultural personae from the USA.

The following programs are included in the Festival:

− “Free World” – a program of socially relevant documentary films
− “In the Beginning was the Word” – program of documentary films that reflect the themes of Russian culture and literature on the screen
− “Remembering the Holocaust in the 21st Century” documentary program
− “At the Crossroads” – student film program
− Master classes, discussion sessions, Q&A sessions with the films’ creators and participants


− Grand Prix – awarded to the best film of the current year. A bronze statue on a wooden base. The statue is modeled on a drawing by Ernst Neizvestny, donated by the artist in 2014 as the official Festival logo. The statue was made in 2017 by American sculptor Jeff Bliumis.
− Special Jury Prize. Crystal Diamond Award with the Festival’s logo. Designed by NY designer Alex Soldier. The Alex Soldier Inc. has been the festival’s sponsor since 2009.
− Faces of Russia. Crystal Diamond Award with contrasted faces image on the crystal. Designed by NY designer Alex Soldier. The Alex Soldier Inc. has been the festival’s sponsor since 2009.
− Special diplomas and awards from the Jury, Festival organizers, Festival partners and sponsors.


Films may be submitted to the Festival from April 1 until June 30 (must arrive by deadline), along with the Application form. Further details and the Application form are available on the Festival’s site – www.rusdocfilmfest.org

Decisions on the festival program selection are made by the Organizing committee (curated by Marina Adamovitch)

Selection procedure:
The films are selected by the Organizing Committee, headed by the Festival Curator (Moscow and New York groups). Films may be submitted after April 1st and must arrive to the Festival organizers by June 30th of the current Festival year. The Committee will inform the film’s creators about their film being selected by contacting the director, producer or distributor of the film after July 5th of the current year.

If your film has been selected, the following additional information will be required by July 25th of the current year:

− Two full-color film stills (no less than 300 dpi)
− Director’s photo (no less than 300 dpi)
− Film trailer, for festival advertising purposes (HD; DVD / file mp4, up to 2 minutes)
− A short film annotation in Russian and English
− Articles and other relevant media coverage of the film (links and texts in Word format)

After a film has been selected for participation in the Festival, the Festival has the right to:

− Use the film’s trailer to advertise the film and the festival
− Use articles and other media coverage of the film for advertising purposes of the film and the Festival
− Retain a DVD copy of the film for the Festival’s archives

The Festival doesn’t pay copyright owners for the right to show their film at the festival or for use of their film for non-commercial purposes for educational purposes. The Festival retains the right to show the winning films one time during the next calendar year and prior to the next Festival (Program “Festival Echo”).

The deadlines and rules for submitting to the student competition program “At the Crossroads” are the same.


The Festival prefers that film copies be delivered to their address in the US. See our website for details.

Submission deadline: If the Festival Organizing Committee does not receive 2 copies of a participating film and other supporting materials by July 25th of the current Festival year, the Festival retains the right to remove the film from that year’s program.

The cost of film copy delivery to the Festival is covered by the applicant submitting the film.


If requested by a Festival’s participant, the Festival’s Organizing Committee will send out an official visa invitation, in English, so that the participant may apply for a US visa for the duration of the Festival. The Festival’s Organizing Committee does NOT provide any other visa support.

The Festival’s Organizing Committee does NOT give out travel grants (does not cover travel and living expenses) for participants.


Free guest accreditation is provided for Festival’s participants (film crews that are presenting their films at the Festival and persons featured in the films).

Free “Press” accreditation is provided only to those mass media representatives who cover the work of the Festival during the course of the Festival. To get accredited as press, please write to the Festival’s Organizing Committee by October 1 of the current Festival year, at rusdocfilmfest@gmail.com

The festival does not cover travel and living expenses for accredited persons.

Festival’s Organizing Committee address:

The New Review Inc.
Attn: RusDocFilmFest -3W
611 Broadway, Suite 902
New York, NY 10012 USA

Email: rusdocfilmfest@gmail.com


The 11th Annual Independent Film Festival in New York, RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W, has concluded. Over three days, 21 documentaries were screened, all of which were produced by private film studios. Most of these films were made by Russian filmmakers but were produced in the United States, Bulgaria, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and Estonia. Fifteen of the films screened received their US premiere, and nineteen of the films were entered in the festival competition program. The festival took place at two locations: DCTV, and the School of Visual Arts.

The festival received Greeting Addresses from Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York State Assembly member Steven H. Cymbrowitz. Our festival has likewise been honored with greetings from the entire Russian-speaking Diaspora of New York City. The general sponsor of the festival project is the private charitable fund, the Zimin Foundation.

Seven directors and studio representatives have taken a direct part in this year’s festival. Festival guests included documentary filmmakers Jon Alpert – awardee of 16 Emmys and two-time Academy Award nominee, as well co-founder and co-executive Director of DCTV; Emmy Award winner and co-founder and co-executive director of DCTV, Keiko Tsuno; and artist Serge Hollerbach, a member of the American National Academy of Design. This year marks the artist’s 95th birthday, and an exhibit of his works, from his private collection, constituted part of our festival. In honor of his 95th birthday, Serge Hollerbach was presented with an honorary New Review Corporation Diploma, celebrating his contribution to the development of world culture in the 20th century, and a “Gold Medal” presented by the Pushkin Society of America.

Moreover, presentations by contemporary New York artists and poets constituted part of the festival, including the art installation “59. Alphabet Diet. Dishiza” by Russian-American performance artist Irina Danilova, and presentations by artists Eduard Beckerman and Irina Danilova. With the support of the “Free Word” Independent Association (Russia), The New Review Inc. held an exhibit of photographs by the young Russian cameramen Kirill Radchenko (1985-2018), who was killed this summer in the Central African Republic, while working on a new film project.

On October 19th, the poetry reading series “Accents of New York” took place as part of the festival, and featured American poets Karmen Firan, Anna Halberstadt, Andrey Gritsman, Helga Landauer, Irina Mashinskaya, Filipp Nikolaev, Daniela Petrova, Adrian Sangeorzan, and Grigory Starikovsky. The readings were organized by New York publications Interpoezia and The New Review.

The festival likewise featured two roundtable panels: Beyond the Borders: Women in Contemporary Documentaries and Visual Arts; and The Documentary Filmmaker’s Prime Responsibility: Social, or Artistic?

Beyond the Borders featured a presentation by American filmmaker Keiko Tsuno: “50 years in American Documentary Film”, and included a screening of her film “Story of Vinh”, the screening of two films by young directors: Sarah Khaki “Facing the Mirror” (USA), and Lydia Sheynina “Harmony” (Russia). Participants of the panel discussion were: Helena Goscilo, Ohio State University – author of well-known works on the problems of the women’s movement; Lucy Kostelanetz – director, Vice-President of the Flaherty Seminar (USA); Nadezhda Azhgihina – Vice-President of the European Federation of Journalists, co-founder of the Free Word Association, and the Russian Independent PEN; Mary Dore – producer and author of “She is Beautiful When She is Angry” (USA); and Keiko Tsuno – filmmaker and director of DCTV (USA).

The Documentary Filmmaker’s Prime Responsibility: Social, or Artistic? featured American filmmakers and producers Pola Rapaport, Brad Rothschild, Micah Fink, and David Sampliner.

The online festival campaign was viewed by people worldwide, including the United States, Russia, Israel, Great Britain, Ukraine, Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, and Greece. According to Google, 62% of viewers were women, and 36% were men.

The festival jury consisted of: Vitaly Komar – artist, and one of the founders of the SotsArt movement; Lucy Kostelanetz – filmmaker, and ex-president of the Flaherty Seminar; Anthony Anemon – film historian; and Jeff Bliumis – sculptor, and executor of the festival’s Grand Prize (based on the graphic of the festival’s logo, by Ernst Neizvestny).

The main emphasis of the festival program was based on works that reflect the main problems facing society today: those of a socio-political nature, armed conflict, problems of democracy, freedom of speech and human rights, problems of the civil rights of women and the rights of people with limited capabilities; as well as problems of the artistic freedom of the writer, and problems of remembering the Holocaust in the 21st century. A significant number of films were also dedicated to contemporary Russian culture.

The laureates of the 11th Annual Independent Documentary Film Festival RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W were:

Grand Prix

Grand Prix: Levan Gabriadze, Rezo

Special Jury Prize: Oleg Mavromatti, Monkey, Ostrich and Grave

The “Faces of Russia” Prize: Evgeniy Grigoriev, You Rock


Best Humanitarian Film: The Trial, Askold Kurov

Best Cinematography: Flight of a Bullet, Beata Bubenec

Best Director: Rezo, Levan Gabriadze


Levan Gabriadze, Rezo


In the “Best Documentary Portrait” category: Dmitry Rudakov for Andrey Zviagintsev: The Director

In the “Best Film about Cinema” category: Boris Karadzhev, for A Dream Factory for Comrade Stalin

In the “Best Screenplay” category: Levan Gabriadze for Rezo

In the “Best Director Solution” category: Andrey Osipov for Ost-Front

In the “Genius Loci” category: Elena Yakovich, for Era of Liubimov: Master’s Rehearsals

For her contribution in the “Russian culture to the United States” category, a diploma goes to director Irina Vasilieva, for her cycle of film essays about the philosopher Grigory Pomerantz.

In the “Russian Literature on the Screen” category: Ilya Belov for Sasha Sokolov: Last Russian Writer

In the “History of Russia on the Screen” category: Galina Evtushenko for Unknown 1917

In the “Remembering the Holocaust in the 21st Century” category: Sergey Kudriashov, for I Must Tell

In the “Free Word” category: The Term, directors Alexander Rastorguev, Alexei Pivovarov, and Pavel Kostomarov

In the “Free Word” category: Askold Kurov, for The Trial

The New Review Corporation presents the Humanitarian Award to director Oleg Mavromatti, from Russia, for the staunchly anti-war film Monkey, Ostrich and Grave.

“In recognition of outstanding contribution to international documentary filmmaking” category: American documentary filmmaker Keiko Tsuno.

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