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Seva Galkin, Svetlana Sigalaeva, Milena Chernyavskaya, Elena Ustinova, & Zhanna Zhunusova

Seva Galkin (Three Times About It)


Seva Galkin is a member of the International Artists’ Union and former creative director of QUEER Magazine.  He teaches at the School of Modern Photography.
He has produced three personal photo albums: “Indigo” (2000), “RUS” (2004), and “Russian Hooligans” (2010).
He made his debut with the short film “Three Times About This,” which Galkin directed, produced and filmed.

“I am against agitation and loud statements. If we want to convince someone of something, shouting will not work. I can imagine the average heterosexual, thinking of how to pay the mortgage, take the children to the sea in the summer and stuff like that. And here we are, standing on a chair, declaring something loudly, demanding the right to walk down the street in a thong. Well, does it really work?

If we speak about the propaganda, we need calm conversation. We are, after all, the same as they are. We have the same aspirations, by and large. We fall in love, think about our career, as well dream of the sea. We are one of them ...

What about those in power? They are cunning and greedy as they have always been. Authorities want to show us as an enemy. We should not allow it. They’d better keep our roofs clear of icicles and build roads. What about us? We are, after all, someone's grandchildren, neighbors, co-workers. The authorities can hardly do anything about it..."


Svetlana Sigalaeva (Not With Us)


Svetlana Sigalaeva was born in Moscow. During her childhood she danced professionally. In 2003 she graduated from music school. Immediately after graduating college in 2006 she entered to VGIK in the Alexey Uchitel workshop at the end of the second semester was expelled for "being incompetent". The following year, she worked at the film studio "Granat". And in 2008 again came to VGIK, but in the workshop of Sergey Miroshnichenko. In 2010 she won the grand prize for the best director in the Festival of Cinematography. Her first project "2 in 1" in 2011 won a diploma at the film festival "St. Anna" and has participated with this film in various international and national festivals such as: Tempo (Sweden), Kinoshock, MIFF, "Stalker", ARTDOKFEST (Award laurel branch), etc. In 2012 she won first prize for the best documentary at the 19th film festival "St. Anna" for the advanced project "Not with us."

"I learned the lesson the hard way that your country, or your house, can be a prison, if you're a girl in love with a girl. If you're a girl and a guy leaves you, everyone sympathizes with you, but if you're a girl that is left by a girl - don't expect any sympathy.
I believe that the situation can change. When there is the Side by Side  Film Festival hope never dies.
In my opinion, we fall in love not with the body but with the soul. Side by Side is fighting for the right to love, the right to be happy. I am very happy to show my film at Side by Side."

Milena Chernyavskaya (The Beginning)


Milena Chernyavskaya makes her debut as a producer and screenwriter with the short film The Beginning. She is a graduate of the Journalism Department at Moscow State University.  She studied film production at Moscow Film School.  She works as a PR manager at an IT company and is the head editor and founder of AGENS – a Russian magazine for women with alternative sexual orientations.  The first issue will be released in Febuary of 2013.

"Side by Side gathers a lot of great movies. It’s especially great that there is also Russian LGBT films, which there certainly is not enough of – films about myself, friends and acquaintances. Three-quarters of our film crew is straight, so when I hear stories about the huge number of homophobes around, I cringe.

All of these political demonstrations and shouts: "Like us - the homophobes! We are normal! Well, what kind of a self-respecting gay would be asking heterosexuals for mercy? Let everyone find their courage and will to live dignified and openly. For me, going forward, being better, being bold – it’s not a matter of orientation but a matter of attitude towards life in general. And when it comes to films - the more we shoot, the higher the level of competition, the better and more interesting the films will be. "


Elena Ustinova & Zhanna Zhunusova (Mauve)

Elena Ustinova is based in Orenburg, Russia. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Psychology at Orenburg State University.  She participated in the Interregional Festival of Student Creativity Na-Nikolayevskoi (2005).  She is one of the founders of MOV Production.  Shades of Mauve (screenwriter, directory, producer) is her first work.

Zhanna Zhunusova is based in Orenburg, Russia.  She is a fifth-year student at the Faculty of Foreign Languages at Orenburg State Pedagogical University.  She participated in the literary contest “Debut” in 2011 for the nomination “Long prose” with the story “Imago”.In April  2012 she and Elena Ustinova started a creative union called MOV Production. The short film Shades of Mauve (director, producer, author of the original story) is MOV Production’s first work in the area of film.

Elena Ustinova & Zhanna Zhunusova: "The current situation of LGBT people in Russia is disturbing. Misunderstanding, violence, discrimination and harassment from the authorities and society – this is what we are facing.  Side by Side is an opportunity to be heard and understood, and to draw public attention to LGBT issues.

In our film we talk about what all young people go through when they grow up – the search for and acceptance of self, the acknowledgment of your sexuality, standing up for the right to be yourself, the problem of choice, the desire to love and be loved.  Love is a privilege of the soul and it doesn't have the characteristics of age, social status or gender.  That's why love arises without much consideration.  It's not worth to judge a person's choice as right or wrong, good or bad.  There are many shades between black and white – the entire spectrum of the rainbow."



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