An interesting US – Russia documentary co-production on one of our best and least known international filmmakers – Tarkovsky – is underway and raising funds. U.S. documentarian PJ Letovsky has teamed with, among others, Russian superstar Oleg Vidov to produce this long needed work via Kickstarter.
Kickstarter has been become a go to fundraising tool for indie filmmakers that has recently gained attention for their multi million dollar campaigns for Robert Thomas’ ‘Veronica Mars Movie Project’ $5.7 million, and Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ campaign that netted $3.1 million. 10% of the films at Sundance are Kickstarter funded, and 2 movies have been nominated for an Oscar; 63 Kickstarter funded films opened on in theaters and Kickstarter has 80 Million unique views each month.
Since it’s inception in 2009, Kickstarter has launched 26,759 Film and Video projects, with 10,354 being successful (40% rate) and collecting $120 million for their projects (they also have categories for Music, Games, Art, Photography, etc).
PJ Letofsky is directing/ producing a film on the Russian auteur director Andrei Tarkovsky called Time Within Time, that is based his diary. He has some pretty prestigious names associated with the project- Oleg Vidov (the Russian Robert Redford), Director Andrei Konchalovsky, Tonino Guerra (Fellini, Antonioni, and Tarkovsky’s screenwriter), Katinka Farago (Bergman’s Production mananger for 30 years). Letofsky tried the traditional methods of trying to find co-production partners in the US, Italy, France, UK, and Russia, and after limited success (and having decided to go into production) he is now trying a Kickstarter campaign- going directly to Tarkovsky fans around the world- to raise the final 20% of the budget to finish his film.
‘Tarkovsky is relatively unknown in the West, but he is such an important, and influential filmmaker in world cinema, that I have to do everything I can to complete this film’ says Letofsky. ‘We are using Kickstarter, and its reach thru social media- Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Blogs- to connect to our niche audience. I’m also looking at it as a ‘pre-marketing campaign’ to build relationships with people who can help when the film is finished. I’ve been getting pledges from Tarkovsky fans from all over the world- Paris, Stockholm, Budapest, Melbourne, London, Mumbai, NY, LA, Portland, Austin- it is international financing on a modest scale, but I am looking to build on it for my career. It’s also one part of strategy for funding, and marketing- building awareness’.
PJ teamed up with his friend Patrick Calderon who knows the social network media strategies to target Tarkovsky fans thru Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and Bloggers and get them to the Kickstarter site. ‘Tarkovsky- Time Within Time’ is in the middle of their campaign. Take a look, make a pledge, and tell everyone you helped Produce a movie!
Contact PJ Letofsky at pjletofsky[a]gmail.com