Artem Langenburg was born in Karelia in 1978. After finishing school he moved to St. Petersburg. Artem graduated from the Philosophy Department at St. Petersburg University. He is the chief editor of the column Gorod (City) for the magazine. Artem regularly takes part in LGBT events both political and educational.

"Cinema can be and often is a powerful weapon. In its time, Bernardo Bertoluccis five-hour Novecento (1900) alerted more people to the evil of neo-fascism than any well-reasoned editorial ever did.

The film Pride which tells a story of gay and lesbian solidarity with Welsh miners at the height of Thatcherism in Britain and the documentary about the Stonewall riots have much the same effect. Side by Side Film Festival has often been the target of homophobic attacks this only confirms that the fight for freedom takes place as much in cinemas as it does on the streets.

The festival provides a space to make history, to alleviate fears, and create a space where LGBT members and concerned allies can show and experience solidarity.



Tatyana Voltskaya is a poet and author of several anthologies including Arrow, Cicada, Tatyana's Letter, Corner of Nevsky and Kreschatik. As a journalist she has collaborated with many journals such as Literaturnaya Gazeta (Literary Newspaper) and Russkaya Mysl (Russian Thought). Currently, she works at the Radio Svoboda (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty).

"I have no particular interest in the LGBT-community; they have their own business and I have mine. We have different perspectives on many things. For example, is it necessary to make a big deal out of who has sex with who and why? I think it is not necessary. They have a different opinion and that is OK. But what is not normal is when people have a rally and stones are thrown at them. It is not normal when people unfold a rainbow banner and other people, with angrily distorted faces, are eager to trample on it. It is not normal when "rainbow people" are beaten up by those who hold an icon and mouth curses. It is not normal when denunciations are written about them and they are fired from work. Today, when the air has darkened, and fear is spreading in souls, I see that "rainbow people" are not afraid. They can escape the circle of their own problems and stand up against war, aggression and violence in any sphere. I remember that, like me, they are against obscurantism and violence, and therefore, we are together."



Arseniy Vesnin graduated from the History Department of St. Petersburg State University. Since 2012 Arseniy has worked on the radio station Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) in St. Petersburg, where he hosts several programs: Magistrat (The Magistrate), Overtime with Gennadiy Orlov, Osoboye Mneniye (Special Opinion), and Utrenniy Razgovor (Morning Talk).

"I hope that the spotlights, projectors and screens of the festival shine a light of enlightenment and kindness. Today we all have the opportunity to speak out and we must. We must confront societal ills together. I ask you, the intellectuals, to please remember that it is not just the educated and the minorities who need respect, but also those who are ignorant and misled. Snobbery is what I would like to caution against. I hope to see some truly great films."