Give Your Film a KickStart

Was it because people were a bit tired hearing about crowdfunding that there were less people in the auditorium this morning. Or because of all the parties that are offered from the side of idfa? To idfacademy participants who are mostly young, the mature man wrote. Or because it is too American? At least that was the immediate reaction to hearing Elisabeth Holm from Kickstarter, a speedy talking New Yorker, who introduced the crowdfunding organisation in a precise, professional way with numbers and an obvious commitment to documentaries. (You can read in details about Kickstarter on its website). Holm stressed that Kickstarter is not for charity and campaign, but for creative documentaries (and other art forms). And by the way you need an American bank account to qualify to get into Kickstarter, where you get the money if you reach the target you have set for your project. But not if you are lower than that sum.

With a butterfly in the room, flying from screen to screen, Holm showed a clip from a succesful Kickstarter film, T-Rex, about a black female boxer, who went to the Olympics in London, and won a gold medal. The crowdfunding for the film, still not finished, raised $64.507 with 652 backers, with – in general – the most common contribution to be $25. Who are the backers: fans, friends, internet, press, kickstarter community.

What can Kickstarter do for you, Holm said: Engage your community, Share your story, Find new patrons, Retain complete creative control.

There are other crowdfunding platforms. Indiegogo is one and American director Steve James introduced his ”Generation Food” project, that runs there, and Margaret Jangård from WG Films in Malmö Sweden brought up the company’s experience with crowdfunding on ”Big Boys Gone Bananas”, (photo from “Bananas!”) the interesting film on how the American banana company Dole wanted to stop their film. For Jangård using Kickstarter was ”a great marketing tool” for the film.

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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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