Traveling International Northern Film Festival (TINFF)

Spring 2002

The organizers are seeking:
1) submissions and nominations of films from nations outside of the RF, to include in the TINFF.
2) venues in the Arctic and Northern Nations to sponsor and show selections from the Traveling International Northern Film Festival.
3) The organizers are also seeking support for translation and producation of western films into Russian and of Russian language films into English. Anyone interested in volunteering their time to assist in organization and planning for TINFF should contact us as well.
Contacts: Gail Osherenko (, Andrey Golovnev (

The Concept

Films provide insight and understanding of differing cultural values, characteristics, and norms. Northern films (including documentary, fiction, anthropological and ecological films) demonstrate the many hues of the Circumpolar North today. They are used to facilitate cultural self-awareness, explore controversial issues, enhance cross-cultural communication, honor and preserve traditional knowledge and life ways, and increase self-respect as well as respect for cultural diversity. Film and video make it possible to cross ethnic, administrative and political borders and lead to intercultural and interethnic dialogue on the North.

The idea of a Traveling International Northern Film Festival (TINFF) arose at the 1st Northern Research Forum in Iceland in November 2000. TINFF envisions a migrating film/visual circuit that might follow the calendar of existing festivals and conferences first in Russia and then in the Nordic states, Greenland/Denmark, Canada, and the United States. TINFF will build on two previous Anthropological Film Festivals held in Salekhard, the capital of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, in 1998 and 2000, as well as the third festival planned for September 2002.

Traveling — The festival will be held in conjunction with various Northern conferences and events, the dates of which will provide a schedule for the TINFF route (i.e. Russian Festival of Anthropological Films, Salekhard, biennale, September 2002, 2004, 2006).
International — The festival will migrate over North Eurasia and the New World presenting film programs at festivals, on TV-channels, and at cultural, scientific, and social events. TINFF expects to unite Northern films authors and audiences from different countries, regions, and cultures crossing linguistic and political borders.
Northern — Geographical priority does not exclude the TINFF traveling other parts of the world, but its main goal is to re-discover the wealthy realm of Northern peoples, cultures, and nature, thus the festival will travel to northern venues and to conferences and events focused on the North.
Film Festival — The festival steps across many borders and frontiers artificially separating various cinematographic genres; it aims to evolve into a Northern film caravan of the authors of documentary, staged, anthropological, and ecological films. TINFF aims to present and compare various approaches and interpretations of the cultural values of the North.

Prospective route for TINFF 2002

The “Route” of the film festivals does not preclude a variety of other TINFF projects. The aim of the TINFF is to encourage production and distribution of films about northern peoples and cultures of Russian North and Siberia and to develop a dialogue and exchange of video-films throughout the Circumpolar North. A print and web-based catalogue of films selected for the Salekhard 2002 festival would be prepared, the Third RFAF and TINFF will establish regular and virtual “Obdorsk Film Fair” (Obdorsk is the old name of Salekhard; until the 20th century the Obdorsk fair was famous in the Russian North). TINFF offers its programs and projects to TV-channels and conferences. Universities, museums, and other organizations could select and order films from the catalogue to compose their unique version of the TINFF. Additionally, TINFF is planning to enhance the international film circuit re-making versions of films in different languages; for example, the best films from Siberia in different categories (e.g. ethnographic, documentary, ecological, native film-maker) should be awarded funding sufficient to produce the film for distribution in English. Submissions in English should be awarded funding to produce a Russian language version, thus making the highest quality films available in both English and Russian.

Prospective sponsors

Initial funding for TINFF was received from the Ethnographic Bureau (Ekaterinburg, Russia) with support from State Agency “Yamal-Inform” (Salekhard, Russia). We anticipate inviting sponsorship of the Traveling Northern International Film Festival by private foundations, regional and city governments in host cities and regions, corporations and individuals. Museums, universities, schools and colleges, as well as non-profit organizations and even independent movie theaters would be invited to host the TINFF at their locations.

Principal Organizer:
Andrey V. Golovnev, doctor of anthropology, professor, filmmaker, winner of the Grand Prix, Russian Anthropological Film Festivals 1998 and 2000, senior researcher of the Institute of History and Archeology, director of the Ethnographic Bureau, Ekaterinburg, Russia (