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Russia’s Ministry of Culture orders film on historical conqueror of Siberia to be re-shot

Source: Meduza

Russia’s Ministry of Culture has obliged Alexei Uchitel’s film studio Rok to re-shoot the film Yermak’s Treasure, as the picture does not confirm to the script that was originally submitted in the studio’s application for state funding.

The studio plans to prepare a new version of the film by the end of 2017. The, in turn, Ministry intends to penalize Rok for postponing the film’s release.

According to publication Life, the Minister gave the film studio the option of either re-filming the picture according to the approved script or reimbursing the 35 million rubles (approximately $601,000) in state funding that was allocated to the project. The studio decided to re-shoot the film.

In an interview with the publication, Uchitel referred to this situation as nothing more than an ordinary work challenge.

In 2014, film studio Rok was allocated public funds to shoot the film Yermark’s Treasure. Based on the script submitted as part of the funding application, the film was supposed to tell the story of a schoolboy who goes on a hunt for the treasure of Vasiliy “Yermak” Timofeyevich Alenin, a Cossack who started Russia’s conquest of Siberia during the reign of Tsar Ivan the Terrible in the mid-16th century.

According to publication Life, the finished picture submitted to the Ministry was instead called Call Yermark and told the story of artist Yermak Myshkin, who travels from St. Petersburg to Moscow to audition for a musical. There were no references to the historical character in the finished film other than the name of the protagonist.

In 2016, Duma deputy Natalia Poklonskaya opposed the release of another one of Alexei Uchitel’s films – Matilda. Matilda was about a romance between Emperor Nicholas II and ballerina Mathilde Kshesinskaia. The Duma deputy argued that the film would offend Christian believers, as Nicholas II was recently canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church. So far, the Prosecutor General has not found any violations in the film’s trailer.