About Events Partners Press Resources Join Members Blog Donate

Home Page
Calendar of Events
Member Center

Poster of The Iran Job, a Kickstarter success story
Poster of The Iran Job, a Kickstarter success story
Crowdfunding for filmmakers: Success stories

Independent filmmakers, no longer at the sole mercy of finding financing via networks and film circuits, are getting creative when raising capital. Crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo, RocketHub, and Kickstarter have successfully turned the Internet into the new film studio—liberating producers and changing the prevailing financing models.

By participating in these platforms and utilizing social media, filmmakers invite the public to invest in their concepts and help actualize their cinematic dreams. The "backers" receive the great social experience of being involved in a film from its earliest stages. DIY filmmakers and platform specialists will discuss the methodology behind crowdsourcing and how connecting with peer creatives can save you money, boost your production value, and augment the visibility of your project.

This star-studded panel will profile successfully executed film campaigns and highlight proven methods—from developing the right pitch, to assembling the perfect team, to securing backers, to leveraging a strong social network. Representatives from leading crowdfunding platforms will discuss the most efficient ways to use their services and review winning tactics.

Don't miss this insightful, of-the-moment discussion!

Matt Jacobson
is the Head of Market Development at Facebook, where he focuses on strategic partnerships. He helps spearhead creative marketing programs, including projects that leverage the Facebook platform to help companies crowd-source products, pricing and philanthropy. He joined Facebook in 2005 from Quiksilver Entertainment, where he was the VP, Co-Founder and Global Head of Marketing Services. Prior to Quiksilver, he was CEO of Broadband Interactive Group at Broadcom Corporation and the Executive Vice President of News America Digital Publishing at News Corp.

Brian Meece
is CEO of RocketHub, one of the world's top crowdfunding platforms for film, music, and artistic projects—featured in The New York Times, Scientific American and The Economist, and on NPR. Meece has lectured on crowdsourced funding at SXSW, TEDx and Columbia University, among other colleges, conferences and institutions.

In January 2012, Sara Nodjoumi, along with Till Schauder, completed one of the most successful campaigns on Kickstarter for the feature documentary The Iran Job. Nodjoumi is a producer of the upcoming film, executive produced by Abigail Disney. Nodjoumi’s first film, I Call Myself Persian: Iranians in America, premiered at the MoMA Documentary Fortnight. In 2006, she worked on the marketing and release of Charles Sturridge's Lassie. Prior to that, she joined award-winning director Schauder as a producer on his feature films Santa Smokes and Duke’s House. She was also the Associate Programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Kat Popiel
 spearheads content creation and community building at IndieGoGo—bringing with her marketing strategy experience for global brands such as K-Swiss, Diesel, Whyte & Mackay and Sony. She has produced over 150 events worldwide for the likes of Sothebys, Alexander McQueen, Taschen and Top Shop. Prior to IndieGoGo, she led the business development of Dekalb Market in Brooklyn. She has written for various publications, including PSFK, Good, Trace, Dazed & Confused, and blogs geared towards subculture. Popiel also co-founded On Plate, Still Hungry, an online magazine, and created Something I Ate, a seasonal event series.

Zara Serabian-Arthur, a documentary filmmaker and educator, is a co-founder of the Meerkat Media Collective, a community of makers committed to creating artful, socially relevant films through a nonhierarchical collaborative process. In her work with the collective, she has directed, produced and edited numerous documentaries, including the award-winning Stages, Brooklyn Boondoggle, and shorts about the OWS movement, such as Consensus. A member of the writing team for the collective’s in-progress documentary Brasslands, Serabian-Arthur has also worked as a teaching artist and arts program administrator in schools and community centers.

John T. Trigonis is a published poet, DIY filmmaker and freelance professor. In February 2010, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo for Cerise, topping his initial goal of $5,000 by $1,300 within three months through Facebook, Twitter and an occasional email. About 70% of funds came from people he had never met. Cerise has screened at a dozen film festivals, has been nominated for four awards, won an Award of Merit, and participated in the Court Métrage at the 2011 Festival de Cannes. He is currently writing Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign, under contract with Michael Wiese Productions.

Moderator Megan Cunningham is the Founder and CEO of Magnet Media, a production company and interactive marketing services agency.  She is best known for crafting innovative business models, and producing media content for emerging platforms.  Cunningham regularly speaks on interactive marketing, branded entertainment, the state of the media industry, and broadband video production. She regularly consults Fortune 1000 technology and entertainment projects, leads seminars, workshops and panels at top industry events. She is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and has served on the Board of Directors of New York Women in Film and Television.

Produced by Susan Eddington, Iri Greco and Maura Kelly

Use the hashtag #NYWIFT in your tweets!

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are made possible, in part, by public funds from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York State Legislature.