On the Scene at Cannes International Film Festival

Bonjour! Red carpets, rosé wine and La Plage. It’s time for the Cannes International Film Festival again, and Indiegogo Film was on the scene this past week to take part in it all.

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Set in the South of France just outside of Nice – and with the bright, sandy beaches to show for it – Cannes has served as the premiere event for international cinema for the last 67 years. Highlights for 2014 included new films from esteemed auteurs Ken Loach, Atom Egoyan, the Dardenne Brothers, and Indiegogo alums Wim Wenders and Steve James. We told you it was international! And that’s why, as a global platform, Indiegogo’s participation was fitting – even if we had to battle a taxi strike to get out of the airport!

Along the way, we had the pleasure of walking the red carpet, sipping a few glasses of rosé, and basking in the sun-kissed glory that is la Croisette. Scooters whizzed by at breakneck speeds, French comedians engaged in tomfoolery with the masses, and military-grade tanks rumbled down the streets, parting crowds like the Red Sea, to promote The Expendables 3.

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But we weren’t just there for the glamour of it all. The real purpose of our trip was to meet with filmmakers from around the world. Denmark, Germany, Poland, Spain, Turkey… the list goes on! We also had the pleasure of seeing two Indiegogo films launch during the festival: Mattie Do’s Nong Hak (aka Dearest Sister) from Laos, and Bendik Stronstad’s Viking Vampires from Norway – both in partnership with our good friends at Twitch Film.

Mattie’s story is incredibly interesting. Having attended Cannes through the Cinemas du Monde Production Market, she’s both the first genre filmmaker and female director from Laos. We highly suggest you check out her campaign; her pitch video is one for the ages.

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Indiegogo also had the opportunity to share its crowdfunding wisdom. Marc Hofstatter, Head of Film, sat on the “Masters of Marketing, PR and Social Media” panel at the American Pavilion alongside representatives from Main Street Films, Picturehouse and Cinetic Media. Marc spoke about how the actual “funding” aspect of a film campaign isn’t necessarily the most important part of running a project with Indiegogo. Team member Kristen Konvitz also hosted a crowdfunding roundtable at the Pavilion, where she walked through the do’s and don’ts of a successful film campaign, as well as what the future may hold for Indiegogo and film. Note: it does not include astronaut ice cream.

Overall, Cannes this year had a bittersweet note to it as we continue mourning the loss of film critic Roger Ebert. Ebert, whose presence was a Cannes staple, was honored once again with a pop-up Steak n’ Shake restaurant – a favorite stop of his back in Chicago. The Palais also screened Indiegogo alum Steve James’ Ebert documentary Life Itself, which has now concluded its festival tour in preparation for a July 4 release from Magnolia Pictures on iTunes.

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With Cannes winding down and the Palm D’or announcement on its way, Indiegogo Film looks forward to returning next year. Until then, if you’re interested in starting your own film campaign with us, take a look at the Indiegogo Film Handbook and get going!