Public date

26 September 2020
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This year, following in the footsteps of the Gorky Film Studio, the festival is undergoing a major rebranding

From 14 to 18 October, the 15th International Festival of Popular Science and Educational Films The World of Knowledge organized by the Gorky Film Studio will be held in St. Petersburg in a new format. It’s going to be a large interdisciplinary project that will show how modern science can express itself in art and use film language to communicate with the audience.

“In this anniversary year, we are happy to announce that we are relaunching The World of Knowledge in an up-to-date format. One of the oldest festivals in Russia and the only international science film festival in St. Petersburg, it’s going to be a major innovative platform for interdisciplinary dialogue: between science and art. The festival has a new concept, a new team and a new brand identity. The festival will host the best documentary films about science and other fields, original thematic programs, an international jury of the highest caliber and many special events,” says General Director of the Gorky Film Studio Yuliana Slashcheva.

The festival will open on 14 October with the Russian premiere of the film I Am Greta (Nathan Grossman, Sweden, 2020) which is organized in collaboration with Beat Films, the Russian distributor of the film. The biopic of one of the most talked about young women of the past year, the environmental activist Greta Thunberg, will be presented to the audience of The World of Knowledge just a month after its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

People will have the opportunity to see science and research films brought from the major international film festivals – Sundance, Berlinale, IFFR, Cph:Dox. This year, the theme of The World of Knowledge is rebuilding the future. The films provide a critical view of modern history and ask questions about possible futures. Apart from the competition program, the festival will also present three special programs from curators, including the children’s program.

Lead experts from the USA, Switzerland and Russia represent the international jury of the festival. The biologist and filmmaker Samer Angelone, the founder of Global Science Film Festival, is the head of the Swiss Science Film Academy. The American anthropologist and musician Ernst Karel is the head of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University. The engineer, composer, researcher, teacher and media artist Ryan McGee (USA). The Russian members of the jury are the art scholar and curator Irina Aktuganova and the science journalist Maria Pazi.

The new team of the festival includes lead curators and producers whose names are associated with such venues and events as St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, Andrey Tarkovsky International Film Festival Zerkalo, Documentary Film Center, Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Moscow and others.

The Program Director of the festival is a famous film critic, curator and producer Konstantin Shavlovsky, Creative Producer – Alexandra Akhmadschina, Executive Director – Anton Smirnov, Curators – Dmitry Bezuglov, Maya Kuzina and Kseniya Gapchenko, Art Direction – Anna Naumova and Kirill Blagodatskikh (ANKB).

The festival will hold special events including talks by famous scientists and science communicators organized together with Alpina Non-Fiction, the largest Russian publisher of popular science literature. There will also be a book fair held in partnership with the bookshop “Poryadok Slov”.

The festival will take place in Lendoc Film Cluster, Rodina and Lenfilm Film Centers, the bookshop “Poryadok Slov” and at the European University in St. Petersburg.

The full program and schedule will be announced in early October.


The first festival took place in 2006. For several years, the president of the festival was the Soviet and Russian physicist Sergey Kapitsa. The Gorky Film Studio has hosted The World of Knowledge since 2006. At least 13,000 people attend film screenings and special events of the festival every year. The competition program includes films from the USA, Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Norway, Russia and other countries. Among the participants of events are special guests: prominent figures in the field of science, education, cinema and media. Talks and retrospectives of films for adults and children, VR film screenings are held at various venues around the city. For more information about the festival of 2019, visit the website:

The Maxim Gorky Central Film Studio for Children and Youth is one of the oldest and largest film studios in Russia. It has released more than 1000 films, including “Seventeen Moments of Spring”, “Officers”, “Frosty”, “The Dawns Here Are Quiet…”, “The Night Before Christmas”, “White Bim Black Ear”, “Three Poplars at Plyuschikha Street”, “Guest from the Future”, “Moscow: Cassiopeia”, “Carnival”, “Love and Lies”, “Pirates of the XXth Century”, “Three Plus Two” and many others. In May 2020, the studio launched an official YouTube channel featuring their golden collection of films. According to their new development strategy, in the coming years, the Gorky Film Studio will restore their shooting pavilions, upgrade their technological base and become the country’s leader in the production of popular science films, documentary films and fiction films for young people and families, as well as a creative cluster for young talented filmmakers, screenwriters and producers.

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