Cannes Marche exec and Stalingrad director join forthcoming Saint Petersburg International Media Forum.

Russian cinema promoter Roskino has named the latest international figures to join the board of the Saint Petersburg International Media Forum (SPIMF), set to run Oct 1-10.

The new members of the Board are Jerome Paillard, the executive director of Cannes’ Marche du Film; director and producer Fedor Bondarchuk, who also chairs the board of directors at Lenfilm Studios; and publisher Jay Penske.

Bondarchuk, director of 3D blockbuster Stalingrad, said: “The Russian media industry is becoming more and more integrated into the global media industry and is gradually starting to participate in discussions on key questions and trends as a full member.

“I’m sure that Saint Petersburg’s Media Forum will become a platform for international business, a festival with a rich and diverse programme and a market for new media technologies, uniting Russian and international professionals and audiences.”

SPIMF’s Board of Trustees is headed by Georgy Poltavchenko, St. Petersburg’s acting governor, and determines key strategies and decisions regarding the Media Forum’s programme and events preparation.

Other members of the board include Alexander Akopov (producer, President of Amedia, co-chairman of the Film and TV Producers Association), Katya Mtsitouridze (head of Roskino, film expert for Channel One and SPIMF’s general producer) and Mikhail Piotrovsky (director of the State Hermitage Museum).

The process of adding further members to the Board of Trustees is ongoing.

Ceremony staging

It was also revealed that the Media Forum’s opening and closing ceremony’s will be staged by Vasily Barkhatov, a renowned theatre director with experience in filmmaking.

Together with Katya Mtsitouridze, he is developing the script for a technological show about contemporary media, cinema and TV. The staging is to be carried out by Show Consulting, a leading company in this field.

The company has also been working on constructing the international cross-platform media market, to be held on the site of the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange.

Promoting St. Petersburg

SPIMF will aim to promote Saint Petersburg as an internationally relevant film region and to showcase its advantages in production and digital content development, be it film, TV, or internet projects.

The market element of the forum will be held from Oct 6-9 and will be attended by producers, directors, distributors and sales agents representing companies from Europe, Asia, North America, and the BRICS countries.

Representatives from NBC Universal, Warner Bros, Showtime, Starz, Fox, Sony, FremantleMedia, Lionsgate, HBO, CBS, and Endemol have confirmed their participation.

Digital technologies will be showcased by Netflix, Hulu, Film London, Tribeca Film Festival, TFI New Media Fund, Vice Media, Power to the Pixel and PopUp Cinema, and the list of their Russian counterparts includes Rambler & Co, VKontakte,, and Amediateka.    

The festival line-up of the Media Forum features 50 premieres in 10 programs created by renowned curators, as well as a creative Cinema Lab C.L.A.S.S. led by Alexander Sokurov.