Exclusive: As Roman Abramovich-backed Tchaikovsky’s wife At this week’s Cannes Film Festival, Unspol, the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, clarified its position on films endorsed by approved oligarchs.
Although the ministry said it could not discuss specific lawsuits or investigations, it did tell us: “It is possible that the royalties brought by a film could be frozen if the production company is located in France or a European Union country.”
The ministry added: “According to the law, the resources of the Russian people are not taken under European sanctions, but are frozen. This means that they still own the property but cannot dispose of it freely (for example, to sell, rent or get any financial benefit from them). They can only be detained if they try to break the law (for example, leaving a ship in a European port).
Entering the ear competition Tchaikovsky’s wife, A play co-produced by Kirill Serebrennikov, a Russian dissident before the invasion of Ukraine, is a European co-production featuring Abramovich, as well as French and Swiss entities. The film is produced by Arthouse Champion Ilya Stewart (Petrov’s flu), A Russian-Australian producer who now lives in France.
We can understand any royalties frozen by the French government in this project – and you have to wonder if they will consider it their value given the huge amount of money and resources they have so far focused on – will only relate to investments made by Abramovich’s Kinoprime Fund. . . Others will probably recover first.
The French sales company Charades informed us that the company had not been contacted by the ministry but that it would comply with any government order relating to Russian funding. The company had no further comment.
Yesterday’s press conference Tchaikovsky’s wife, Director Serebrenikov called for the lifting of sanctions against Abramovich, whom he described as a patron of the industry.
In recent years, Abramovich has invested in multiple European arthouse films through his $ 100M Kinoprime fund.
France last month seized the magnificent palace of the French Riviera oligarch as part of a European embargo against oil-making billionaires. The Cap d’Antibus home was among a dozen French properties confiscated from France in recent weeks for cracking down on Vladimir Putin and his supporters after the attack.
The United Kingdom has also imposed sanctions on Abramovich (and other Russian millionaires), forcing him to sell his favorite Chelsea football club. The United States has also seized Abramovich’s bank account.
Abramovich was involved in Ukrainian peace talks and was poisoned earlier this year in talks between Kyiv and Moscow.
Tchaikovsky’s wife Pyotr Tchaikovsky, one of the most famous Russian composers of all time, and his wife, Antonina Milyukova, follow a volatile relationship.
The Cannes Film Festival this year banned official Russian representatives, as well as journalists from pro-Putin publications.