Kickstarter at Sundance 2015
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It's time to head to Park City for another year of celebrating independent film. For the fourth straight year, Kickstarter-funded features, docs and shorts will make up more than 10 percent of the festival slate. 17 films going to Sundance this year were funded on Kickstarter, and they join the 70+ Kickstarter-funded films that were selected for previous Sundance Festivals.
We're so proud of these filmmakers — all amazing storytellers who have found their own ways to cultivate audiences and and make work that represents their true creative vision. Here's a brief look at each of the 17 films whose journey to Sundance included a stop on Kickstarter:
In Jennifer Phang's science fiction short Advantageous, a single mother makes a decision to partake in a cutting-edge biomedical project in order to secure her daughter's future. It's a story about family, the struggle for a future, and surviving in the technological singularity.
In Charles Poekel's Christmas, Again, protagonist Noel suddenly finds himself unable to do what he's done for years — sell Christmas trees in NYC. It's a film about endurance, human spirit, and the unique relationships that communities form with their Christmas tree vendors.
Dog Bowl is a short about what happens when a disaffected young woman steals the vest from a service dog and finds herself contemplating the answer to her very existence.
In 2007, a severed human foot was discovered in a grill bought at a North Carolina auction. Bryan Carberry and Clay Tweel's Finders Keepers is the story of what happened after that — and it only gets weirder.
In I'll See You In My Dreams, Blythe Danner plays an older woman who begins dating again when her routine is shaken. She finds herself connecting with two very different men — one older and exuberant, and the other young and unsure about his next steps — as she enters a different phase of her life.
Filmmakers Tony Vainuku and Erika Cohn have spent the past five years following four Polynesian football players as they try to make it to the NFL. For these Salt Lake City teens, football isn't just a game — it's a way out of poverty and gang violence.
The third feature from filmmaking trio Borderline Films, James White, is a coming-of-age story of a young man caught in a spiral of reckless behavior — but it's also a film about the relationship between a mother and son. (See also our interview with two of the filmmakers, from earlier this year.)
Misery Loves Comedy is a documentary about the darker side of comedians — in it, actor (and comic) Kevin Pollak examines the popular notion that the people who make us laugh are, in fact, miserable.
Papa Machete examines the art of machete fencing — and talks to the main man doing it — in Haiti.
Racing Extinction is a film by the same people that made the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. It takes on the topic of mass extinction as something our planet might be facing soon.
Set against the backdrop of the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, Saturday is a fictional account of one family's experience — one brother is at the football match, and the other is at home, watching events unfold.
Ousmane Sembene is one of Africa's greatest storytellers, on the page and screen. Sembene! is the first documentary about his life.
A reckless decision changes everything for three Lakota best friends in this coming-of-age film from director Chloe Zhao.
An exploration of the way that American masculinity is portrayed, The Mask You Live In is a doc about the ways in which certain behaviors and traits are socially imposed on boys from an early age — and how it affects them negatively throughout life.
San Francisco filmmaker Jenni Olson's contemplative The Royal Road takes on ideas of colonization, nostalgia, butch identity, and more, and sets them against a backdrop of 16mm California landscape.
Volta is the Greek word for a stroll. In this short film, a single mother and her daughter take a journey across Athens by foot, bus, and more. It's part road movie, part love song to a city in crisis.
In a town with a population of 16, an individual begins buying up land in order to turn the town into a white nationalist community. Welcome to Leith is the story of the town as it struggles for sovereignty against his vision.