Congratulations to our two grand prize winners from our last funding period, Elia Urquiza and David Oster. We can’t tell you too much about their films just yet, but stay tuned. As we ramp up and streamline our free distribution process, you’re going to see an influx of original films on our site in the coming months.
And congratulations to Mark Freudian, who didn’t win from his initial entry in the same contest as the above filmmakers, but who submitted a pitch for free to an opportunity that came from our funding network a few weeks after the contest closed for entries.
Check out everyone we’ve funded so far along our journey below, and keep reading to understand why we’re doing it.
That’s three films on which we’ve begun pre-production in just the past two months (five total since we’ve started). All high production value, story-driven narrative and documentary short films.
Generally, short films don’t make their creators too much money, if anything. Sure, there exist some streaming options after the festival run, but for the most part, indie filmmakers aren’t making short films full-time for the money. Short films serve as calling cards, resumes, grounds for experimentation.
So why have we given, and why will we continue to give away thousands of dollars to independent short films? Because the state of independent film funding in the industry is a complete mess right now, and we want to democratize it.
It’s the Wild West. Indie film grants and screenwriting contests require so much time and effort, and they’re expensive to enter.
The same goes for crowdfunding: executing a successful campaign takes months of planning. These can be great options if executed well, but we want to streamline and supplement the process.
No one wants to fund short films because they come with a lot of baggage–unproven talent, lack of resources, and minimal return on investment. The Film Fund doesn’t care about any of that.
Quentin Tarantino–one of my idols–claims that some of the footage from his first film was lost in a fire. That may be true, but he’s also called it a learning experience that served as his film school. We like to think of short films in a similar way–as a proving ground–except for the fact that we want to showcase them, not burn them.
We’re funding films because we care about films, and we want to see them made.
Other funding options work, too, but they work in a different way, and at a much higher cost. There’s no reason you can’t supplement your funding strategy by joining The Film Fund community.
We’re doing this simply because we love narrative and documentary film. Film finance and finishing funds are merely a means to an end. On our initial website design and in early concept pitch decks, we carried the tagline “level the funding field.”
It’s no longer on the site because The Film Fund focuses on developing gnarly content (yes, we used the word gnarly), not just funding. We know our stuff, but we want to focus on filmmakers, not paperwork and ROI.
But at its most basic level, it still holds true, as we believe that short films can serve as the great equalizer in the film industry.
If we give a kid from Siberia a few thousand dollars to make a short film, he can compete against those who have raised funding for their content via more traditional means.
Consider the following scenario. Let’s say he has the following festivals and websites in his strategy spreadsheet:
- Short of the Week
- The Film Fund
- Cannes Film Festival
- Austin Film Festival
- Sundance Film Festival
- Tribeca Film Festival
- New York Film Festival
- Telluride Film Festival
- Banff Film Festival
The kid’s got dreams for sure. And he’s bookmarked several other international film festivals, short film grants, and short film contests. He’s also got a list of production companies he admires.
Let’s say he hears back from one of those funding contests, but they can only provide him enough funding for production. If he’s part of The Film Fund’s community, he could secure the rest of the money he needs by using our funding as a film finishing fund.
Fast forward two years. His film premiered on our website as well as some local festivals. With thousands of views from our site and the buzz he got from the festivals, he’s secured enough interest to get an agent and develop the project into a feature film.
The beauty of The Film Fund is its versatility. It can be used as a production fund, a post fund, whatever. As long as it contributes to the production of your film.
Fast forward ten years. The teenager’s now a grown man, and he’s won the Palme d’or for his most recent project, a job he landed because of the agent who found him from The Film Fund.
So that’s why we’ve given away over $14,000 to filmmakers who won’t make us any money.
Are we crazy? No, we just have dreams.
Join us, and accomplish your dreams.