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Jury for VII Side by Side LGBT Film Festival, 2014 

Sergey Khazov-Cassia

Sergei Khazov-Cassia was born in 1980 in Leningrad. He graduated from the Department of Journalism at Moscow State University. Sergei is a special correspondent for the weekly magazine The New Times, the author of the novel A Different Childhood (long listed for Russkaya Premia - a Russian literary prize), and written numerous articles on LGBT issues. Sergei is a laureate of the European Press Prize, 2013.

Statement  Yuli Daniel has a wonderful poem House: I looked out the window and saw a house. Just an ordinary house an unimaginable wonder. Daniel wrote this poem in 1965 when he was a detainee at the KGB detention centre in Lefortovo. From a window of his prison cell, a regular apartment block seemed like something extraordinary, a reminder of what life is really all about. Side by Side is just such a house that Russian people get a glimpse of once in a while. Ordinary people living somewhere in Paris or New York are probably not surprised by films dealing with LGBT themes, or film festivals in general. They have an opportunity to see something new every Saturday night if they like. In our circumstances, however, such a simple thing as a good movie dealing with an important subject matter becomes a kind of revelation, a vision of the mysterious ordinary life glimpsed through the window of a prison cell.

Leda Garina

Leda was born in Leningrad in 1981. In 2008, she graduated from the Theatre Arts Academy in Saint Petersburg. Leda is a director, screenwriter, activist, feminist, and blogger.

Statement: In 1992, when I was 11 years old, I realized that I wanted to be a director and I still have not changed my mind. But in 2010, when I was first exposed to social activism, I understood that art cannot exist separately from society, from that space-time continuum in which we live. We cannot put on plays about butterflies as we watch this train we are on charge towards the edge of a cliff. We must try and stop it. The LGBT question is just one of the many issues which are used to separate and divide us, forcing us to hate one another. I believe that everyone who sees and understands this, feels that everything possible must be done to overcome this situation and continuing separation.

Ivan Chuvilyaev

Ivan was born in 1985. He graduated from the Theatre Department at the Saint Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy. Ivan is a film critic and a curator of the Off Side Programme at the 2morrow Film Festival. His work is published in magazines such as Seans, Iskusstvo Kino and portals Art1,, and others.

Statement: I think, for a film critic to be a member of a film festival jury is akin to public service. It is not all about the writing once in a while one needs to do something useful (and pleasant) this is especially the case when we are talking about a festival like Side by Side. To participate in an event like this, here and now, is an honour for every decent human being. Not to mention that about eighty per cent of every professional field is comprised of bores (or to rephrase very strict professionals). Here, it seems, there is none of that (hooray!). Instead, there is an alternative, different, independent point of view and that is the most valuable thing that exists on our little planet. This point of view needs all the support we can give and all our appreciation so that it remains as such and never becomes like everyone elses towing a strictly professional line.

Pavel Loparev

Pavel was born in 1980 in Tyumen. His first degree is in journalism. Pavel worked as a news correspondent for 8 years, including a stint at Russias Channel One. Pavels second degree is in film directing. In 2008, he graduated from the Marina Razbezhkinas School of Documentary Film. Pavel is one of the founders and a director of CATOUT an animation studio - which specializes in social and educational projects. In 2014, Pavel, together with Askold Kurov, produced the film Children-404, which premiered at the HotDocs Film Festival in Toronto. Children-404 won a prize in the political film category at the Hamburg Film Festival.

Statement: Theres a feeling that in modern Russia gay or lesbian is not just a sexual orientation but also a political position, or more precisely, opposition. This personal, intimate and delicate sphere becomes a forum for political discussion. Although it would be a stretch to call it a discussion, rather, its a manipulation of concepts such as tradition, morals and faith. Under these circumstances, a thoughtful, articulate and balanced conversation with people who share your values and are concerned with the same issues as you becomes especially important.

Metha Brown

How can stories illuminate under-represented experiences and transform the way we construct cities and relationships? Those questions have guided Metha Brown (BFA, Acting; MA, Planning) for more than 15 years. Metha has worked on projects and in organizations that used participatory film to craft compelling narratives that open up dialogue and/or shift policy frameworks. She joined Out on Screen and the Vancouver Queer Film Festival in 2014 and is proud to support the organization's visionary work as the Director of Programs & Human Resources.

Statement: Queerness is not just an identity, but a way of being, of loving, of working alongside each other in community locally and between communities globally. For me it is a commitment to unlearn relearn what it means to be in relationship. Art itself is an act of queering perspective. It makes the familiar strange so that we attune to life's richly textured layers we too often miss. When this lens is turned towards queer lives, it is a powerful catalyst to awaken and activate audiences. This is immensely vital to our collective work. Even in places where LGBTTQ communities have achieved important forms of legal entitlement, the realization of full access to equal rights is far from over. It is deeply impacted by the ways other forms of discrimination compound homophobia and transphobia. I am honoured to be part of an important moment in the Side by Side film festival and to bear witness to the important work of Russian LGBTTQ community leaders.

The BOBIK Awards

The BOBIK Award is Russias first and only award to recognize LGBT film making!

Side by Side LGBT Film Festival holds an annual competition. Features, documentaries and shorts selected for our festival are eligible to compete for our BOBIK and BOBIK audience award.

The competition jury will select films from three categories: Best Feature Film Best Documentary Film Best Short Film Audience Award: Best Film of the Entire Program