Sundance Institute Teams With Kickstarter to Fund Filmmakers



Alumni of the Sundance Institute, a global nonprofit that supports independent film and theater, now have a new support system from popular crowd-funding platform Kickstarter.

The collaboration, announced at the Sundance Film Festival today, will see Kickstarter providing promotional, educational, and branding support for Sundance through an online resource hub–a “central location to explore case studies and best practices, in
addition to live workshops and training opportunities with Institute
staff, alumni, industry experts and key partners,” according to the institute. In return, Sundance will curate alumni projects on Kickstarter, rally fans to support these projects, and showcase Kickstarter-funded works on a monthly basis.

Kickstarter gives creative projects an opportunity to get off the ground through community funding. If someone has, say, a book that they need $5,000 to finish, they can set up a page describing the project and requesting funds. Interested users can donate as much money as they would like, but money doesn’t change hands until the full $5,000 goal has been achieved. Project designers are encouraged to offer frequent updates as well as sneak peaks and “experiences” for their donors.

Artists will have the benefit of Kickstarter’s wide reach–more than 350,000 people have pledged over $30 million to Kickstarter projects since 2009–as well as Sundance’s vast network of entertainment veterans.

This isn’t the first time Sundance and Kickstarter have crossed paths. “The Woods,” a film which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, was funded in large part by Kickstarter. Director Matthew Lessner raised $11,584 from 95 people for the film. With backing from Sundance, expect even more Kickstarter-funded films to show up soon. Has the future of crowdsourced filming arrived?

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.