Saint Petersburg International Film Festival (SPIFF) is Saint Petersburg’s first competitive feature film festival. It has been held since 2012 with the aim of increasing cultural exchange, international communication and cooperation between filmmakers of different nations.
SPIFF consists of a competition programme and several out-of-competition programmes, which include special screenings connected by a common theme, retrospectives and gala premieres. Of the competing films and the majority of films in the out-of-competition programme (with the exception of the retrospectives in honour of filmmakers), none have previously been released in Russia.
The core of the festival’s programme consists of art mainstream cinema oriented towards a wide audience. The selection process especially favours films awarded people’s choice awards at major film festivals.
The SPIFF programme will present works by world-class filmmakers alongside the debut films of lesser-known new directors. The goal of the festival is to exhibit outstanding pieces of cinema which reflect current trends in world cinema.
The international jury awards prizes for several categories: best film, best director, best actress, best actor. A vote taken during the screenings decides the winner of the people’s choice award.
The SPIFF Organisers arranges travel to Saint Petersburg for no fewer than two representatives of each film, which provides an opportunity to meet filmmakers during the festival and attend their workshops.
Throughout the year there will also be other thematic film screenings complementing the main festival programme.