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About the festival

The festival project "On the Edge" was born eight years ago on the island of Sakhalin. Since then, it has grown from a run-of-the-mill Russian film fair into a large international forum with an extensive and wide-ranging film programme, an international competition, a jury and a number of creative workshops running during the festival.
Project "On the Edge" was born ten years ago on the Sakhalin island. What started as a run-of-the mill Russian film fair, has grown over time into a large international forum with a broad-ranging programme, a representative competition, a respectable jury and a number of creative workshops open for broad audiences. Today, "On the Edge" is more than a traditional film festival. First, it is an efficient driver for social development in a region where locals do not remain passive onlookers, but pro-actively interact with the festival, improving the quality of their own lives, expanding their word view and obtaining new opportunities for their creative self-fulfillment.

In 2019, the international festival map got a new spot: "On the Edge: Go West." The upcoming 2021 edition of the festival is meant to be a large social project, a regional centre of attraction for creativity, a place of power where every visitor can become a participant and express themselves in different arts.

The title "On the Edge" stands not only and not so much to highlight remoteness in space. What it signifies foremost is the invisible borderline between the projector's beam and the darkness of a screening room.


The festival will have three juries – Young Jury, Teachers' Jury and a Professional one. This year, the juries are going to award two prizes each: the Special Prize, which is awarded at the jury's sole discretion, and the second prize that is specific to each jury. The Professional Jury's Author prize is awarded for the "author's vision" in the broadest sense. The Teachers' Jury Hero prize will be awarded to the film, director, actor or actress who managed to create and portray the most compelling and contemporary protagonist. The Young Jury's prize – Story –may be called the guiding motto for the entire festival. It is bound to be given to a film where the teenagers have discovered the most accurate depiction of themselves.

The Grand-Prix will be awarded as a result of joint consultations of all three juries.


The festival will open at the Kaliningrad Regional Drama Theater on 30 April with a screening of Le Havre, a 2011 dramedy by Aki Kaurismäki.

The main competition of KIFF On the Edge.West features five fiction and five documentary films about the life of today's teenagers and the ups and downs of growing up. An unusual combination of fiction and documentary cinema is a reflection of a global trend where true-life stories sometimes provoke a keener interest and response from the audience than fictional ones.

The out-of-competition On the Edge program is concise and conceptual. Some of the films have been "borrowed" from the Sundance independent film festival, such as A Glitch in the Matrix directed by Rodney Ascher, which shows renowned philosophers, economists and cultural figures reflecting on the subject "What is modernity?" The Russian film Hey, Teachers, a participant of this year's Artdocfest, is a poignant social drama about young teachers finding themselves in a school that is still trapped in the Soviet past.

"We are going to have a lot of big names and smash hits, such as Droneman by the Czech director Petr Zelenka and the two versions (feature and educational ones) of Caught in the Net about teenagers who suffered from blackmail and intimidation on the Internet. This film is a must for everyone as it is a reflection on what the future holds for us – the future that starts today and is full of possibilities but also full of dangers" (Alexey Medvedev, Program Director of On the Edge. West)

Perfect Match, another out-of-competition program, will show some of the 21st century films that could run in the On the Edge competition program if they were recently made.

"Arguably, the main cinematic highlight of this program will be the screening of 14+. The film fits the bill perfectly for what we need for the teenager program and the young generation," Alexey Medvedev said. At the festival, the film 14+ will be presented by its director Andrey Zaitsev and actress Olga Ozollapiņa.

The closing film will be Last Days at Sea. Before KIFF 2021, the movie by the Filipino director Venice Atienza was only shown online at the Berlinale for industry professionals, so its screening at On the Edge festival qualifies as its world offline premiere.

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