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Sundance Institute Partners with Kickstarter to Develop Indie Films

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January 26, 2011

Kickstarter & Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute today announced a new program to connect its artists with audiences by offering access to top-tier creative funding and marketing. The funding component was announced as a partnership with Kickstarter, the largest platform in the world for funding creative projects online (visit the website). A few weeks ago, on a whim I decided to give some money to a project called A Year Without Rent, which received enough to reach its goal. There's a film at Sundance this year called The Woods funded by Kickstarter as well and this news only means great things to come for the website as well as the future of independent cinema.

A new way to fund and follow creative projects, thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to projects on Kickstarter every month. In exchange for support, backers receive tangible rewards crafted and fulfilled by the project's creator. Support is neither investment, charity, nor lending, but rather a mix of commerce and patronage that allows artists to retain 100% ownership and creative control of their work while building a supportive community as they develop their projects. "Technology now allows filmmakers to fund and make films in ways we could never have even conceived. Just as we did 30 years ago, the Institute is responding to a need, with a responsibility to help the individual artist," explained Sundance founder Robert Redford.

So how exactly will the partnership with the Sundance Institute work? It's in the very early stages, but the collaboration will see Kickstarter providing promotional and educational support for Sundance by launching "an online hub of resources related to independent distribution options, funding strategies and other key issues. The goal is to provide for filmmakers a central location to explore case studies and best practices, in addition to live workshops and training opportunities with Institute staff, alumni, industry experts and key partners." Another partner in addition to Kickstarter is Facebook, who will also offer Institute alumni advice, educational materials, and best-practices tips on how to build and engage audiences via the service.

If you're an artist or filmmaker looking to develop a project, this should be very exciting news, as Sundance is the festival of festivals and the true home of independent cinema. For more information, you can read an article on Fast Company, read the Sundance press release or just visit Kickstarter.com and sign-up today.

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