5 Facts About Minsk Film Festival And Why You Should Go There

A week of the Minsk International Film Festival Listapad starts tomorrow and will last till 9 November. This year Belarus’ biggest cinema event will celebrate its quarter-century anniversary.

25 years!

What is it?

Minsk International Film Festival is one of the most iconic cultural events of Belarus.

Listapad includes the main competition and the competition among young directors of feature and documentary movies. Every year the program features about 150 films from more than 50 countries.

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The festival brings together famous cinematographers, actors, cinema fans. It provides a platform for communication between cinema professionals.

Out-of-program program includes various workshops, discussions and exhibitions.

The International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) accredits it’s as a film festival of Baltic, Central Asia, Central and Eastern Europe countries.


At the moment the festival is open for feature and documentary films.  They should be no older than 2 years to be allowed to participate.


There is also a special competition for full-length feature films and animation films for kids.

Fiction, documentary and animated films created by Belarusian authors in Belarus and abroad participate in the National Competition.

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The traditional format of the festival includes not only viewers’ voting, but also discussions between authors and viewers.

The top prize of the festival “Golden Listapad” is awarded not as a viewer’s choice but by International Jury.


This year edition is accompanied by scandals. Several Belarusian directors withdrew their films from participation in the festival.


The decision was taken in response to changes in judging of the National Competition. Since this year the film festival management won’t take part in the selection of films.

The final word remains with the commission, headed by First Deputy Minister of Culture. The directors say such a move deprives the contest of objectivity and neglect the rights and freedom of creativity.

What to watch?

If you happen to be in Belarus this week, don’t miss the chance to watch the independent movies suggested by Belarusian film experts.

Crystal Swan is a must-watch both for Belarusians and foreigners. The movie is the first Oscar submission from Belarus since 1994.

It revolves around the life of a young female Belarusian DJ who lives in Minsk in the mid-1990s and dreams of emigrating and finding fame in America. Others are Core of the World, A Stranger On My Coach, Over The Limit, and 303.

Read also: Warning! After watching these 7 videos you’ll want to stay in Belarus forever

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda is for cinephiles and moviegoers, the aesthetes may like The Price Of Everything, and those interested in Russian realities should not miss Hermit.

The full program of the festival can be found here.