“Saratov Sufferings” (“Saratovskie Stradania”) is the only film festival in the world which deals with the genre of documentary drama. Exists since 2004. Takes place in September in Saratov, the city which is situated at the bank of the Volga, the longest river in Europe. The name of the festival comes from the old folk songs about love which were called “stradania”. These women’s songs were accompanied by harmonica that were made in Saratov.
The festival traditionally focuses on love and family stories, psychological portraits, human inner world. The main competition usually consists of 15 documentaries. The second competition “Kinodoc” also shows documentaries but without the genre criteria. There are several special non-competition events (screenings, meetings, master-classes, presentations, performances) made by the members of the festival jury and the guests. The main prizes are: “Saratov Harmonica” (Grand prix), “From Saratov With Love” – the prize of city-manager of Saratov, the prize of Culture Department of Saratov region, “Vladislav Mikosha Prize” (for the best cinematography), “The First Confident Step Into Profession” (for the best debut), “The Best of Kinodoc”, special prizes from sponsors and partners. The Honored President of the festival is Oleg Tabakov, People’s Artist of the USSR. The festival director is Tatiana Zorina. The festival motto is: “Documentary films are made for viewers!”