There are 9 days left in the calendar year and as we say goodbye to 2015 and hello to the New Year, it’s time for us to take a look back at the year in Indiegogo Film… and what a year it’s been! From successful crowdfunding campaigns to festival premieres to distributor sales to releases — you, the Indiegogo community, helped make this our biggest year yet.
Move Over Top Ten
It wasn’t a small year for raising funds for awesome creative projects. In fact, we saw a total of five film/video projects enter our Top 10 most funded film projects of all-time. It was an eclectic bunch, including the highest funded film, the highest funded digital series and the highest funded fan film of all-time. Did we also mention that one of the films was also directed by Orson Welles? Yeah, him too.
SUPER TROOPERS 2 – $4.5m
In 2001, Super Troopers premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Fox Searchlight picked up the soon-to-be cult classic and released it later that year. Despite a massive fan base, the Broken Lizard comedy team struggled for 14 years to get a sequel off the ground. It was only when Thorny, Rabbit, Foster, Mac and even Farva came to Indiegogo that the sequel got greenlit. The film recently started production and will wrap principal photography in early 2016.
CON MAN – $3.2m
RANGE 15 – $1.02m
STAR TREK AXANAR – $553,447
IRON SKY THE COMING RACE – $625,490
Honorable mention: Orson Welles’ THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND – $406,605
To Film Festivals We Gogo
Every year our film team travels the world to the attend film festivals near and far, and every year the number of projects that have passed through Indiegogo’s doors increases. This year was no exception.
At the Toronto Film Festival we saw the number of Indiegogo alums triple in 2015 to at least 10 projects including:
A gritty, coming-of-age feature film about a young man with Down syndrome, THE RAINBOW KID is the debut feature film from writer-director Kire Paputts. To maintain the artistic merit and integrity of the film, Paputts chose to run an Indiegogo campaign, which was fully funded in just one month. The Rainbow Kid showcases an actor with Down syndrome outside the stereotypical convention and depiction of people with special needs, making the film a must-see at this year’s festival.
Equally in the documentary category – specifically at Hot Docs – we saw the number of Indiegogo alums also triple to a crowdfunding platform best: 14 documentaries, including:
ORION: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, Directed By: Jeanie Finlay
There are many that believe that Elvis is still alive – if he is alive he wears a mask and goes by the name Orion. ORION tells the story of Jimmy Ellis – an unknown singer plucked from obscurity, and thrust into the spotlight as part of a crazy scheme that had him masquerade as Elvis back from the grave. With an outlandish fictional identity torn from the pages of the best selling novel Orion by Gail Brewer Giorgio, the backing of the legendary birthplace of rock ‘n roll; Sun Records and a voice that seemed to be the very twin of Presley’s himself, the scheme – concocted in the months after Presley’s death exploded into a cult success – and the ‘Elvis is alive’ myth was begun.
Indiegogo: In the Theater and On Demand
“Crowdfunding” is only one small piece of what we do at Indiegogo. Our film team is dedicated to not only seeing our filmmakers raise funds for their projects and grow their communities as best they can, but more than anything we want them all to find good homes for their creative endeavors. This is one of the reasons why we have prioritized offering distribution opportunities through platforms like Vimeo On Demand to our creators.
Here is a small sampling of the great Indiegogo Films released over the course of the year:
On one day, in one city, the world comes together to grant one 5 year old cancer patient’s wish. BATKID BEGINS looks at the ‘why’ of this flash phenomenon.
Directed by Dana Nachman, the film premiered at Slamdance 2015 and was released by New Line Cinema this past summer. A narrative remake produced by and starring Julia Roberts is also in development at the studio.
KILO TWO BRAVO (aka KAJAKI)
Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg – or your life.
Directed by Paul Katis, KILO TWO BRAVO garnered a BAFTA nomination and a British Independent Film award under its original title – KAJAKI.
Equal Opportunity Filmmaking on Indiegogo
Indiegogo was founded in 2008 with the mission to democratize fundraising, to break down barriers and remove the gatekeepers. As we’ve seen in study after study, as much as we like to talk about diversity in filmmaking — it simply doesn’t exist at a large level. That is a truly sad statement to make and that is why Indiegogo remains proactive in annually supporting organizations such as AFI’s Directing Workshop for Women, and is why we collaborate with The Horizon Award, NALIP and others that promote equality for all in the creative space.
Here are a couple of standout projects from this past year:
AFI’s Pippa Bianco won the Cinefondation Award at Cannes this past May for her short film “Share.” The award, which is extended to the highest achievement in student filmmaking, started in the Directing Workshop for Women and raised its budget on Indiegogo. Produced by Tyler Byrne, Carly Hugo and Danielle Oexmann, SHARE stars Taissa Farmiga (“American Horror Story”) as a 15-year-old girl going back to school after someone shares an explicit video of her on the Internet.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARSHA, written, directed and produced by Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, just completed their successful campaign for post-production funds. The narrative feature stars actress Mya Taylor (TANGERINE) in the lead role of ‘Marsha ‘Pay it no Mind’ Johnson,’ the legendary transgender artist and activist and details her life in the hours before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Written, produced and directed by a trans woman of color, the story will be the first of its kind to reach a wide audience.
YouTube creators Wong Fu Productions came to Indiegogo in 2014 with their (then) Untitled feature raising nearly $400,000. However, it was earlier in 2015 that the newly minted EVERYTHING BEFORE US was released on Indiegogo partner platform Vimeo On Demand. The film had been passed over many times over due to its all Asian cast that was deemed “unmarketable.” The sci-fi romantic comedy set in the not-too-distant future not surprisingly became an instant best-seller upon release.
Creative Legends Turn to Indiegogo
We’ve seen a large number of breakout first-time filmmakers turn to Indiegogo over the years including DEAR WHITE PEOPLE director Justin Simien, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT filmmaker Lily Amirpour and early on we saw then-screenwriter Shawn Christensen turn to the platform to fund his short “CURFEW,” which later won the Oscar for best narrative short.
The rise of this new talent in no way discounts veteran filmmakers and creators turning to Indiegogo, and this year we had two of the greatest.
Acclaimed Chilean auteur and EL TOPO director, Alejandro Jodrowsky found a home on Indiegogo for a post-production campaign for his new film ENDLESS POETRY which portrays Alejandro Jodorowsky’s young adulthood, set in the 1940s and 50s, in the electric capital city of Santiago. There, he decides to become a poet and is introduced, by destiny, into the foremost bohemian and artistic circle of the time. He meets Enrique Lihn, Stella Diaz Varín, Nicanor Parra and many others of the country’s young, promising and unknown artists who would later become the titans of Latin America’s literature. ENDLESS POETRY is a tale of poetic experimentation; the story of a unique youth that lived as not many before them had dared: sensually, authentically, freely, madly.
Last year we saw James Lopez’s “HULLABALOO” come to Indiegogo to help resurrect hand-drawn animation, but the legend who inspired James has now done the same in 2015. Animator Don Bluth who created your childhood with THE SECRET OF NIMH, AN AMERICAN TAIL and THE LAND BEFORE TIME has landed on Indiegogo for his currently live campaign to finally bring his acclaimed creation and arcade game classic DRAGON‘S LAIR to the big screen. They’ve already crushed their goal raising $275,000 in just over 2 weeks and still have 24 days left, so be sure to back it. We did!
A Splashy Indiegogo Film Market
As much as 2015 has brought some amazing releases, we cannot help but look to the year ahead and the Indiegogo films slated for release in 2016.
Two prominent titles had their festival premieres in the latter half of this year, and both resulted in key acquisitions.
At the Toronto International Film Festival we saw first-time filmmaker Ilya Naishuller’s HARDCORE, which was produced out of Russia, make its debut. The film initially came to Indiegogo in late 2014 for post-production funds and raised north of $254,000 dollars. When it came time for the film to hit the market, it was the subject of a highly contested bidding war and was finally scooped up by the new distributor STX for a whopping $10 million dollars. HARDCORE will be released in 2016, though a date has not yet been set.
This October, the hotly anticipated directorial debut of Don Cheadle’s MILES AHEAD premiered at the New York Film Festival. However, it was even before its premiere that the revered Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film for a Spring 2016 release. The experimental film details a turbulent time period in musician Miles Davis’ life when he put down his trumpet to find himself and his love. Cheadle had struggled for eight years to get the film off the ground, putting his own finances and deferring his fees in the process. He turned to Indiegogo for gap financing in the summer of 2014 and raised close to $400,000, uniting the Miles Davis fan community in the first authorized film about the historic artist.
Baby New Year 2016
We’re still two weeks away from the New Year, but there’s nothing small on the horizon. Stay tuned for some announcements in Park City in January during Sundance and Slamdance as Indiegogo continues to expand its commitment to the creative community.
Be sure to keep an ear out for the Oscar nominations also happening this January. Indiegogo has three films that have already been shortlisted for nominations: MY ENEMY, MY BROTHER directed by Ann Shin (Best Short Documentary), WINTER LIGHT directed by Julian Higgins (Best Narrative Documentary) and THE FENCER directed by Klaus Haro (Best Foreign Film).
The Finnish The Fencer (which has already been nominated for a Golden Globe) is currently live on Indiegogo and is funding its Oscar campaign.
Fingers and toes firmly crossed for all three filmmakers!
From our film team to yours, wishing you all the very happiest of holidays and a fantastic New Year.
See you all in 2016!
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