15 Kickstarter-funded Films to Screen at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival
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Last year at the Tribeca Film Festival, documentary filmmaker Kahane Cooperman joined Kickstarter’s Film team on a panel to talk about how she built a community and rallied support for her project. This year, that project — the moving documentary short Joe’s Violin, brought to life with the help of 272 backers — was nominated for an Oscar.
We’re proud to once again celebrate the accomplishments of the Kickstarter Film community at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, taking place April 19–30 in New York City. This year, fifteen Kickstarter-funded works will debut at the fest, marking the seventh consecutive year that Kickstarter-funded films have premiered at Tribeca.
These films span historical narratives, socially conscious documentaries, and formally innovative series. They tell an array of personal stories, ranging from a group of surfers in search of the perfect wave — Chris Burkard’s Under the Arctic Sky, which holds the distinction of being the most-funded documentary short on Kickstarter — to a touching tribute to an award-winning war photographer who lost his life while on assignment. You’ll also find a wonderfully strange variety TV show co-created by Kickstarter Film team alum Dan Schoenbrun, a comedy web series that takes some very unexpected (and very bloody) turns, and even scarier - a VR project that puts you inside New York subways and into the thoughts of its riders.
Our Film team — Elise McCave, Director of Narrative Film; Liz Cook, Director of Documentary Film; and David Ninh, Senior Communications Specialist — will also be hosting two special events during the festival:
- On Saturday, April 22, Elise McCave will moderate a panel discussion with Kickstarter creators Sam Voutas, director of King of Peking, and Carlye Rubin, co-director and producer of The Family I Had, where they’ll talk about their successes, insights, and tips for running a project.
- On Thursday, April 27, the Kickstarter Film team is partnering with the Queer Producers Collective to host an evening of celebration and solidarity at Kickstarter’s Brooklyn HQ.
Join us in applauding the creators whose films will premiere at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival, and the 9,000+ backers who helped them bring their work to the big screen.
Head here for more information and for tickets to the festival, and check out the films we’ll be cheering on below:
(Film descriptions and images all courtesy of Tribeca Film Festival.)
INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE COMPETITION
King of Peking
Director: Sam Voutas
Big Wong and his son Little Wong are traveling film projectionists, screening Hollywood movies for local villagers. Faced with losing custody of his son, Big Wong starts making and selling illegal bootleg DVDs out of the old movie theater where he works, despite Little Wong's objections. More than a father-son story, King of Peking is a love letter to cinema.
This project was brought to life with the help of 334 backers on Kickstarter.
Director: Drew Xanthopoulos
Meet the Sensitives, people who are debilitatingly sensitive to modern life — electricity, chemicals, you name it. Their symptoms and coping mechanisms might vary, but they all face the unusual and heartbreaking choice of either living in dangerous and uncertain conditions with their loved ones, or in physical and technological isolation.
This project was brought to life with the help of 606 backers on Kickstarter.
Director: Jamie Meltzer
There's a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by three exonerated men, with decades in prison served between them, who look to free innocent people from behind bars. True Conviction follows these change-makers with no small task in front of them as they rebuild their lives and families, learn to investigate cases, work to support one another, and try to fix the criminal justice system.
This project was brought to life with the help of 505 backers on Kickstarter.
Director: Greg Campbell
Beginning with the war in Kosovo in 1999, award-winning photographer Chris Hondros served as a witness to conflict for over a decade before being killed in Libya in 2011. In Hondros, director and childhood friend Greg Campbell creates a portrait of a man with not only great depth and sensitivity, but a passion for his craft and an unending talent for creating breathtaking imagery. Executive produced by Jake Gyllenhaal.
This project was brought to life with the help of 699 backers on Kickstarter.
The Family I Had
Directors: Katie Green and Carlye Rubin
A family is torn apart by an unthinkable crime: the brutal and seemingly unmotivated murder of a young girl by her teenage brother. At the center of the story is the beleaguered single mother, Charity. How does she move forward, and what kind of relationship can she forge with her now-incarcerated son? Devastatingly honest, The Family I Had performs a family archaeology to understand not only this tragedy itself, but the generations of intra-family violence, mental illness, and unspoken secrets that preceded it. More than just an undeniably compelling true crime story, the film is a study in both the power and the limits of family, forgiveness, and filial love.
This project was brought to life with the help of 117 backers on Kickstarter.
The Last Animals
Director: Kate Brooks
Photojournalist Kate Brooks turns her lens from war zones to a new kind of genocide in this sweeping and sobering film. As the single-digit population of the Northern White Rhino ticks closer to extinction, Brooks exposes the epidemic of highly effective poachers and trafficking syndicates, and the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these majestic creatures.
This project was brought to life with the help of 336 backers on Kickstarter.
SHORTS: LAST EXIT
Director: Julia Jones
North American Premiere
A girl learns the brutal sacrifices it takes to satisfy her love.
This project was brought to life with the help of 107 backers on Kickstarter.
Director: Marta Savina
It's Sicily in 1965, and Franca is forced to marry the man who assaulted her to avoid becoming a pariah in her traditionalist community. She rebels against the established custom and sets a precedent that alters the course of Italian history, paving the way for women's rights.
This project was brought to life with the help of 82 backers on Kickstarter.
Director: Georgia Oakley
Against the backdrop of 1941 London, Little Bird explores how far one young woman will go to create a new life for herself when the women of Great Britain are called upon to aid the war effort.
This project was brought to life with the help of 205 backers on Kickstarter.
SHORTS: SURF’S UP!
Directors: Josh Izenberg and Wynn Padula
New York Premiere
Struggling with trauma and depression after his military service, Iraq war veteran Bobby Lane wants to cross surfing off his bucket list before taking his life.
This project was brought to life with the help of 212 backers on Kickstarter.
Under an Arctic Sky
Director: Chris Burkard
Photographer Chris Burkard and a group of surfers journey to Iceland’s north coast in search of perfect waves during the largest storm to make landfall in 25 years.
This project was brought to life with the help of 4,870 backers on Kickstarter.
SHORTS: YOUR HEART’S DESIRE
The Foster Portfolio
Director: Danielle Katvan
Based on the original short story by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Foster Portfolio is an offbeat mid-century tale about a rookie investment counselor who discovers that his penniless client is hiding a million-dollar inheritance in order to conceal a strange double life.
This project was brought to life with the help of 96 backers on Kickstarter.
Directors: Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell
Bringing the next generation of alternative American filmmakers together under one strange roof, this hour-long variety TV show will slice, dice, and mince your eyeballs into delicious ceviche. Each episode is a handcrafted mixtape, blending boundary-pushing short-form work into a weird, wild, uninterrupted whole. The Eyeslicer premieres at Tribeca with the episode "Facial Reconstruction," featuring work from acclaimed indie filmmakers Lauren Wolkstein, Erin Vassilopoulos, Shaka King, Danny Madden, and Leah Shore.
This project was brought to life with the help of 756 backers on Kickstarter.
N.O.W. (NEW ONLINE WORK)
New York Is Dead
Creators: Jenn Harris, Matthew Wilkas, and Randy Harrison
A darkly hilarious webseries about two broke NYC artists who become hitmen to make ends meet.
This project was brought to life with the help of 224 backers on Kickstarter.
Creators: Alexander Porter, Yasmin Elayat, James George, and Mei-Ling Wong
Blackout is an ongoing participatory, volumetric VR project gathering the reflections of real people living in today’s tense political climate through the lens of the New York City subway. By creating a rotating, "crowd-sourced" cast, Blackout addresses the impossible task of representing the extraordinary breadth of human experience in New York City. Each viewing of Blackout is different, surrounding you with a unique group of straphangers taking you to the places their minds go between destinations.
This project was brought to life with the help of 224 backers on Kickstarter.