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Closing of III Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival Covered by State Russian Television

Russias only lesbian and gay film festival Side by Side 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: and

Hosting this years Award Ceremony was Monna Pepperoni, a hot Italian lady with a slight French accent who with her flare and charm was able to turn the whole event into a glamorous show.

This years jury included photographer Serge Golovach, human rights activist Dmitry Dubrovsky and documentary film director Antoine Cattin. This years newly formed Bobik Award (a small daschund dog) went to four winners in the following categories:

Best Film: My Friend from Faro (Nana Neul, Germany, 87min, 2008)

Jury Statement: For an exquisite and extremely beautiful embodiment of multifaceted relationships with loved ones, relatives and oneself.

Best Documentary: I Shot My Love (Tomer Heymann, Israel / Germany, 70min, 2010)

Jury Statement: For a sincere look at ones own life and true presentation of universal problems.

Best Short: Hammerhead (Samuel Donovan, UK, 14min, 2009)

Jury Statement: For a witty and broad predatory look at the problem of jealousy and lack of love in a little man.

Best Animation: Hand in Hand (Lasse Persson, Sweden, 4min, 1996)

Jury Statement: For simple, light, profound and excellent example of what difference is and how it can be accepted with love.

Audience Award: Hello, My Name is Lesbian (Iben Haahr Andersen & Minna Grooss, Denmark, 52min, 2009)

Channel Rossiya expressed dismay that this years Russian only entry Piter Moskva, directed by Dmitry Gribanoff was not among the award winners but held out hope for next year when the work by more Russian directors dealing with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues could possibly be in the running for an award in 2011.

Reflecting on the weeks events, festival founder, Manny de Guerre: The third Side by Side LGBT Film Festival was a complete success. All our events throughout the week were highly attended and on most occasions demand exceeded the availability of seating there being standing room only. It is obvious that the festival is in high demand among the public and a sign that next year we should hold the festival in venues with higher capacity. We endeavor to carry on with our work and are committed to repeating the kind of success in Saint Petersburg in other regions throughout Russia. This years success is a result of concerted and resilient efforts on Side by Sides part, as well as many other LGBT organizations, human rights groups and individuals working in Russia who are striving for an open and fair society.  

Photo Reportage of the Award Ceremony: