One of the most exciting things about a Kickstarter project is that the end... is really only the beginning. Once the countdown on a project hits "zero," that just means it's time for creators to hit the ground running. And of the 3,000 successfully funded film projects to date, more than a few have gone on to collect noteworthy awards, premiere at prestigious film festivals, participate in acclaimed programs, and more. As part of our Film Week, here's a glimpse of some of the best and brightest — a list we hope to see keep growing!
The Afterlight — Alexei Kaleina and Craig Macneill's eerie, minimalist story of a young couple who move into an abandoned farmhouse received acclaim from the New York Times and was picked up for theatrical release.
The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye — Seven years in the making, this documentary exploring the fantastical love story of musician Genesis P-Orridge and Lady Jaye has played numerous international film festivals, was selected for the Tribeca Film Festival, and was a featured film of BAMcinemaFest.
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo— Hailed by critics from New York Magazine to the New Yorker to the LA Times, this feature-length documentary exploring Japan's long-standing cultural fascination with insects has been screened in theaters around the world.
Blue Like Jazz — The film adaptation of Donald Miller's popular book was saved from extinction by a vibrant community of fans and two, ordinary guys: Zach and Jonathan. Now, less than eight months after their Kickstarter project was successfully funded, production has wrapped and they've released a teaser trailer.
Brooklyn Castle — This documentary following the trials and tribulations of a super-talented elementary school chess team was showcased at IFP's Project Forum as part of Independent Film Week and was selected for the prestigious Good Pitch program.
Driven —Gregory Bayne's stark portrayal of a legendary fighter's last match screened all over the country, eventually getting picked up for video-on-demand distribution by Warner Brother.
Granito — An Oscar-nominated documentary short, Granito had its New York premiere at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, where director Pamela Yates movingly asked Kickstarter backers to stand for a round of post-screening applause. The film will begin its theatrical Oscar qualification run beginning September 14 at IFC Theater in New York.
Girl Walk // All Day— The enormously popular dance film Girl Walk // All Day ignited the imagination of the masses immediately, garnering coverage from the New York Times and proclamations of love for its lead dancer, the enigmatic Anne Marsen. Filming has now wrapped, with a release date to be expected soon.
I Am I — Jocelyn Towne's emotional tale of a young woman who meets the father who abandoned her and must cope with his mental illness found ardent fans in her clever project pitch video, was featured on CNN, and has now wrapped filming. A release date forthcoming soon!
Kevin — Famed mumblecore filmmaker Jay Duplass (The Puffy Chair, Cyrus) is the man behind this documentary on a traveling musician who finds his dreams unexpectedly reawakened. It recently premiered at SXSW.
Never Sorry — Alison Klayman's intimate documentary on China's infamous dissident artist Ai Weiwei has achieved international coverage, received funding from the Sundance Institute, and snagged an appearance on The Colbert Report.
Pariah — After an award-winning turn at Sundance, this short film about a young girl struggling to reconcile her personal identity with the expectations of her family was picked up for distribution by Focus Features. It will be released nation-wide this year. Watch the trailer here.
The Pirate Bay: Away From Keyboard — This documentary about three computer addicts who revolutionized the world of media distribution has just wrapped filming, received a grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Committee, and will be making festival appearances soon.
Putty Hill — Matthew Portfield's haunting portrait of a small Baltimore suburb was a widely acclaimed festival favorite, garnering accolades from renowned critics like Roger Ebert, and is now playing in theaters all across the country. It's currently screening for one week at IndieScreen in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Resurrect Dead — Director John Foy turned to Kickstarter when he was notified that his totally self-funded documentary had been nominated to premiere at Sundance, then went on to win the U.S. Documentary Competition Directing Award.
The Ruined Cast —The first ever feature-length film from famed graphic novelist Dash Shaw, produced by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch).
Strutter —The last feature in a trilogy from award-winning filmmakers Allison Anders and Kurt Voss has just wrapped and will be screening at the 2011 Palm Springs International Shortfest.
The Woods — Matthew Lessner's semi-satirical take on a group of friends who decide to move "off the grid" premiered at Sundance, was featured in Interview Magazine and Paper Magazine, and was selected to play in BAMcinemaFest.