Years running: 15 (since 2004)

Saratov Sufferings Documentary Film Festival

International Film Festival of Documentary Drama


Saratov Sufferings International Film Festival of Documentary Drama is the only film festival in the world which deals with the genre of documentary drama. Saratov Sufferings was created 15 years ago and takes place every year in September in Saratov (Russia). The city has long cinema traditions. The famous Russian war cinematographer and documentary filmmaker Vladislav Mikosha did his first step in profession here at the Lower-Volga Newsreel Studio. It’s the oldest film studio in the country which has existed since 1927. Now here is the cinema theater and the main host of film festival.

The title of the film festival is taken after the old aged folk music genre of Saratov «suffering», which means the emotional refrain and rhyme. This is the low-budget film festival, we can’t offer screening fee but we can repay your costs by warm and friendly atmosphere and incredible films from all over the globe. Helena Trestikova, Maria Kravchenko, Alexander Nanau, Marina Razbezhkina, Kim Longinotto, Dmitriy Kubasov, David Kinsella, Rodion Ismailov, Laura Herrero Garvin, Uli Gaulke, Till Harms and etc. took part in different years in festival. 

Saratov Sufferings are looking for wonderful independent documentary films from all over the world. The theatrical style documentaries are required conditions. The festival doesn’t accept television documentaries and reports. 

The special theme of this festival edition is volunteering and civic activism. The festival accepts documentary films of any length and from all over the globe about social changes and people who believe in the possibility to transform society on their own.


  • Jury Grand Prix  
  • Jury Award for the Best Documentary – the 1st Prize  
  • Jury Award for the Best Documentary – the 2d Prize  
  • Jury Award for the Best Documentary – the 3d Prize
  • Jury Award for the Best Cinematography n.a. Vladislav Mikosha
  • Jury Award for the Best Debut
  • Special Jury Award
  • Audience Award for the Best Documentary


  • Feature and short documentary films completed after January 1, 2017 are eligible for Saratov Sufferings with preference given to films premiering after January 1, 2018. 
  • The premiere is not required but preference given to films with open Russian premiere.
  • Feature length films that have been released theatrically or broadcast on television nationally prior to the festival or are available on DVD or VOD are not eligible for competition status and will be considered for non-competitive sections only under special circumstances determined by the festival. 
  • Films not in English must be subtitled in English. All films must have English srt. subtitles.
  • Submission should be made via Filmfreeway.

Premiere Requirements

No premiere requirement

Jury and Organizers

Director: Tatiana Zorina

Festival Coordinators:

Kate Rusakovich: +7-917-023-42-82
Lera Ogourtsova: +7-905-387-60-33




Official website



Russia 410031, Saratov, Oktyabrskaya st., 43

Phone: +7(917)-023-42-82



Social Networks:

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Dates & Deadlines
  • Opening date
    January 10, 2018
  • Earlybird Deadline
    March 15, 2018
  • Regular Deadline
    May 31, 2018
  • Late Deadline
    July 19, 2018
  • Notifications
    August 20, 2018
  • Event dates
    25 — 30 September 2018
Categories & Fees

International and Russian documentary shorts up to 40 min. Submission is free for Russian filmmakers.

  • Earlybird Deadline — $5
  • Regular Deadline — $5
  • Late Deadline — $7

Russian and international documentary films of any lenght about volunteering and civic activism. Submission is free for all filmmakers.

  • Earlybird Deadline — free
  • Regular Deadline — free
  • Late Deadline — free

Russian and internatinal feature documentaries over 40 min. Submission is free for Russian filmmakers.

  • Earlybird Deadline — $5
  • Regular Deadline — $5
  • Late Deadline — $7
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