About the Festival


The annual international independent East European Documentary Film Festival in New York, RUSDOCFILMFEST, was created by the private American corporation, The New Review Inc., in 2007/2008. Since the festival presents filmmakers from all countries from the Post-Soviet territories as well as Western and American filmmakers who reflect the so-called “Post-Soviet text”, the project was renamed to the annual international independent East European Documentary Film Festival in New York in 2021. The goal of the festival is to present contemporary independent film documentaries from all European post-Soviet countries to American viewers; to present contemporary film documentaries from multi-ethnic Russian-language Diaspora throughout the world; to create a tie between filmmakers from the US and Europe.

The festival presents carefully selected documentaries with social, historical, and cultural focuses, including programs “Free World” of social documentaries, “Eternal Values” of films focused on cultural topics, and “Fresh Look”, the program of newest cinema formats. Our festival is a well-established and popular non-commercial project in New York City with strong cultural and enlightening goals.

The New Review Inc., the pattern company of the festival, is a non-profit corporation with general cultural purposes under code 501 (c)(3). The contributions to The New Review / RUSDOCFILMFEST are tax-deductible under the Federal law of the United States. The festival is a non-profit interactive platform for promoting open creative and artistic dialogue among professional film communities.

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 dwells on themes relevant to the post-Soviet region: its past and present, problems of multi-ethnic Russian-speaking diasporas and topics of modern intercultural dialogue in the aesthetics of various schools of documentary filmmaking.

The festival accepts submissions of films released in the festival’s current year, or two years prior.

All films – participants of the festival – must have English subtitles or be in the English language. Laureates of RUSDOCFILMFEST are chosen by a jury composed of prominent cultural figures in the USA.

RUSDOCFILMFEST online: This screening format at the festival was created in 2019. The ONLINE THEATER presents films at the special festival virtual platform. They are shown online in a closed format: a one-time password will be provided with each ticket purchase which will allow one view of the film in the Online Theater (on the festival website) according to the program schedule. This will mimic the real-life theater-going experience but will be conducted online. All films will be secured from illegal downloading. The online program will be organized according to Eastern Daylight Time.

Regular film screenings take place at theaters in Manhattan, NYC. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this information will be updated following official New York guidelines.


− Grand Prix is awarded to the best film of the current year. It’s a bronze statue on a wooden base. The statue is modeled on a drawing by the renowned Russian-American sculptor Ernst Neizvestny (1925-2016) and 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 New York designer Alex Soldier. The Alex Soldier Inc. has been the festival’s sponsor since 2009.

− ‘Faces of East Europe’. 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.

– The Humanitarian Award. The Humanitarian Award is an award in recognition of the special contributions to preserving and developing humanitarian values made by a person, a film project, or a film.

− Viewers’ Choice Award. All devotees of non-fiction cinema and festival viewers will have the opportunity to select the winner.

− Special diplomas and awards from the Jury, Festival organizers, Festival partners, and sponsors.

Films may be submitted to the Festival from April 15 to June 30 (must arrive by deadline), along with the Application form. The Application form and further details are available on the Festival’s website – www.rusdocfilmfest.org

Decisions on the festival program’s selection are made by the Organizing Committee.

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 at 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 15th of the current year.

If your film is selected, the following additional information will be required by August 1st of the current year:
− Two full-color film pictures and a poster (300 dpi)
− Director’s photo (300 dpi)
— File of the film (HD; with English subtitles)
− Film trailer, for festival advertising purposes (HD; DVD / file mp4, up to 2 minutes)
− A short film annotation in 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 teaser 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
The Festival doesn’t pay copyright owners for the right to show their films at the festival. 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”, according to the agreement with the copyright holder). The festival registration fee will be covered by the Organizer. Participants do not need to pay a registration fee.

The Festival prefers to receive film files. See all details in the Application form on the festival website in April. Other formats to send the film to the Organizing committee can be discussed.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: If the Organizing committee doesn’t receive the full package of required documents the organizing committee has right to remove the film from the festival program.

If requested by a Festival participant the 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 Organizing Committee does NOT provide any other visa support.

The Organizing Committee does NOT provide travel grants and does not cover travel and living expenses for participants

Free guest accreditation is provided for the Festival’s participants (film crews presenting their films at the festival and persons featured in the films, as well as journalists writing about the festival). Free “Press” accreditation is provided only to those journalists who cover the festival before or during the week of screenings. For press accreditation, please write to the Organizing committee rusdocfilmfest@gmail.com by October 1st.
The festival does not cover travel and living expenses for accredited persons.

Festival’s Organizing Committee address:

The New Review Inc.
1216 Broadway Floor 2
New York NY 10001 USA
Email: rusdocfilmfest@gmail.com

A House Made of Splinters
•  Co-production: Denmark, Ukraine, Sweden, and Finland  
•  1:27h  
•  Ukrainian, Russian, with English subtitles
Author/Director(s): Simon Lereng Wilmont
Producer(s): Monica Hillström

This documentary had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and was the Academy Award nominee for Best documentary film in 2023. The film is about children from a special orphanage in Eastern Ukraine. A small group of social workers is taking care of children who lost their parents in the war. They are trying to create a safe space for children near the front line. The filming of the documentary lasted for more than two years in the Donbas region.

Simon Lereng Wilmont’s “Distance Barking of Docs” received the Grand Prix at the 12th RUSDOCFILMFEST in 2019.

Fri, March 24