In Memory of the Founder

On the Festival’s Founder

Victor Fedorovich Semenyuk was born on 29th November 1940 in Vladivostok. In 1963 he graduated from the Philology Faculty of Kharkov University, and from the Faculty of Directing of VGIK (L. Kristi workshop) in 1973. From 1973 he worked at LSDF (now known as the St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio). From 1989 he was the director of the MKF programme Message to Man in St Petersburg. From 1998 he led the documentary film workshop at Saint Petersburg State University of Film and Television, and was the director of the Faculty of Directing at the university. From 2001 to 2012 he was the director of the student film festival PiterKit.

Despite having health problems, in recent years Viktor Semenyuk continued to teach and take part in events, attended film festivals and his own retrospectives, organised by students for his 15 year anniversary at the university.

“His lectures always gathered a large following of students; he really loved cinema, he had the ability to inspire and surprise”, recalls Vlad Amelin, a graduate of the Saint Petersburg State University of Film and Television and one of Semenyuk’s students, “Thank you, immortal master, for welcoming me into the world of cinema. We will never forget you!”

Viktor passed away not soon after the conclusion of PiterKit XIV, on 23rd October 2014.


As Director (all documentary films):
1975 — Running Start
1978 — I Consider it Necessary 
1978 — An Equation with Six Celebrities 
1980 — Karpov plays with Karpov
1981 — Amusement Time 
1982 — Front 
1983 — Arkhangelsk – A five century history
1983 — The Accent 
1984 — The Secret of Marriage

1985 — A Yaroslav Portrait 
1986 — Habitat 
1987 — Farmers 
1988 — Smoke of the Homeland 
1988 — The State Road 
1988 — Entrepreneurs 
1989 — Illusion 
1990 — Mea Culpa 
1990 — Remembering the Blockade
1992 — House of the Romanovs 

As Screenwriter:
1986 — Habitat
1988 — The State Road
1990 — Mea Culpa
1992 — House of the Romanovs (with V. Belyakov)

Recognition and Awards:

Moscow International Film Festival – Special Jury Prize for Documentary Film (The Ascent) 
Sport Film Festival, Leningrad – Silver Medal for Documentary Film (An Equation with Six Celebrities)
Blue Planet Festival, Moscow – Prize for Documentary Film (Habitat)
Cinema Duruel Festival, Paris – Prize for Best Documentary (The State Road)
Orthodox Film Festival, Moscow – Special Prize (House of the Romanovs)