7th International Film Festival ARCTIC OPEN REGULATIONS


Hosted by the city of Arkhangelsk, the 7th International Film Festival ARCTIC OPEN (hereinafter, ‘AO FF’) features competitively selected films, serving as a venue for promoting auteur and independent films made domestically and internationally, that follow the life in the Arctic areas and explore ethnic identities. AO FF sees itself as an inter-regional platform and cultural film cluster that brings together creative individuals from different backgrounds to shape multidimensional, cross-cultural communications.


AO FF has as its goal to raise awareness and promote auteur documentaries, feature length films and shorts that focus on local ethnic identities and challenges faced in the Arctic areas. By organizing interactive, multi-genre venues and creating business and training opportunities for filmmakers, we seek to bring them closer to the audiences. Screenings, meet-the-artist sessions, award giving ceremonies are all part of this process, designed to stimulate creative endeavors, professional growth, experience exchange, intercultural cooperation, and new contacts.


The 7th International Film Festival ARCTIC OPEN will take place in Arkhangelsk from December 7 to 10, 2023. Its ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN programme will be open to viewers during the fall break between November 1 and November 4, 2023.


AO FF is organized by BEREGINYA Pomor Culture Foundation in cooperation with Arkhangelsk Ministry of Culture, Arkhangelsk Governor’s Center, M.V. Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University, and KinoPort project. The 7th International Film Festival ARCTIC OPEN is a recipient of grant from the Presidential Fund for Cultural Initiatives and subsidy from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation.

Film selection and screening are the responsibility of AO FF managing team.


ARCTIC OPEN FF unfolds in stages:

Stage 1 involves preparations and delivery of actions on ARCTIC OPEN-2023 and ARCTIC OPEN – CHILDREN programmes;  

Stage 2 echoes the ARCTIC OPEN film selection in other Russian regions via ARCTIC OPEN Film Marathon–2024. Screenings and meet-the-artist events will take place particularly in Saint-Petersburg and Syktyvkar (Komi), the latter city will be hosting a workshop of film society movement; and

Stage 3 features the film camp “Digital Pedagogy School”, which will be organized in Kenozero National Park.

This year’s ARCTIC OPEN FF features  

  • Best Feature Length Film nominees;
  • Best Short nominees;
  • Best Documentary nominees;
  • Best Children’s Film nominees;
  • Opening and closing ceremonies;
  • Official selection and non-competition showing at 10 cinemas in 5 cities of Arkhangelsk province;
  • Non-competition showing of releases from jury and special guests;
  • Festival Film Night;
  • Special showings: VR sessions “Underwater World: Wild Whales” for children, “Big Cinema to Small Screens”, “ARCTIC OPEN Barrierless”, and outdoor Arctic Cinema.
  • Training sessions for early-career filmmakers, cultural workers and teachers: ARCTIC HEAT, an experimental video anthology which will involve Tashkent-based student filmmakers of the Russian National Institute for Cinematography and local videographers;
  • Arctic 2062, where the filmmakers will team up with Arctic-related media, scientists and business community to present their vision of the future of the Russian Arctic as a way to general ideas for new film projects and cultural policies;
  • Retrospective of cartoon musicals timed to the 90th anniversary of Soyuzmultfilm animation director Inessa Kovalevskaya;
  • Port City Music show and Russian Jazz sessions for music students;
  • Round tables, exhibitions, presentations, press conferences;
  • Entertainment and cultural immersion.


To apply for participation, please fill out the form at:  https://forms.gle/r2w7RKm2xADQ17Jy8

All Russian films submitted for preview by the shortlisting panel must have English subtitles, and all international releases Russian subtitles. Applying is free of charge.

Arctic Open welcomes full-length feature films, documentaries, and shorts (max. duration: 30 min) released in 2022-2023. Submit your film as an AVI or MPEG file; shortlisted films will need to be re-submitted as DCP.

The deadline for submissions to the 7th International Film Festival ARCTIC OPEN is September 10, 2023. Films submitted after this date will not be considered.


The body responsible for accepting submissions in the official selection is the Selection Panel. The Selection Panel reserves the right to withhold comments or explanations as to reasons for rejection.

Films shortlisted for the ARCTIC OPEN Official Selection 2023 will be announced on November 10, 2023. ARCTIC OPEN – Children will announce is results on October 25, 2023.


A submission can be nominated only in one category and may not appear in two or more categories. After viewing the submissions, the Selection Panel will provide the shortlist for posting on https://arctic-open.com/.

Films accepted in the Official Selection must provide the following:
– materials for including into our catalog (synopsis in Russian and English; film director bio and filmography; of film director photo; stills/film frames), close-ups are preferable;
– editorial script or dialog continuity in English and Russian;
– link to teaser, trailer/compilation;
– films by international filmmakers should have Russian subtitles; 
– materials we can post on Arctic Open webpage (press release, stills/film frames/photos/pictures of main characters, preferably close-ups).

It is a requirement that your application is filled out in accordance with the ARCTIC OPEN FF Regulations. In the event you fail to provide a fully completed application or provide an application that contains errors, or if your film is unsubtitled, ARCTIC OPEN FF will not be liable for any incorrect or incomplete presentation of your film in its info/promo materials.

All films shortlisted for the official selection should attach to their participation confirmation letter the materials (info and promo materials) as specified in the application form, within the time period to be indicated by AO FF. All demo versions must be in their original language and have English subtitles (or Russian in case of international submissions).


Films accepted in AO FF official selection must not contain any advertising materials. The AO FF managing team reserves the right to withdraw all such materials from the copy.

Copies of the films selected for AO FF’s official programs must be submitted before November 25, 2023. The transportation of the films to and from the screening venues is the responsibility of AO FF.

The copies should be collected from AO FF not later than December 12, 2023, following which date the festival is not responsible for further storage and safekeeping.

In special cases, films can be delivered to AO FF by owners themselves, in which case the delivery and safekeeping of films will be the owners’ sole responsibility. Film copies must be provided at least two (2) days prior to the official showing date.


Films shortlisted for any of AO FF’s selections, including the official one, may be shown the maximum of four (4) times without prior written consent from the film producer or their authorized representative.

Regardless of the owners of film distribution rights, all films on AO FF’s official selection will form part of its post-festival events and ARCTIC OPEN Film Marathon as may be scheduled until May 30, 2023.


All films in AO FF’s official selection will be judged by four jury panels (one for full length feature films, one for short feature films, one for documentaries, and one for children’s and youth films) consisting of competent connoisseurs of filmmaking, the minimum size being twelve (12). The chair of each jury panel will have two (2) votes.

Neither of the four jury panels may include members who have been engaged in making or commercial distribution of any of the selected films. The jury panels will select winners in each of the nominated categories. The members of each jury panel agree and warrant to refrain from making any public statements concerning the selected films prior to the Festival closing date.

The expenses relating to the stay of each of the jury panel members at the AO FF throughout its duration, will be borne by AO FF.


All matters relating to invitation of guests, as well as to the duration and conditions of their stay, will be dealt with by AO FF managing team.

It is a requirement that each film accepted in AO FF official selection has a representative present at the festival events.

AO FF undertakes to cover participants’ accommodation and catering expenses throughout the entire duration of its official showings and cultural and business programs.

AO FF reserves the right to invite guests, journalists and experts as it sees fit and regardless of whether such guests, journalists or experts have or have not been directly involved in making any of the films in the official selection. The conditions of their stay are subject to individual agreements.

AO FF is free to invite guests – workers of culture, filmmaking and performing arts, political figures, businesses – as it deems fit.


Media are requested to email their journalist accepting applications to AO FF Press Center: arctic.kinofest@gmail.com. The Applications are welcome between November 1 and December 1, 2023.

All expenses relating to a journalist’s participation in AO FF are the responsibility of their employers.  

AO FF may at its sole discretion cover, fully or partially, the accommodation and catering expenses of its invited journalist’. In case of full coverage, invoices and payment documents will not be issued to the journalist.  

Journalists undertake to attend all press conferences and film showings on AO FF’s program.

AO FF reserves the right to reject a journalist application without giving reasons.

AO FF may, at any time and without giving reasons, deny a journalist access to its events.


Accreditation badges will be issued to the accredited guests, participants and media during the registration hour on AO FF’s opening day.


The winning films will be awarded with statuettes, special prizes, certificates, or valuable presents.

AO FF awards include:

Official selection:

Best Feature Film

Best Short Film

Best Documentary

Best Children’s and Youth Film

Best Feature Film Director

Best Feature Film Scriptwriter

Best Feature Film Camerawork

Best Short Film Director

Best Short Film Scriptwriter

Best Short Film Camerawork

Best Documentary Director

Best Documentary Camerawork

Best Documentary Script

Best Children’s Film Director

Best Child Actor

Special prizes from sponsors
Special Jury Mention

Award for Special Contribution to Russian Filmmaking

The jury may resolve on extra nominations subject to approval from AO FF managing team.  


By participating in AO FF you agree with all sections of these Regulations.

AO FF managing team reserves the right to change festival program. In the event a dispute arises with respect to these Regulations, the version in Russian supersedes its English translation. AO FF will not be liable for any claims relating to copyright or any associated rights.  


AO FF is operated by BEREGINYA Pomor Culture Foundation

Web: http://fbereginya.com/

E-mail: arctic.kinofest@gmail.com

Legal address: 5 Pomorskaya St., office 405, 163000 Arkhangelsk


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