A riveting film detailing the experiences of Russian gay men and women who's own country made their very existence illegal.
Brandon Bentley
Video / Web
Los Angeles, California
United States
1 Team Member

"...nothing more futile than wanting to be anything other than what I am by nature."  - From a letter to brother Anatoly Tchaikovsky, 25 February 1878. 

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russia's most famous and beloved composer, was gay.  His own struggles with the acceptance of his sexuality, which had given his music such emotional movement, are well documented.  Presently there are efforts by the Russian government to "erase" this fact from the history books.  Why? Because under the new Anti-Gay Propaganda law, it is in fact illegal to discuss "non-traditional lifestyles" in public.

The Tchaikovsky Syndrome is a documentary film about the recent rise of homophobia in Russia, the current Anti-Gay Propaganda Law signed by Vladimir Putin, and a range of new anti-gay laws that are currently being proposed by the Russian government. (Currently there is a law on the table that will take children away from same-sex parents.) These laws are scapegoat legislation.  Their true purpose is to distract the public from the true economic and social challenges in Russia.

Why make this film? 

When human rights are violated anywhere in the world today, it affects us all.  Russia is a "developed" nation that for years has kept its human and civil rights violations shrouded behind governmental misdirection. Emboldened by the lack of attention the world paid to it's rampant xenophobia, culminating into the Anti-Gay Propaganda Bill, it signed several laws aimed directly at its gay population.  One such law prevents  the adoption of Russian children by same-sex parents, and any parents from nations that allow same-sex marriages.  Putin also signed a law that allows the imprisonment of gay foreigners who exhibit support for gay rights and another that defines gay "propaganda"  as  pornography. Those who have escaped Russia have told horrific stories of threats, abuses, and assaults from friends, neighbors and even authorities.

(Riot police detain an anti-gay protester during an authorized gay rights rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013.)

These are the stories of gay Russian men and women who live under this regime and their struggle to free themselves from a nation that makes their very existence illegal.  We intend to bring out the political, historical, and social background that is at the heart of Russia's gay hate.

The gay rights issue of Russia today is a civil rights issue that is just as important, as the any other throughout history.  If we turn a blind eye to what is happening there, we  condone it.

(Urinotherapy: Common practice during Neo-Nazi assaults to force their victims to drink urine.)

By documenting what is happening to gays in Russia, little by little we can put enough pressure on Putin's government to stop persecuting its own citizens based on their sexual orientation. Or, at the very least urge them to stop the infectious spread of vigilantism and violence against gay men and women. 


Funds raised will pay for video and audio equipment, travel, initial stages of film production (and trailer production), web site development and the expenses for a few of our interviewees who have difficulty meeting with us safely and/or on location.  

How can I make this happen?

  • Help us to raise $45,000 (and ideally a great deal more) by giving whatever you can afford. Every single penny is appreciated and will help enormously.

  • Take a look at the rewards on the right-hand side of the page to see some of the exciting things on offer.

  • Share this page with friends, family, and anybody else you think would be interested exposing the truth behind Russia's promises of "fair treatment" of its gay population.

Because of the nature of this documentary and the safety of our subjects and our crew must remain anonymous until much of the filming has completed.  We appreciate your understanding.

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This campaign ended on December 26, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $10USD

    Thank You! You will receive an official shout out on our Facebook and Twitter page.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2014
  • $25USD
    Super Fan

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Digital Download of the film when completed.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $50USD

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Official "The Tchaikovsky Syndrome" t-shirt (Please send us your size!)

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: June 2014
  • $75USD

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Full sized poster of the film, signed by the director and producers with a personalized thank you for your contribution

    0 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $100USD

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Special signed DVD edition by the director and producers.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: January 2015
  • $250USD

    Everything in the previous perks plus... See your name on the big screen! Your name will appear in the end credits thank you list!

    0 claimed
  • $500USD
    Getting Personal

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Special One-on-One video conference with the film's Director and Producer at the time of your convenience.

    0 claimed
  • $750USD

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Limited Edition Collectors Box Set Blue Ray or DVD and companion book with photos and commentary on the film making process of the film signed by the entire film crew.

    0 claimed
  • $1,000USD
    Difference Maker

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Dinner and a show with the creators in Los Angeles

    0 claimed
  • $2,500USD

    Everything in the previous perks plus... The director and producer will attend a special screening with Q&A of the film in your hometown.

    0 claimed
  • $5,000USD
    Associate Producer

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Associate Producer film credit (you or your organization). You will get official IMDB credit as Associated Producer

    0 claimed
  • $10,000USD
    Executive Producer

    Everything in the previous perks plus... Executive Producer credits on the film. Come to Los Angeles and we will treat you and a guest to any 3 shows at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and dinner with the creator and director of the film. Private screening and dinner with the director and creator. (Travel expenses to LA not included). Official IMDB credit as Executive Producer.

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