First Kyrgyz Crowd Funding Campaign

Launched in Cannes


The first ever crowd funding campaign to come out of Kyrgyzstan has been launched through Indiegogo. The black comedy, titled ‘LENIN?!’ from award-winning Kyrgyz writer and director, Marat Alykulov, follows three punk boys who steal a statue of Lenin to sell on the black market. They have no idea who he is and almost start a revolution in the process. It is the first crowd funding campaign to come out of Central Asia. The project has received interest and support internationally with renowned pop-icon, Ilya Lagutenko, of the band Mumiy Troll recently signing on to do the soundtrack and musical score for the film.

The film’s story offers a rare and honest look at modern Kyrgyzstan as a nation, however the setting for the film could be any number of post-soviet regions. The story is incredibly relevant for the new generation, who have grown up up in a time when the Soviet Union is just textbook history. “The film is about remembering your history, respecting it and learning from it, both good and bad, there is no political message,” says Alykulov. The Russian title of the film roughly translates as, “When they turn off the lights” and alludes to the same idea that there is no greater darkness than the loss of knowledge and history.

 The project has turned to crowd funding after three years of trying to finance the film using traditional methods and participating in five project markets around world, including Korea, Germany, and Russia. “The issue,” says producer Joanna Bence, “is that Kyrgyzstan is yet to offer any production incentives and films from the region are not seen as commercial. The films that are funded in developing nations like Kyrgyzstan are funded with Western European grants, which are given to dramas. Our film is a comedy and therefore harder to categorise, but we see it as a commercial project with huge potential to cross over to the international market, so we’re reaching out to the international ommunity to get the film made.”

The campaign was launched at the Cannes Film Festival at the Latvian Pavilion on May 19th, 2014. Over 200 people attended the launch including Australian director and Un Certain Regard contender, Rolf de Heer, Simone Baumann of German Films and representatives of the Cannes, Odessa and Moscow Film Festivals.

The campaign has been live for just over a week and is aiming to raise £70,000, most of which will go directly to the crew. “We can shoot for £70,000, but we want to aim higher than that to ensure real production value,” says Kyrgyz producer, Oleg Vyboichenko, “If we could make it to £120,000 we would be ecstatic.”

The script was developed with support from The Asian Cinema Fund and project was selected for The Asian Project Market, Busan, South Korea, Connecting Cottbus East/West Co-Production Market in Cottbus, Germany, Moscow Business Square, Kinotavr Pitching Sessions and Kinoshock in Russia.

The campaign will run until July 10th, 2014.
Link to Campaign:
For more information contact:
Joanna Bence

, , ,