Five Films That Made A Difference in 2014

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1. Life Itself – Critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) and Kartemquin Films came to Indiegogo to help bring Life Itself, a film about the late film critic Roger Ebert, to the world. After raising over $150,000 in badly needed post-production funds, LIFE ITSELF premiered in January 2014 at the Sundance Film Festival. The screening broke new ground and won industry-wide accolades as it simultaneously screened in Park City as well as livestreamed in the homes of Indiegogo funders; a technological first for iconic festival. Released theatrically in July by Magnolia Pictures and set to premiere on CNN in January 2015, the film has made several ‘Best of 2014’ lists, was named best documentary by the National Board of Review and has been shortlisted for the 2015 Academy Awards.

2. Batkid Begins – After young Miles Scott ‘shutdown’ San Francisco and stole our hearts in November 2013 as ‘Batkid, Director Dana Nachman and Producer Liza Meak came to Indiegogo to help document his heartwarming transformation and battle against cancer in a new film. The project raised more than $100,000 and will continue to honor the boy’s legacy into 2015 when Batkid Begins has its world premiere at Slamdance in Park City, Utah; once again showing the world that power comes from within.

3. Miles Ahead – Actor cum director Don Cheadle began crafting his unique vision for a film based on legendary jazz musician Miles Davis’ life almost eight years ago. Blessed and supported by Mile’s family and estate, Cheadle refused to take any upfront fees, put his own money into the project and ultimately arrived on Indiegogo to complete the financing for the long-gestating project while connecting directly with Miles and his fans. Produced by Cheadle and his partner, Lenore Zerman and co-starring Ewan McGregor the film completed production in August and is expected to premiere at a major 2015 film festival.

4. Hullabaloo – Many fans of traditional hand-drawn animation have been greatly concerned about its future in the face of current 3D digital methods. Deciding to take action to help preserve it and bring out about its fantastic return, former Disney 2D animator James Lopez took to Indiegogo to raise $80,000 for a short film called “HULLABALOO.” The original short was meant to tell the story of a young scientist and her missing father set against a steampunk world. Hailed as a welcome return to form, the campaign went viral and raised 5x its goal. The now multiple shorts telling several thrilling adventures are set to be completed in 2015 with the hope of an eventual awards run.

5. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – Pegged as the first Iranian Vampire Western, Lily Amirpour’s feature directorial debut was an instant hit after premiering at Sundance Film Festival in 2014, previously raising its initial production funds on Indiegogo. Picked up for distribution by Kino Lorber, the Spectrevision produced film became a critical darling. GIRL WALKS made numerous ‘Best of 2014’ lists and won Amirpour a Gotham Award, got her nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and had her named as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s ‘25 New Faces of Indie Film.’ Amirpour begins production on her sophomore feature in 2015 with financing secured from VICE and producer Megan Ellison (INHERENT VICE, FOXCATCHER).