The documentaries screened at the festival were made by filmmakers and sponsored by production companies from Armenia, Bulgaria, France, Israel, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Spain. This year the festival was online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Screenings were held through the online platform – Online Theater — during the festival from October 19 to October 25. The festival program includes 14 screenings of carefully selected documentaries created in the last two years by independent filmmakers. Two Round tables “Contemporary Documentary Filmmaking in the Era of COVID-19: New Formats and Genres of National Cinematography Tradition. Different countries – Different Views.” were provided for the festival days; among the participants were film-makers from Bulgaria, Israel, multi-ethnic Russian speaking Diaspora, Russia, and the US.

The festival program focused on social documentaries reflecting the main conflicts of modern society and Eastern Europe, on problems within a democracy, freedom of speech and human rights, ecology, and more. Several films were focused on modern culture.

The festival jury:

Anthony Anemone, literary historian, film critic, Professor at The New School, New York.

Jeff Bliumis
, artist, creator of the Grand Prix of the RUSDOCFILMFEST-3W.

Lucy Kostelanetz
, independent documentary filmmaker, the ex-president of the Flaherty Seminar (2000-2001).

Barney Oldfield, founder of the Harvard Film Group, General Manager of the Angelika Corporation, founder of the NewFilmmakers Company for independent film-makers, chairman of the Board for Anthology Film Achieves.

Mikhail Romanovskiy, Chief Product Director of RTVI TV Channel (New York.

The Grand Prix of the festival is based on a graphic image designed by famous artist Ernst Neizvestny (1925-2016), a gift to the festival as an official logo. The Special Jury Prize and The Faces of Russia award are created by American designer Alex Soldier.


100 MILLION VIEWS, film director Itamar Rose, Israel;


KALIAEVSKAIA 5, film director Maria Sorokina, Russia;


FREE FLYING, film director Algis Arlauskas, Spain (Diploma);


KOUNACHIR, film director Vladimir Kozlov, France (Diploma).


“FACES OF RUSSIA” – THE SHAMAN, film director Andrey Osipov, Russia;


Zulmat. Mass Hunger in Kazakhstan, film director Zhanbolat Mamay, Kazakhstan.
The Humanitarian Award is an award in recognition of the special contributions into preserving and developing humanitarian values made by a person, a film project, or a film.

In categories (Diplomas):
Free Word – BAIKAL: AWARENESS OF BEAUTY, film director Valery Shevchenko

Free Word – THE SWEETEST THING, film directors Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov, producer: Martichka Bozhilova, Bulgaria.

“Genius Loci” – BOROVSK’S EFFECT, film directors Yulia Grebennikova, Polina Zavadskaya, Russia;

Humanism in the Modern World – SPITAK. THIRTY YEARS OF SOLITUDE, film director Svetlana Stasenko

Special Recognition – Independent Film-Studio “FISHKA-FILM”, Irina Vasikyeva, Alexander Radov, Russia (1940-2020); films: WITHOUT A HALO. LYUDMILA ALEXEYEVA, film directors Sergei Dogorov, Serik Beyseuov; ABOUT KIRA STEALTHILY, film director: Irina Vasilieva; THEATER BEHIND BARBED WIRE, film director: Inna Kokorina.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE Award – «VERTINSKY. THE LONE WANDERER», film director Svetlana Astretsova, Russia

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