The Kickstarter Blog

$100 Million Pledged to Independent Film

Today we’re thrilled to announce that more than $100 million has been pledged to film projects on Kickstarter. This is a big milestone for independent filmmakers and this new way of filmmaking. How big? Let’s take a look.

Film & Video statistics (April 28, 2009 — January 1, 2013)

  • Total pledged: $102.7 million 
  • Total collected: $85.7 million
  • Total backers: 891,979 
  • Funded projects: 8,567

In the past three 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 $60 million has been pledged in the past 12 months alone.

Here’s how those funds have been distributed:

Film Subcategory Pledged Funded Projects
Documentary $42.64 million 2,394
Narrative Film $31.74 million 2,331
Short Film $16.68 million 3,000
Webseries $6.83 million 619
Animation $4.87 million 223

Documentaries have had the most dollars pledged, but every category has received millions of dollars from thousands of backers. More than 3,000 short films and nearly 5,000 feature-length films have been successfully funded since 2009.

Kickstarter’s impact on film

In Hollywood, $100 million might be the marketing budget for a single blockbuster, but independent filmmakers are more resourceful. This $100 million helped to create more than 8,000 films, many of which have gone on to great acclaim and success.

  • At least 86 Kickstarter-funded films have been released theatrically, screening in more than 1,500 North American theaters according to Rentrak. Another 14 films have theatrical premieres slated for 2013.
  • According to Rotten Tomatoes, three of the 20 best-reviewed films of 2012 are Kickstarter-funded (The Waiting Room, Brooklyn Castle, and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry). Another Kickstarter-funded film, Pariah, was among the best-reviewed of 2011.
  • UPDATE: Five films have been nominated for Oscars in the past two years: Sun Come Up and Incident in New Baghdad in 2012, and InocenteKings Point, and Buzkashi Boys in 2013. A sixth, Barber of Birmingham, launched a project after being Oscar-nominated. Three other films were shortlisted for Oscar nominations in 2013: The Waiting Room, Detropia, and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry.
  • Kickstarter-funded films comprised 10% of Sundance’s slate in 2012 and 2013. In total, 49 Kickstarter-funded films have been official selections at the prestigious festival.
  • Kickstarter-funded films comprised 10% of the 2012 slates at the SXSW Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. In total, 57 Kickstarter-funded films have premiered at SXSW and 21 at Tribeca.
  • At least 16 Kickstarter-funded films have been picked up for national broadcast through HBO, PBS, Showtime, and other networks.
  • Kickstarter-funded films have won at least 21 awards at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Cannes, and Berlinale festivals.
  • Eight Kickstarter-funded films are nominated for Independent Spirit Awards this year.

This would be a very impressive track record for an established studio or production company. To see these results come from outside the system in such a short time is even more inspiring. Filmmakers and audiences have come together on Kickstarter to make the movies they want to see while protecting the filmmaker's vision for their work.

Congratulations to the Kickstarter film community for their hard work and deserved success, and thanks to their backers for their generous support. We look forward to funding and watching your films in the years to come!

Comments

    1. Christina-headshot-ken-512.small

      Creator Christina Warren on January 3, 2013

      This is incredible. Beyond just the funding, the bigger story is the impact Kickstarter has on helping get the message out about important projects. Look at the documentary category for example -- how many of the funded projects would struggle to find an audience before the film's release -- or even after. Kickstarter isn't just providing funding, it's providing awareness and an audience.

      That's powerful. Kudos.

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      Creator David Kyngdon on January 3, 2013

      These results stand as a testament to the incredible service that Kickstarter has brought to the world.... and it is really only just the beginning!

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      Creator Kouture Crochet on January 3, 2013

      wow!!! thats really amazing!

      i really hope big studios will see it and realize that small market movies and docus really are amazing and they too should give them shot even if they are not a "sure thing"

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      Creator Roxane Tourigny on January 3, 2013

      Wow! This is awesome! I've backed The Goon animation movie and I can't wait to hear of the end result.

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      Creator Marty Lang on January 3, 2013

      As the writer/director of a Kickstarted feature film, a producer of a Kickstarted Webseries, and a backer of over 30 film projects here, this is unbelievable news. This site is a huge reason so many independent filmmakers have been able to turn their visions into picture and sound. Thank you Kickstarter!

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      Creator Mircea Goia on January 7, 2013

      Keep it going! Thank you for being here, Kickstarter!

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      Creator Lisa Yao on January 9, 2013

      Bravo to these films - many of which would not have existed at all "in the system" - what a wonderful milestone!

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      Creator Cristina Marin on February 4, 2013

      I wish mine will have this success also. Nice numbers!

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      Creator Boris Pijyanov on February 28, 2013

      How canadian can start in kickstarter ?

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      Creator Indy Filmm on March 21, 2013

      Up and coming brilliant Filmmaker Antonio Racciano (2013) has been making an impressive showing throughout the Indy circuit. We had the good fortune to meet at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012 when he was making his film debut as an actor in Ben Affleck's Argo, playing a small cameo role as "The Waiter", in the scene at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. I had the good fortune to sit down with Antonio for an impromptu interview. Here is a transcript of our fascinating interview.
      Me: How are you enjoying Toronto?
      Antonio Racciano: I love it, I grew up not too far from here in Buffalo.
      Me: Right across Peace Bridge.
      Antonio: Yes, that's right. My family and I would come to Toronto quite frequently and we always had a great time. It's a beautiful city.
      Me: What have you been working on?
      Antonio: Well, I'm here in support of Ben Affleck and his movie Argo, in which I make a cameo appearance.
      Me: I saw it, you did a great job. How fun...
      Antonio: Thank you, I had a good time doing it.
      Me: I couldn't help but notice that you didn't have any lines in the film.
      Antonio: Yes, I didn't want any..
      Me: Why?
      Antonio: ..I just felt like this is Ben's movie and I just wanted to make a cameo appearance for fun...be on the set and have a good time...it was an extraordinary experience working that day, everyone was there, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ben Affleck even Jennifer Garner was there that day, hanging out, watching. It was alot of fun.
      Me: Are you working on a new film?
      Antonio: Yes I have been working on a new film. It's called "Their Unique Journey Inside Hollywood".
      Me: What's it about?
      Antonio: It's an in depth look into how friends of mine have made a success in Hollywood...Everyone who is successful has had to follow a unique path to make it in Hollywood. It's not like being a Doctor. You know after you finish Med School, you will be a doctor but in the entertainment industry, there is no such true path to success.
      Me: Sounds like an interesting movie, I can't wait to see it. Who's in it?
      Antonio: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Vince Vaughn...and the list goes on.
      Me: When's it coming out?
      Antonio: we are in the process of editing in post at the moment. We have a release date set for January 2013. We'll see what happens.
      Me: Well thank you for taking some time to sit down with me.
      Antonio: It was my pleasure..
      Well that was my intereview with the very talented Antonio Racciano, here in beautiful Toronto at the film festival.
      Here is a link to Antonio Racciano's IMDb page: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2750806/
      Antonio Racciano's Movie links: https://sites.google.com/site/antonioraccianoproductions/

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      Creator Ryan Sprague on June 4, 2013

      This is so inspiring to hear. We hope you will make OUR film one of those success stories!!!

      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1125996615/reverie-lane-the-movie

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      Creator DL Clark on August 7, 2013

      Great blog and independent film stats! We're raising funds for the hip hop movie "King Of Paper Chasin Part 2" The first film had a great response and currently has 5 stars on Netflix.
      Check out our funding page at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/638057305/king-of-paper-chasin-part-2

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      Creator Peter Katz on August 21, 2013

      I predict that someday more film funding will come from Kickstarter than a major studio. Additionally, tentpoles will eventually be financed on this platform.

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      Creator Lee Peterkin on October 11, 2013

      What are the best months for an independent film Kickstarter Campaign?

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      Creator Robert Lee Grant on February 10

      My project is ready to go but I cannot get Amazon to certify my identity because i am living with relatives in Sacramento who are paying all of the household bills including utilities. Amazon tells me that they require my name on a utility bill to certify that I am who I say i am. I sent them my drivers' license copy that has my post office box address as well as my tax returns.

      i am very disappointed to not have my documentary film project on Kickstarter. Here is my award winning film credit www.NourishingThekids.com and here is the trailer for my new "Land Park" project that I would like to get going with Kickstarter http://www.youtube.com/watch…

      Frustrated,
      Robert Lee Grant

      Robert Lee Grant, PhD. Bus. Econ.
      Filmmaker & Public Health Advocate

      Nourishing The Kids Media
      "Land Park" Film

      P.O. Box 189546
      Sacramento, CA 95818
      cell 415-302-7356
      www.NourishingTheKids.org

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      Creator Foyaz Uddin on February 11

      Wow!! It's a Fantastic idea. this language course idea is delightful. I like to thank for all Member who involve. Keep it guys..

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      Creator Nansy Spilberg on February 13

      It is rather surprising but film industry is widely developed and vast amount of people all over the world can’t break away from TVs. Successful films require large cash infusions and http://www.cashadvanceloanstore.com/ is able to help.