The Kickstarter Blog

The Kickstarter Film Festival

We’re thrilled to announce that on Friday, July 9th Kickstarter and Rooftop Films will host the first annual Kickstarter Film Festival on the roof of the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus, Brooklyn. This enormous building:

The festival will feature 90-plus minutes of footage from a dozen Kickstarter projects. They include documentaries (two about Brooklyn), features, shorts, animation, art, and dance, among other categories. They are also — every single one of them — amazing. 

There will be more than film. The Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, the focus of the currently funding Brasslands documentary, will perform and it will be raucous. There will be amazing homemade ice cream, pies, cakes, artisanal sodas, and more thanks to several Kickstarter-funded food projects who will be serving as vendors for the night. 

Tomorrow at noon EST, 300 tickets will go on sale on Kickstarter for $10 each. These will be reserved rooftop seats. An additional 400 tickets will be sold for a courtyard area at the door on the night of the festival. All funds will go straight to Rooftop Films to pay for event costs and to contribute to their Rooftop Filmmakers’ Fund.


The films themselves are tremendous. We have The Woods (Preliminary Excerpts: A Rough Vision for the Future) from Matthew Lessner. That’s one of the first Kickstarter film projects, and a longtime staff favorite. There’s also the magical Flood Tide, a road movie on a river from Brooklynite Todd Chandler. We’re thrilled to have Matthew Porterfield’s Putty Hill, which Kickstarter helped send to the Berlin Film Festival. Just last week the film got a four-star review from Roger Ebert.

There are documentaries as well — two of them about Brooklyn.Battle of Brooklyn is Rumur Films’ recounting of the battle over Atlantic Yards, a plan by a developer and the city of New York to use eminent domain to build a basketball stadium in Brooklyn. We’ll be premiering twenty minutes from that. There’s also Chess Movie from husband and wife Katie and Nelson Dellamaggiore about a Brooklyn junior high with the best chess team in the country — and not much else.

Other documentaries include Staring at the Sun, a film from Olivia Wyatt and the Sublime Frequencies label about Ethiopian tribal music (the trailer is tremendous) and Jens Pulver: Driven from Gregory Bayne about a mixed martial arts fighter’s final match. It’s one of Kickstarter’s most successful film projects to date.

The animation selections run the gamut. There’s the stop-motion surreal humor of Little Brass Bird from creators Robin Poppert and Rhoderick Magsino and narrator Elliott Bambrough. It’s long been one of my favorite Kickstarter projects — to have the opportunity to share this with so many other people is an incredible honor. Same for Vance Reeser’s Lake Beast, a short film that he unveiled as a work-in-progress on his excellent Kickstarter project. And there’s an 8-bit short from Karim Muasher called A Short Lecture of a Different Time that’s just tremendous.

The final two selections have more of a fine art origin. Jonathan Dueck’s In Transit Presents 16mm is a hypnotic piece featuring hand-painted 16mm frames and fractured musical accompaniment. And Karl Cronin’s work as the dancing ecologist — where he creates choreographed movements to mimic endangered North American plant and animal species — is absolutely amazing. He will debut a piece about the Gulf of Mexico.

There will be a lot to take in. In addition to the films, the food vendors are phenomenal. They include Brooklyn GrangeIce Cream ClubPies in the ParkBrooklyn Soda Works, and Cakestarter, along with tables from Windowfarms and Trade School. They are all being incredibly generous with their time, and we should be generous with our stomachs and attention in exchange. 

We’re looking forward to an amazing night, and we hope you can join us. We have a great slate of films to share and an amazing atmosphere to take them in. We hope to see you there!

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