Articles & Notes — February 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

Crowd-funding gains credibility as Kickstarter-funded film wins Oscar

kickstarterThe Oscars 2013 Award ceremony has recently wrapped up, and a documentary about a 15-year old homeless girl has become the first Kickstarter-funded film to win an Oscar.

“Inocente” was made with the help of $52,527 ($35,000) raised by 294 backers in June last year.

The documentary was awarded with the prize for best documentary short at the ceremony.

Speaking to Mashable, Inocente’s co-director Seth Fine said of crowd-funding: “It really helped galvanise a community.”

“It helped fund a bunch of the film and kept us going through post-production. It’s a great outlet for films, especially for documentaries.”

The win has been seen as further proof that crowd-funding has established itself as an important revenue stream for independent film-makers looking to abandon traditional routes to the screen.

Other sites such as Indiegogo and also back films.

“Crowd-funding has become a very important part of any film-maker’s finance strategy,” said Elliot Grove, founder of the Raindance Film Festival and British Independent Film Awards.

He told the BBC about 30 percent of the 250 films on show at Raindance last year had been crowd-funded – a “huge increase” on the previous year.

“It means that you cut out the middleman,” Mr Grove told the BBC. “You go straight to the money and go straight to the audience.

“The crowd-funders will have a personal stake in this – if you put 50 or 100 bucks on an Oscar-winning film, you’ll be feeling pretty good about yourself today.”

In previous years, other Kickstarter-backed films have been nominated, including Incident in New Baghdad, Sun Come Up, and The Barber of Birmingham.

Mr Grove said he believed that while crowd-funding allowed film-makers to circumvent traditional studios and publishers, it had not meant a drop in quality.

“The lower barrier to entry is not so much to do with crowd-funding, but to do with digital film-making.

“If anything crowd-funding means the films are better because they have to convince the audience, their funders, that what they’re making is worth making.”

Earlier this year Kickstarter published statistics for April 28, 2009 — January 1, 2013, according to which, the most funded projects were the documentaries.

Totally, $102.7 million projects were pledged, about $85.7 million of those were collected.

891,979 people acted as backers for projects, as a result of which, 8,567 projects were funded within three years.

Overall, there were 2,394 documentary projects funded in the mentioned period of time, for a total of $42.64 million.

According to Kickstarter’s report, in the past 3 years, nearly 900,000 people have pledged their support to an independent filmmaker on Kickstarter, pledging more than $100 million to features, documentaries, shorts, webseries, and other film and video projects.

Nearly 5,000 feature-length films have been successfully funded since 2009.

Mr Grove credits this to the appeal of backing not only a film, but a cause.

“Often they are about topics that are shunned by the normal funders because they might be too risky or politically incorrect – which makes what we as viewers get to see so much more interesting.”

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