American director raises funds for movie about thieves in law 

American director raises funds for movie about thieves in law

Emigrant director Max Weissberg believes that the picture will help Americans better understand the Russian mentality.

Kickstarter crowdfunding platform has begun raising funds for a movie that will portray the life of the leader of a Brighton Beach Russian-American gang.

The new picture will be based on a short film that was praised by critics and given 5 prestigious awards at international film festivals in 2014.

Max Weissberg’s Karaganda depicts a Soviet prisoner Vladimir, who, trying to find and save his wife from another Karaganda prison, joins a group of thieves in law that keep a tight reign on the Soviet camps.


The story brings us to New York’s Brighton Beach, where the protagonist becomes a Russian mafia boss, heading a Soviet-American organized criminal group involved in arms smuggling. Vladimir is shown as a man, who wants to break away from his criminal ways to save his family again.

Weissberg, who is a St. Petersburg Herzen University graduate, said his goal is to challenge the West’s idea of the Russians through promoting the modern Russian culture.

Kickstarter uses an all-or-nothing funding model. If the project doesn't reach its goal, then funds do not get collected, and no money changes hands. Karaganda will have to raise $32,250 until February 9. So far, 30 people have supported the project with $4656 raised within a few days.


Traditionally, Kickstarter gives those who helped the project various gifts, such as a DVD with the movie and gift baskets depending on the amount they gave.

The Kickstarter money will reportedly be used only to expand the cast by getting both Russian and American actors. The overall budget of the picture is $2.5 million, according to the director.



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