XV International Film Festival
The World of Knowledge

Main Theme 2020:
October 14-18 2020
Saint Petersburg
Reconstructing the Future

Programme of Festival 2021

Competition Program

The main competition program of the festival The World of Knowledge 2020 includes nine films from the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and other countries, which premiered at Sundance, Berlinale, Cph:Dox, Tribeca, True/False festivals. The authors of these documentaries address the topical issues of modern science – from mathematics to genetics – and talk about the challenges that people will have to face in the 21st century: climate change and a revolution in the food industry, endangered animal species and artificial intelligence bias, the ability of robots to love and harassment in the scientific community, as well as how New York and Paradise, a town in California, cope with a heat wave and the worst fire in America’s history.

Curators’ programs

The curator Maya Kuzina’s program The Politics of the Gaze: Revisiting the Ethnographic Archive will present experimental and little-known areas of “visual anthropology” that developed in parallel with the tradition of classical ethnographic film. The program will open with a screening of Expedition Content (USA, 2020, Ernst Karel, Veronika Kusumaryati), a film about the Peabody expedition to New Guinea in 1961 and the colonial hierarchy between researchers and locals.

The curator of The Tension of Ambiguity Dmitry Bezuglov reflects on how cognition depends on social communication and how ethical boundaries help and hinder the development of modern science. The films he chose will tell us about scientists preparing for contact with extraterrestrial intelligence (Contact), psychological experiments at an arctic station (Antarctic Syndrome), the faults of urban science in the past (Misleading Innocence) and impudence in genetic engineering (Every Hologenome For Themselves).

The curator of the program I’m Growing Up Kseniya Gapchenko has gathered stories of children and young people who, just like adults, work and study the fundamentals of economic relations (Tongue Cutters), fight gender stereotypes and defend their right to self-determination (The Eagle Huntress), make their first serious decisions and answer really grown-up questions (I Am Eleven).

The screenings will take place at Lenfilm, tickets are publicly available.


For the first time this year, the Petersburg bookshop Poryadok Slov will hold a program of lectures run jointly by the festival and the Alpina Non-Fiction publisher. The moderator of the program is General Director and Editor-in-Chief of Alpina Non-Fiction Pavel Podkosov. Among the speakers are the biologist and science journalist Polina Loseva, the media expert Ilya Yablokov, the anthropologist Kristen Ghodsee, the science journalist Alexander Sokolov. Admission to lectures is free, advance registration required.

Experts from the film and media industry will talk about the future of cinema, journalism and digital at online lectures organized by the Gorky Film Studio. The recordings of lectures will be published on The speakers are the film critic, Editor-in-Chief of the magazine Iskusstvo Kino Anton Dolin, the journalist, director, producer, the author of the film Listyev: A New Look Rodion Chepel, Editor-in-Chief of the international project Russia Beyond, the co-founder of Mediatoolbox Agency Vsevolod Pulya.

Special projects

At the Open Film Studio Lendoc, people will have the opportunity to attend a stand of the bookshop Poryadok Slov and look at new popular science books and the best books about cinema. The Lendoc Museum will hold GamelLab Lendok, an interactive sound installation by the sound artist Boris Shershenkov.

Special event

The special screening of FREM (2020, Viera Čákanyová, with Martin Kovačík) that premiered at the Forum, Berlinale in 2020, will take place at Lenfilm. The poetic sensory experiment, combining science and art, reality and fiction, the biological and the technological, models perceiving the Earth as artificial intelligence at the end of the Anthropocene epoch.