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by Lela Scott MacNeil
July 8th, 2010

This coming Friday, Rooftop Films will be  joining forces with Kickstarter to present the first annual Kickstarter Film Festival, a selection of film, video, and art projects supported on the new crowd-source funding website Kickstarter.com.

If you haven’t heard, Kickstarter is a new and alternative way to fund creative ideas.  To date, more than 1,500 artists, musicians, filmmakers, and craftspeople have been funded by the organization.

The most important contribution of Kickstarter has perhaps been to shine an optimistic light into the dark tunnel of doomsayers bemoaning the impending death independent film and independent art in general.

Agains all odds, Kickstarter works because it connects artists with their supporters in a very direct way. The appeal is obvious; who wouldn’t want to have been one of the donors that helped The Pixies to record their first EP? Who wouldn’t have given $50 to help Godard buy his film stock for Pierrot Le Fou?

As a celebration of the impact that Kickstarter is having, Friday’s festival will feature film and video from a dozen Kickstarter projects, including feature films, stop-motion animation, documentaries, art, and dance. But the festival will be much more than that. A number of Kickstarter food projects will serve as vendors for the event. They’ll be selling things like artisanal sodas, homemade ice cream, amazing pies, fresh vegetables from urban farms, delicious cakes, and more. And, before the screening, the audience can enjoy the amazing Zlatne Uste Balkan Brass Band, the focus of the Kickstarter-funded Brasslands documentary.

And people are taking notice. Tickets to the Kickstarter Film Festival sold out in less than a week, and yesterday, the New York Times ran a feature about the festival, what sets Kickstarter apart, and how it’s changing the world of independent film.

As our Program Director, Dan Nuxoll told the Times, Kickstarter “is definitely a force. Almost every filmmaker I know who’s self-funding their project does a Kickstarter at this point.”

And why is Yancy Strickler, one of Kickstarters founders, so excited about Friday’s festival? As he told the Times, “Those of us who work here, we spend all day just going through the site and honestly marveling at what people are doing. We’re really creating a kind of Kickstarter universe for this one night.”

Read the full New York Times Article here.

Online tickets for Friday’s First Annual Kickstarter Festival are sold out. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door at 7pm  at the Old American Can Factory, 232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave. in Gowanus/Park Slope, Brooklyn.) More information here.

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.

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