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Jury for the IV Side by Side LGBT Film Festival 2011

Masha Godovannaya is a filmmaker specializing in experimental work and holds a Masters degree in film and video from Bard College (USA, 2011). Her experimental work has been screened at many leading international festivals among them the London Film Festival, Collectif Jeune Cinema (Paris), Galway Film Festival (Ireland), Evolution Film Festival (Leeds, England), the Pompidou Center (Paris,France), International Film Festival Rotterdam (Rotterdam, Netherlands) and International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Germany). She has worked as an independent curator on various film and video projects including special programs for Anthology Film Archives (New York, USA), Independent Film Show (Naples, Italy), Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil (São Paulo), Avanto Film Festival (Helsinki, Finland) and the Moscow International Film Festival. Masha lives in St. Petersburg and teaches at Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"The representation of the LGBT community on screen is an essential component of world cinema and contemporary art. Therefore the emergence and development of the Side by Side international human rights festival in St. Petersburg helps to overcome one more instance of suppression and is a step in the direction of tolerance and mutual understanding in our society. This film festival is a noteworthy event in the cultural life of our city and it pleases me to know that I played a modest part in bringing it together." 


Nina Savchenkova is a philosopher, psychoanalyst and has a PhD. As well as being the Director of the Film and Video Program at the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences she is also Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Psychoanalytical Critique at the East-European Institute of Psychoanalysis.

"Homosexual will is a will that, by definition, observes itself, thematizes itself, and ponders on itself. This means from the beginning homosexual cinema is abstract, even if it thinks itself otherwise. For me, cinema is a means of thinking with one's body. I dare hope that behind each of the films shown at this festival stands a willing subject; a meeting which will be the best method for moulding one's own feelings." 


Alexey Levin is a journalist by profession. He has organized numerous film festivals and events as well as being the presenter of film and cinema on the TV channel STS-Kuzbass and on radio station Kuzbass FM. Alexey actively writes articles on film for various publications such as Meeting place (Spain), local newspaper Kemerovo, and information portals such as Arthouse.ru and Kinote.info. As part of Videniye (Vision) an informal creative union he participates in the organization of the film festival Vision. He organizes a range of film clubs Film Art Café and Art*ist in his home city of Kemerovo in Siberia. In the last two years he has helped organize Side by Side LGBT Film Festivals in and special events in Kemerovo.

"It's hard to explain what film means to me. It's a thousand films that bring delight, tears, shivers, hate and a million more emotions but not indifference. Diversion? Not if you find answers to questions that come up in the path of life. Art? Not just art. Because film is not only academic, cold and subject to dry analysis, but sometimes intimate, real and strikes close to home. Film for me is probably fate without which it is impossible to even imagine my life."


Julia Surzhanskaya is a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy at Tomsk State University. Her research interests are cognitive sciences. She is both a human rights and animal rights activist.

"Every time I see injustice that occurs in our society I ask myself the following question: How can I change the situation? I don't possess the gift of hypnosis, and I don't have magic powers to convince thousands of people here and now that a person, who is different from them, has the same right to self-expression in this society as they do. Every time, I come to the conclusion that the only way is through enlightenment. Film, in that respect, has a great advantage over other forms of art, since it affects a person on various levels. The sense of presence created by film allows one to view the world through someone else's eyessomeone who they are not accepting ofand thus to see it in a new way. And I am glad that as a member of the jury I can take part in this process."  


Dmitry Tsvetkov is an activist in the Alliance for Animal Rights. He is a musician, photographer and graduate of the Master's program Applied Polar and Marine Research at the Department of Geography and Earth Ecology at Saint Petersburg State University.

"Only once people are told truthfully and with love about alternatives things can get better. That is exactly what this festival does, and for me it's a great honour to be a part of this initiative."

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