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Side By Side LGBT International Film Festival

Side by Side Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) International Film Festival aims to establish free open cultural spaces in which homosexual and transgendered persons are able to affirm, question and extend their identities. We call for the elimination of all forms of discrimination and inequality based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity and gender expression. Through the medium of high-quality, intelligent film we seek to create a forum for discussion with society at large dismantling myths and obsolete stereotypes that continue to hamper the development of the LGBT community in Russia. By generating a positive dialogue we endeavor to facilitate change, fostering respect of human rights of LGBT persons and fundamentally bringing about greater tolerance and broader acceptance of sexual minority groups within Russian society today.

Submissions Open: IV Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival 2011, Saint Petersburg Russia.

Russia’s only lesbian and gay film festival Side by Side is preparing for the fourth annual October festival in Saint Petersburg.  The third Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, which ran from the 15 – 23 October, 2011, was a complete success being held for the very first time freely and openly at various mainstream venues across the city. Events throughout the week were highly attended and on most occasions demand exceeded the availability of seating there being standing room only. In the region of 1200 people came to the festival to watch over 40 films from 20 countries. Guests of the festival included Israeli director Tomer Heymann (I shot My Love, 2010), Swedish animator Lasse Persson, Danish film makers Iben Haahr Andersen and Minna Grooss (Hello, My Name is Lesbian, 2009) and German actor Matthias Freihof who played the leading role in the Heiner Carow’s film Coming Out (GDR, 1989). A series of roundtable discussions with invited guest and experts additionally took place tackling a range of issues related to LGBT rights in Russia.  The festival garnered extensive and positive coverage in news sites, blogs and the closing award ceremony on the 23 October, 2010  took place with full attention of the countries state run television channel “Rossyia”. Over the course of two days – Sunday, 24th October and Monday, 25th October - the channel delivered neutral to positive news bulletins at prime time viewing.  The fourth Side by Side LGBT Film Festival to be held in October, 2011 aims to be build on these success being bigger, bolder and better!  The BOBIK AWARD – Russia’s first and only award to recognize LGBT film making   

  • Best short film
  • Best documentary feature
  • Best feature film
  • Audience Award (the best film chosen from the entire 2011 programme)  

SUBMIT YOUR WORKSubmissions are open and we invite filmmakers from all around the globe to submit work of all genres, lengths and formats, including dramatic, documentary and experimental works, by, about and of interest to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.  All entries should include an entry form, a DVD screener (NTSC or PAL), and any promotional material. This can also be emailed to us at  Please visit for entry guidelines and to download an entry form. The deadline is 31st July, 2011. There is no entry fee. Send your entry to:Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival, Westpost PL 109, Box: 1243, Lappeenranta, 53101, FinlandFestival Partners: Swedish Consulate, British Consulate, Goethe Institute, Danish Institute, Movies that Matter, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Regenbogen Fonds, Teddy Award Foundation, Time Out Friends Friends: Pedro Almodóvar, Gus Van Sant, Ken Loach, Ian Mckellen, Mike Leigh, Sara Waters, Marc Almond, Bruce LaBruce


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