Side by Side LGBT Film Festival Under Threat: Fined $21,000!

Side by Side In recent months has been faced with new challenges presented by the law concerning NGOs and their status of being a ‘foreign agent’. On two accounts (as an organization and the director of the organization) Side by Side has been found guilty which has culminated in fines of 700,000 Rubles which is the equivalent of $21,000. Evidence presented was both flimsy and insubstantial. The law, which came into force on 21 November, 2012, has met with wide condemnation at both national and international levels and has been interpreted by many as a direct attempt by Putin’s regime to stop all freedom of speech and crush civil society. In Saint Petersburg of the 40 organisations checked it is only two LGBT organisations: Side by Side and Coming Out that have been prosecuted and face fines running into thousands of Euros. The LGBT community is under persecution, a scapegoat for the country’s ills, on which the government is basing its populist policies.

Side by Side is experiencing its most serious challenge, however, we endeavour to keep on with our work fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Russia.

What We Do

Side by Side LGBT Film Festival has played a pivotal role in breaking the silence on LGBT issues, stimulating dialogue and discussion. Through our work we have maximised and extended the range of accurate information on LGBT and LGBT rights within the public space, challenging stereotypes and obsolete notions being expounded by conservative voices within government, the orthodox church, far right and ultra national groups.

Here it is possible to get more acquainted with our work and achievements:


Establishing alternative discourses on LGBT issues we have sought to win over adherents to ideas of equality, respect and non-discriminatory practices and behaviour. By generating positive dialogue we have endeavoured 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.   

Your SUPPORT Needed

Donation via credit card and paypal can be made here:


Via bank transfer through our partnering organization:

Teddy Award, Berlin: Kontoinhaber: TEDDY e.V. IBAN: DE79 1005 0000 0190 1694 60 BIC / SWIFT: BELADEBEXXX


Side by Side's collection of funds is with the support of the Teddy Award.

All proceeds go towards festival costs and legal representation. All donations, large or small, are gratefully received and put towards fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Russia.