Crowdfunding of Documentaries

If you come, as I do, from a country where documentary film as an art form is part of a film culture, publicly supported and included in a film law, of course you are sceptical to the new phenomenon where filmmakers raise funding for their films through websites for individuals and institutions. But it works as acknowledged director Jennifer Fox experienced and conveys in an article in the trade magazine Realscreen, see link below.

In 90 days the director raised more than $150.000 for her documentary My Reincarnation, backwards so to say –after the film was finished and after it has and still is going around to festivals. A coproducer dropped out and she was in minus with around $100.000 when she decided to go for crowdfunding.

The film contains a good story, yet a bit clumsily told, with a lot of time jumps, shot over a period of 20 years, about ”the renowned reincarnate Tibetan spiritual master, Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, as he struggles to save his spiritual tradition, and his Italian born son, yeshi, who stubbornly refuses to follow in his father´s footsteps”.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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