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Greg Louganis to Headline at Russias IX Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, 17 - 26 November, 2016

Four-time Olympic Gold medallist Greg Louganis will be heading to Russia, once again, in an effort to support the local LGBTI community. Louganis, who has often spoken out critically of Russia's  anti-propaganda laws will be participating in the ninth Side by Side LGBT Film Festival in Saint Petersburg, taking place from 17 26 November, 2016. 

A major focus for the festival this year is a series of documentary screenings dedicated to the exploration of the lives of world-renowned figures, Greg Louganis, Janis Joplin and Robert Mapplethorpe, each of whom excelled in their respective fields of sport, music and photography.

All the documentaries: Back on Board: Greg Louganis, Little Girl Blue: Janis, and Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, for the first time offer new and refreshing insights behind each of these major personalities.

The documentary, Back on Board followed by a Q & A with Greg Louganis serves as a centerpiece event of the festival.

Back on Board, a multi-award winner, including an Emmy nomination, chronicles Louganis rise from lonely, bullied child to universally acclaimed superstar athlete and later gay activist and spokesperson for the LGBT community in the USA.

Time and time again, throughout the film, we are reminded not only of Louganis most extraordinary talent as a diver and sportsman but also his displays of remarkable courage, strength and tenacity continuing competition at the 1988 Olympics after hitting his head on the springboard and going on the next day to qualify for the finals, and then winning the Gold; choosing to publicly come out and reveal his HIV positive status at a time in the 1990s when openly gay athletes were exceedingly rare and HIV was highly stigmatised by society.

Commenting on the event, Louganis states: I am honoured and humbled to be travelling again to Russia to support the LGBTI community. It is important and meaningful to give voice and support to youth and the community of acceptance of ourselves as human beings. To be bringing and showing Back on Board is a real tribute to the dedication of the Side by Side LGBTFilm Festival, to show people we love and care about humanity as a rich diverse culture.

Facing challenges with dignity and composure Greg Louganis is a source of inspiration for many people around the world and in Russia. Side by Side LGBT Film Festival is both excited and privileged to have Greg Louganis as a guest this year and we are certain that his presence and participation will help to further our cause bringing greater respect and tolerance towards the LGBT community in Russia.

Side by Side LGBT Film Festival opens on 17 November, 2016. The opening film is Angry Indian Goddesses and actresses Anushka Manchanda and Pavleen Gujral will be in attendance to talk more on the film and tackle issues relating to the position of women and their rights in India.

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International PR Contact:

Manny de Guerre | [email protected]