MOSCOW TO HOST RADONEZH FESTIVAL

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MOSCOW, October 29, (RIA Novosti's Olga Lipich) - The tenth Radonezh international festival of Orthodox Christian TV-and-radio programs is to open here today with the blessing of Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow and All Russia, lasting until November 4.

The festival will be opened by Metropolitan Cyril, chief of the Moscow Patriarchate's department of external church relations.

This festival aims to enhance the quality of mass-media Orthodox sermons and to provide directors, cameramen, journalists and other creative persons with specific opportunities for exchanging their experience and receiving authentic information about the Church's life, festival organizers noted.

A jury will watch contestants' works; film director Sergei Miroshnichenko's "Mundane and Heavenly" TV serial, the "Prince Vladimir" animated cartoon and other projects will also be presented.

Round-table discussions dealing with mass-media coverage of religious activities, master classes of leading TV-and-radio journalists and meetings with the Russian Orthodox Church's hierarchs will be organized.

The winners will receive St. Sergius of Radonezh silver medals, as well as Holy Land vouchers, festival organizers stressed. They will also be able to travel to Bari, Italy where the holy relics of St. Nicholas are kept, as well as to Valaam and Solovki. All the best TV programs will subsequently be shown on national channels.

The Moscow Kremlin's Patriarch chambers will host the closing ceremony, as well as the awards ceremony.

The Radonezh festival takes place on a regular basis since 1995, involving more than 100 state-run and private TV-and-radio companies, as well as numerous representatives of the world's local Orthodox churches.

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