It's been one heck of a week down in Austin, Texas! 33 Kickstarter-funded films played this year's SXSW Film Festival, with 6 taking home fantastic awards. Huge hugs and congrats to our filmmakers on their accomplishments:
Best Narrative Feature: Gimme The Loot, written and directed by Adam Leon
Audience Award for Best Documentary: Bay of All Saints, directed by Annie Eastman
Audience Award for Documentary Spotlight: Brooklyn Castle, directed by Katie Dellamaggiore
Special Jury Recognition for Performances: Nico Stone in Booster, written and directed by Matt Ruskin
Lone Star Special Jury Recognition: Trash Dance, directed by Andrew Garrison
Excellence in Poster Design: Man & Gun, designer Justin Cox
In addition to these awards, this year's festival saw the world premiere of Steve Taylor's Blue Like Jazz, the most-funded Kickstarter film of all time. Adapted from Donald Miller's New York Times bestselling memoir and co-written with Miller and Ben Pearson, Blue Like Jazz and Taylor were extraordinarily well received.
With a massive line outside the Paramount Theater wrapped around the block, Kickstarter backers abounded, and we spent the screening listening to a healthy mix of laughter and sniffles from the audience. Thanks to some 4,496 backers including 799 Associate Producers (whose credit roll ran as long as all other credits combined!) Blue Like Jazz will be released on April 13th by Roadside Attractions. Steve took a few minutes out of his hectic press schedule to chat with us (in between interviews with USA Today and CNN! ...NoBigDeal.)
And the music industry was all aflutter with the premiere of rad Kickstarter project Space Ducks, musician Daniel Johnston's first-ever comic book. The debut was celebrated with a crazy party featuring the R. Stevie Moore (a two-time successful Kickstarter creator himself), Built to Spill, and others. It was a fantastic time!
Truth be told, Kickstarter cheers and tears were in full effect this SX, as audiences flipped for Jacob Krupnick's Girl Walk // All Day and Andrew Garrison's Trash Dance. Despite torrential rains Girl Walk kicked off the 2012 festival by setting the Austin Convention Center ablaze. Post the 72-minute dance film, a boogie-ready audience was greeted with hundreds of sparklers, evolving into an epic rain dance party till the very last sparkler burned out.
And for some next-day hullabaloo: hoots, hollers, and a hearty standing ovation greeted Garrison and his subjects, choreographer Allison Orr and the Austin city sanitation workers who participated in her modern trash ballet, as they took the stage after their world premiere. Even Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell was there to officially declare March 10th Trash Dance Day in Austin!
The Kickstarter projects that took SX by storm are undoubtedly some of our favorite Kickstarter projects of all time. Stories of community, participation, acceptance, and joyful embrace, these projects are exactly the kind of creative work we care about being brought into this world. It was truly amazing to see all three of them come to life in Austin this week, and we're so proud to have played a role in each of their successes. If you haven't experienced them yet, we can't wait for you to become a part of their worlds. We can't wait to see where they go from here.