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Filmmakers told to follow the crowd in financing bid

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 1:35pm
 

Independent artists and filmmakers in the region will get some new ideas about financing at a forum that opens today - and crowdfunding is in the spotlight.

Roger Garcia, executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society, said crowdfunding would work well with the growing interest in short films, or "micro movies" as they are known on the mainland.

The society organises the annual Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum (HAF), which opens today at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Garcia said the society had set up a partnership between HAF and Indian crowdfunding site Catapooolt.

"Micro movies are a big trend. HAF should probably look at the market for micro movies around the world," Garcia said.

Short films are gaining more attention as they are suited to portable platforms such as smartphones.

And the people who make such films or other creative projects are increasingly looking to crowdfunding - in which investors are found via internet platforms such as Kickstarter - to finance them.

"People put their projects online to attract funds," said Garcia. "It is a non-traditional way of advancing the cinema."

He said crowdfunding was ideal for independent projects that might find it difficult to get funding from the mainstream sources.

Such financing, he added, was allowing filmmakers to tell stories that otherwise would not be told.

Documentary Inocente - the story of a teenage artist struggling to pursue her dream - won an Academy Award this year, the first project backed by crowdfunding to do so. Its 294 investors were found on Kickstarter, and they contributed US$52,527 for the project's post-production.

"Crowdfunding also puts a project in a … sellable state. And micro movies, which require a smaller budget, are more suitable for this funding mode," Garcia said.

Twenty-five film projects from around Asia - including five from Hong Kong - have been chosen to take part in the HAF "project market", seeking financiers, investors and partners.

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