We have already reported that Mikhail Khodorkovsky* started to invest money in the cinema industry and we thought that the interest of the tax swindler and patented traitor was in promoting various film productions of anti-Russian tendency. (See the article ‘Bucha-Film’. Mikhail Khodorkovsky has started to create his own cinema company)
However, hardly anyone knows that the movie-trip of Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (MBKh), in fact, began as early as in 2011 – right out of prison. And the question is not only about the documentaries with Khodorkovsky in the center crying cuckoo and sitting on his hands in the cage that Western documentary makers were so heavily into at that time ‘trying to understand and gain insight into’. The question is about associates who, without fanfare, registered in Latvia the company SIA ‘Yukosfilm’ and made a start of the activity which, up until know, have been dealing with all opposition info-gypsies.
A FIRM FOR ‘FULL LENGTH’
This dubious organization appeared on the registry of Latvian companies in August 2011 at the behest of Sergey Borisovich Timofeyev, a political consultant, and his spouse Yelena Anatoliyevna Lukyanova, a lawyer and member of the Yukos legal group.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky himself, at this moment, was servicing his deserved sentence, having received in 2010 a term with regard to the second case for economic affairs and money laundering. And he also had already his own program like ‘Camera looks at the World”. Yet his voracious ‘PR-machine’ for producing ‘victims of the regime’ demanded the continuation of the finance banquet. One of these illusionary projects, as participants of the market recall the past years, was the initiative to produce a full-length movie with Mikhail Khodorkovsky being the main character. Still, Khodorkovsky, so it seems, has never provided serious money for such a full-length picture. Otherwise, these ‘bore hole’ cineastes would have been forced to run rounds, trying to find investors, and imitate a creative process.
On the photo (NTV): Mikhail Khodorkovsky and Yelena Lukyanova at a party
YUKOS-TRAP FOR EASY MEAT
The preparations for gathering money for this film began at once, in the year of registration of the firm ‘Yukosfilm’. For that purpose, in the Autumn 2011, corresponding patterns were prepared of certain agreements with potential sponsors for ‘financing of the project’. According to the patterns, it was expected that: ‘investor provides targeted financing of the Company for partial payments of the production and further use of the project (later on ‘Packet of the Film’) of a full length fiction film under a working title ‘MBKh’. Possible differences and disputes among the sides were supposed to be iron out ‘in accordance with the applicable laws of the Latvian Republic’.
Under ‘the Company’ in these papers was understood a legal entity – SIA ‘Yukosfilm’, the interests of which were represented by the general director of the firm Yulia Zaitseva. And the most important thing – the ‘purse in profile’. i.e. the precious bank details for money gathering. They looked like that:
Reg.# - 40103449697
Account - LV82HABA0551031274930
Bank - "SWEDBANK" AS
BIC/S.W.I.F.T. - HABALV22
The cost estimates of the production of ‘Packet Film’ – from the screenplay to legal services of a certain firm from the United States - amounted to 1 100 000.00 euros (one million one hundred thousand euros). It’s difficult to say how much money was actually collected by way of private cajoling of potential sponsors – public reports on this question were not found – obviously, there was no particular ‘bite’. For that reason, the way of collecting means was changed a bit. A wave of activity of the creative crowd, deployed in the Web as far back as in 2012, was an evidence of that.
On the picture (TV5, Latvia): 2012, the founder of SIA ‘Yukosfilm’ the lawyer Yelena Lukyanova and her husband, the author of the ‘idea of the film’ Sergey Timofeyev
‘A PRODUCING COMPANY SEEKS PARTNERS’
So, on May 30, 2012, on one of marketing portals, among announcements of building projects, projects of business plans to create shops to repair everything possible, in the section ‘on communal and consumer services’, a unique proposal emerged – an investment project.
According to the description of the project, the essence of it was as follows: “The Latvian company ‘Forma Pro Films’ dealing with film producing and production seeks partners and investors for implementing of several projects underway of full length feature films class ‘A’ for distribution in the United States, EU and in countries of the former Soviet Union.’
On the whole, it was proposed to investors to take part in the making of three movies which were in different stages of production’. One of the films was called ‘Mikhail: Good and Evil’. The flicker ‘in the political thriller genre, is based on real facts and events from the life of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’, said a brief annotation of the lot.
PICTURE-GYPSIES ARE CARRYING OUT A RAID. HOW ‘YUKOSFILM’ TURNED OUT TO BE ‘FORMA PRO FILM’
An unworldly lover of political dramas and thrillers could have a feeling that in question was a somewhat different movie having no relation to subjective followers of Khodorkovsky. Yet, it was, in fact, only a changing of external sign and a new format of collecting money.
According to an archive publication in the Latvian media outlet ‘Subbota’, ‘the idea to make a motion picture about a former head of the Russian oil giant Yukos was borne in the head of Stanislav Tokalov, the executive producer of the Latvian film company ‘Forma Pro Films’ after acquaintance with the lawyer Yelena Lukyanova. The producer, having said that that the material is rather interesting, although he expressed displeasure with superfluous politicization of the question. ‘Alas, this theme is strongly politicized, and we didn’t want that this film would ‘be an ‘order’ of someone, that is why we chose a system of crowdfunding for financing the project. I.e., the shooting will be covered by future viewers who will vote on the website by their rubles, Latvian lats, dollars…’
According to Tokalov, the flickers is to be completely ready by 2014.
The original language – English. Russian dubbing is possible’, reported the media outlet, pointing out that it was possible to give money for the movie on the website entitled ‘Mikhail’. Today, it’s possible to admire the footsteps of the creative group’s activity on trading of attributes of the film in archives of the Web.
A certain ‘producer’s certificate’ (i.e. a bright piece of paper) one could buy for only 5 (five) euros. More expensive were other souvenirs – a ‘Prison’s Mug’ was proposed for 17 euros, and T-shirts – for 25 euros. Apart from that, it was announced that future viewers “have a possibility to take part in the making of the film’s screenplay. Now a group of professionals from America, Latvia and Russia is working on plotlines – their work will be repaid only in case of success of the film’, reported the media outlet ‘Subbota’. And yes, there is a phrase regarding possible candidates for the title role – ‘they are the Russian actor Konstantin Khabensky and the Hollywood star Colin Firth’. That said, the budget of the film amounts to 2 000 000 euros.
Thus, in case with the firm ‘Yukos, SIA’, it was proposed to the distinguished audience to collect 1.1 million euros. And in case with the company ‘Forma Pro Films’ already 2 million euros. Appetites were growing, ‘diamond dust’, as in one well-known novel, was hanging under the roof of the Latvian caretaker’s house.
The thing, however, is that both firms that announced the creation of a full length movie‘ with film stars’ about Khodorkovsky were connected with each other with the help of certain structure. The same Yulia Zaitseva, mentioned as general director of ‘Yukosfilm, SIA’ one can easily find among the producers of ‘Forma Pro Films’ together with Max Pavlov who was actively dealing with ‘the work on the film’.
On the picture (from YouTube): producer of film-gypsies from the company ‘Forma Pro Films’ Max Pavlov with a cinema’s MBKh on his chest
Apart from that, by 2015, to the company ‘Forma Pro Films’ belonged 50 percent of shares of the SIA ‘Yukosfilm’, and the press reported about that in 2021. Even more interesting is the fact that from 2017 in the registries of public reports regarding the firm SIA ‘Yukosfilm’ a ‘liquidation procedure’ was mentioned, but the interruption of business activity, according to the registry, happened only in 2022. Anyway, let regulators in Latvia examine these questions, as it is no secret that that sometimes ‘half dead’ firms are used for tax fraud and other machinations, pushing into business circulation forms, stamps, record details of already non-existing companies.
AND HERE ‘PEOPLE FROM THE US, BRITAIN AND OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN INVESTING’…
With the film proper about Mikhail Khodorkovsky telling about ‘good and evil’ the situation turned out to be very embarrassing. Playing in public with some sort of objectivity, like ‘everything is not so unambiguous’, the project on platforms of different social media was promoted on a full Russophobe scale simultaneously blasting those whom producers had asked for financing but had not received it.
‘The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (‘trade union of oligarchs’), Gorbachev Foundation, the oligarch Prokhorov, the banker Lebedev and others prefer to keep out of it according to the principle ‘my hut is on the outskirts’, said Khodorkovsky’s enraged planners. Moreover, it was pointed out that ‘people from the United States, Britain and other countries are investing their humble means in filming, and that gives them the right to participate in the making of the film, including through interactive dialogue in social media’.
The traces of the ‘filming work’ can still be found on YouTube where, on December 15, 2011, emerged an accounting record ‘MikhailGoodorEvil. This channel, for appearance sake, was being filled with archive documentary frames, cartoon promotions of the film and they didn’t forget to record a promise to report without fail about the work done as well as about the amount of the collected money. However, questions about day-to-day reporting were rather soon limited to several releases from which it is impossible to understand the trajectory of money movement. On the contrary, it is very noticeable – the film from the cycle devoted to ‘The Life of St. Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (MBKh)’ didn’t impressed at all the mass audience. The number of viewers, as well as the number of subscribers of this project, on various platforms do not fit even into a minimal statistical spread contradicting, obviously, Western ravings about the popularity of Mikhail Khodorkovsky in Russia.
By the beginning of 2013 it became clear – ‘the large scale project was at a deadlock. Suspecting that something was wrong, the same Riga’s media outlet ‘Subbota’ that had written about the shooting of the film with the budget of 2 million euros, in the section ‘What followed later’ returned to the theme, which is a real rarity nowadays. A surprising thing was exposed. It turned out that, apart from cost sheet and announcement about collection of money, the potential creators of the film about Khodorkovsky, in effect, didn’t produce anything at all.
Trading of prison’s mugs and T-shirts didn’t amount to ‘the full length’ at all. No mentioned ‘plotlines’ emerged on which allegedly ‘have been working the best specialist from various countries’. As admitted in ‘Subbota’ Sergey Timofeyev, ‘five variants were proposed to him: ‘Alas, not one of them reflect as far as it is necessary such powerful figure as Mikhail Khodorkovsky. We proposed to deal with this complicated theme to very serious Russian authors. But nobody dared. Even Boris Akunin, known for his democratic views, refused saying he is not ready. And if even Akunin is not ready, then who is?’ said sharply the founder of the firm SIA ‘Yukosfilm’.
This is, so to say, the ending of the film. Nobody has bothered to found out what the money received from selling of cheap things like T-shirts and prison’s mugs have been spent on – it was declared that the money was to be spent ‘on the movie’. Besides, what is there to explain if the money was being collected for the film without having on one’s hands a priority screenplay that, in the end, was not created at all. Such an approach reminds not only of a lottery scam or mass collection of donations ‘for the election’ of the criminal Alexey Navalny who, according to the law, because of his criminal convictions had no chance to participate in them, but it reminds also of the recruiting ‘Free University’** in Riga founded with the participation of Timofeyev’s spouse Yelena Lukyanova. There, as in case with the film, a loud sign ‘of educational institution’ is accompanied by the final captions – ‘We don’t issue diplomas’.
It seems that for Khodorkovsky’s handy-men it is not important what to fabricate – film making, Russophobe propaganda or educational process. The most important thing is to correctly and on time indicate payment details for sponsors.
Author: Buba Filin
Russian version at: «Фабрикация кино». Prigovor.ru вскрыл схему работы инфоцыган Ходорковского.* Как собирали деньги на фильм, у которого не было даже сценария»
* Mikhail Khodorkovsky – 20.05.2022 was acknowledged by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation as a physical person fulfilling function of a foreign agent. Was added to the list with No 389.
** ‘Free University’, (Latvia) - 31.03.2023 by the decision of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia the activities of the foreign nongovernmental organization ‘Free University’ was acknowledged as undesirable on the territory of the Russia Federation