The 53rd annual New York Film Festival is in full swing, and this year’s event is stacked with some of the most anticipated films of the season. From the opening film, Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, to the Steve Jobs biopic to Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, there’s no question that this star-studded festival is at the forefront of prestige and status when it comes to film and cinema. One of the most coveted slots in the festival’s schedule of events is, without a doubt, the closing night. This year, Indiegogo alumni Miles Ahead will be closing the New York Film Festival on Saturday October 10. This is an honor and achievement we’re truly proud to be a part of, so we wanted to provide more insight into why such an A-list celebrity chose to use Indiegogo to fund his passion. Here’s the story of Miles Ahead, from crowdfunding to closing the New York Film Festival.
Miles Ahead: The Story of Jazz Legend Miles Davis
Miles Davis is an American legend, a pioneer of jazz music and history. His life, passion and creativity are what inspired Don Cheadle to make a film about him, exploring his relationship with his muse, his voice, his fears and challenges to emerge from his silent period to return to the music. The film depicts Davis (played by Cheadle himself) during his crazy days in the late 70s, haunted by memories of the glory days and his great love Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Davis emerges from his silence to conspire with a Rolling Stone writer (Ewan McGregor) to steal back his music.
Cheadle noted that Miles Ahead isn’t just about the music; rather: “It’s about what we all face at one time or another in our lives; questions about who we really are, what we have to say and how will we say it. How will we ultimately be defined and who gets to say so?” This incredible film has received notable buzz since the launch of the crowdfunding campaign in June 2014 and we’re all waiting in anticipation to see it.
Why Don Cheadle Used Indiegogo to Fund His Movie
You might be wondering why such a prominent celebrity would be turning to Indiegogo to crowdfund his film idea. In addition to raising funds to create the film itself, Don Cheadle chose Indiegogo specifically so that he could connect with his fans and community on a subject that he is truly passionate about – the story of jazz legend Miles Davis.
Cheadle wanted to “build a community of people who are just as excited as [they] are about a Miles Davis movie.” He stated: “While Miles used his horn to communicate and create ‘social music,’ we are using social media and today’s online platforms to reach out to the music community, the film community and all people who are excited to see an explosive, cool music-filled movie.”
It wasn’t about the money for him; in fact, Cheadle poured a lot of his own money into the production. He stated:
“Most studios don’t make these kinds of movies anymore, so we are doing it independently. I’m personally putting a big chunk of money into our budget as well as putting all my fees back in. But the extra money we hope to raise on Indiegogo will help us recreate the multiple time periods we’re dealing with and [help] with the logistics of incorporating all the music. We are excited to get people talking about the movie early, raise awareness, and set into motion the groundswell of support we hope will continue through to the film’s release.”
Miles Ahead raised $344,582 during its campaign last year, all of which went directly to the production and creation of the film. In addition to fun perks like tshirts, posters, DVDs and art books, contributors had the opportunity to select some amazingly unique perks, such as an advance screening with a red carpet and Q&A session, Associate Producer credits, set visits and lunch or a round of golf with Don Cheadle himself. The incredible story of Miles Davis will come to life this weekend at NYFF thanks to 2,174 backers, so if you’re in town this weekend, don’t miss the world premiere of Don Cheadle’s directorial debut: Miles Ahead.
View the trailer for the 53rd New York Film Festival – you’ll catch a glimpse of Miles Ahead:
Start your very own film crowdfunding campaign today – you never know, you just might be closing the New York Film Festival next year!