2017 has been a thrilling year for the Kickstarter Film team.
It began at the Sundance Film Festival, where Jennifer Brea’s Unrest won a major jury award, and ended with the theatrical release of Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully hand-painted feature film. In between, we saw Kickstarter-funded features, documentaries, and web series enter the world, changing and reinventing the way stories are told onscreen.
Here, we share some of our favorite moments from Kickstarter alumni filmmakers in 2017.
2017 was a consequential year. For many people, it was a challenging year. But it was also a year in which people made art that amplified new and underrepresented voices, brought communities together, and engaged in important conversations.
As a team, Kickstarter staffers have backed thousands of projects. So as the year comes to a close, we asked a few of our colleagues to share their favorite Kickstarter-funded works that became available to read, watch, explore, experience, purchase, and play in 2017. Some of these projects launched and subsequently entered culture earlier this year. Others came about after years of painstaking work, during which time creators gave their backers a behind-the-scenes peek at the process along the way. All were fascinating and inspiring for their originality and inventiveness.
Read on to discover our team’s favorites — and let us know yours in the comments.
This fall, we welcomed fifteen Kickstarter creators to our office in Brooklyn, NY, as part of our Creators-in-Residence program. The residents settled into their desks in September, and immediately got to work in our theater, recording studio, and meeting rooms. They organized events, developed new work, and partnered with Kickstarter staffers who served as their mentors, providing guidance and support throughout the development of their projects.
Here's a quick look at what they got up to during their three-month stay:
In 2015, Mike Butera and the Artiphon team launched the Instrument 1 on Kickstarter. Their goal was to create a “multi-instrument” that could be played like a guitar, violin, piano, or sampler — giving music-makers an interface that was as flexible and customizable as the digital sounds it controlled.
That vision resonated with more than 3,300 backers, who helped the Instrument 1 become the highest-funded musical instrument on Kickstarter to date. As a platform devoted to bringing creative projects to life, we love it when creators make tools that encourage others to be creative in new ways. So we asked Butera to share some of his favorite examples of the music people made with the Instrument 1 from the past year.
When people say our food system is broken, it’s shorthand for a myriad of interrelated issues. These problems are complex, and it’s easy to feel as though they’re insurmountable. But we believe that through collaboration and the ingenuity of independent creators, solutions are within reach.
Today, Kickstarter is teaming up with the global food innovation accelerator Food-X to issue a joint Request for Innovations. Together, we’re calling upon independent creators who are attempting to improve our food system, working to provide food options that engender public health, promote sustainability, and reduce food waste.
Today we're happy to announce that Cassie Marketos is joining Kickstarter as our Vice President of Community Strategy. A lot of that happiness has to do with the fact that Cassie is really not so new. She was Kickstarter’s first official employee, before there was even a Kickstarter office. In this newly created role, much of her focus will be on nurturing the community we’re building at Drip, a tool for artists and creators to fund and build community around their creative practice. It’s great to have her back. We asked Cassie to answer a few questions about herself.
This November, we challenged creators to take part in Commissions, an open call for collaborative projects.
The idea was simple: Artists, designers, and makers could run Kickstarter projects that invited their supporters to pledge for rewards made especially for them, using their input and ideas in the creative process.