03:37 GMT +324 March 2018
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    MOSCOW, MARCH 10 (RIA Novosti correspondent Natalia Kurova) - The national St. Ann prize is competed for in an annual contest of student and debut films. This year's event took a gala start today at the Movie House, Russia's central cinema club.

    Established in 1993, the contest welcomes debuts and year's endeavors by undergraduates of higher cinema schools based in Russia, other CIS countries, and countries outside the post-Soviet area.

    St. Ann contest founding fathers and Boris Airapetyan, its permanent president, established the contest to bring topmost cinema schools together, encourage information exchanges between undergraduates, and promote gifted beginners.

    Pyotr Todorovsky, one of Russia's foremost film directors, is presiding this year's jury.

    "This festival is of extreme importance - today's contestants will be moviemakers of the 21st century. A great many films are competing this time - more than two hundred features, documentaries and cartoons," he said to a news conference.

    Four St. Ann prizes are offered for features - Grand Prix, second, third and special, and three each for documentaries and cartoons.

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