Crowdfunding works best for Documentary Films

Written by Hannes Kreuzer
Published on January 4, 2013

Crowdfunding service Kickstarter announced more than $100 million have been pledged to film projects. Documentary film genre gets most of if.

On January 3 2013 Kickstarter reported that more than $100 million have been pledged to film projects since April 2009. This is an amazing number and shows the impact this film financing form can have on the film industry. Compared to the overall film budgets of the whole film industry the amout is of course very small but if you take a closer look at what films have been funded via crowdfunding you will be surprised.

The funds of the crowdfunding people have been distributed to the following genres:

Film Subcategory Pledged Funded Projects
Documentary $42.64 million 2,394
Narrative Film $31.74 million 2,331
Short Film $16.68 million 3,000
Webseries $6.83 million 619
Animation $4.87 million 223


According to this figure the genre documentary film is in leading position when it comes to financing via you – the audience. For some this is not really surprising because most documentaries have lower production costs compared to fiction films. You can make decent doc-films with a tiny crew while you need a big team for fictions films.

Some other interesting facts:

  • People created more than 8.000 films with the $100 million (this would be one film from a major studio)
  • Three documentary features and two documentary shorts are currently shortlisted for Oscar nominations in 2013: The Waiting Room, Detropia, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Inocente, and Kings Point.
  • Two films have been nominated for Oscars in the past two years: Sun Come Up and Incident in New Baghdad. A third, Barber of Birmingham, launched a project after being Oscar-nominated.
  • At least 16 Kickstarter-funded films have been picked up for national broadcast through HBO, PBS, Showtime, and other networks.
  • Kickstarter-funded films have won at least 21 awards at the Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Cannes, and Berlinale festivals.
  • Film stats on Kickstarter: Total pledged: $102.7 million, Total collected: $85.7 million, Total backers: 891,979, Funded projects: 8,567

So what do you think of these numbers? Is crowdfunding the future?

Note 1: See the possible Oscar contenders of the Academy Awards 2013 (including the mentioned above) here:

Note 2: You can submit your crowdfunding campaign to us to get more awareness. And don’t forget to tweet us.

via Kickstarter