Over the course of eight days 28 films from around the world were presented with key discussions on the LGBT movement in Russia, parenthood of transgendered identified persons and accepting transgendered children. Q & As were held with director Marianne Lambert - I Don’t Belong Anywhere: the Cinema of Chantal, Ackerman, Freddie McConnell - British trans-activist - who story was told in Seahorse, Alina Aliyeva - director of the Russian documentary that looks at non-binary issues, Are you a Boy or a Girl? and Irma Testa - Italian boxer and protagonist of the documentary Butterfly. All interactive events were available online and the festival was visited by more than one and a half thousand spectators.
Jury members of the XII Side by Side were film critics: Ksenia Ilyina, Timur Aliyev, LGBT activist: Svetlana Zakharova and Berlinale, Panorama Director: Michael Stutz.
Winner for the best documentary short was Flesh by Camila Cater (Brazil-Spain) - a story of five women narrating their experiences of physicality.
Whole by Bulgarian director Slava Doytcheva won best fiction short - a piercing 20 minute narrative about the opposition of the individual to the pressure of a patriarchal society.
Tim Travers Hawkins’s XY Chelsea, a dramatic portrait of Chelsea Manning in the recent past who served time for the the Wikileaks case, won best documentary.
Finally, the main prize for the best feature went to the Ground Beneath My Feet by the Austrian director Marie Kreutzer. Shot in a restrained and disturbing manner, the reveals the pressures of a business consultant and her older sister suffering from mental health issues.
The audience awards went to The Orphan by Carolina Markowicz and Disobedience by Sebastian Lelio.
Once again opposition attempted to disrupt the festival proceedings - the first five days experiencing hoax bomb threats, which led to evacuations and lengthy delays. Conducted in an atmosphere of solidarity and unity, Side by Side, audience, guests, partners and sponsors were able to overcome the difficulties and lost only one screening and experienced busy events.
Lawyers are currently following through with the incidents.