There were no red carpets, no tickets, nor a fancy jury at the Russian outdoor film festival — just an audience happy to choose a winner for a competition that started back in June.
The competing short films were shown for free across the whole country in cities, towns and small remote villages. Millions watched and voted with the lights on their smartphones.
The festival is non-profit and only exists thanks to donations and volunteers.
There were 85 films on the main programme this year and 10 were shortlisted. It was clear that the audience preferred humour and a happy ending. One of the funnier films previewed at the festival was ‘Harmony’.
It depicts one mother’s battle to learn to respect her son’s passion for air guitar. Another favourite was ‘Set-up’ which tells the story of a corrupt governor who traps the devil.