5 Funding Sources for Short and Feature Films

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Finding finances for films can be tiresome. There are many instances that big films have been canned, only because there were not enough fundings to find distribution platforms or planning and budgeting due to which the costs exceeded the revenue. When you are a film student, granted that you learn all the aesthetics of filmmaking, but the actual exercise of venturing out and finding your space in the somewhat unpredictable film industry can be a little demotivating.

Here, we outline some points to think about while starting out in the filmmaking industry or making, marketing or distributing your short film.

  1. Script

While thinking of making a short film, think of a credible script. You can either take inspiration from a story or write an original story. Also, while thinking of characters, build a central character that is very promising. This is to ensure that you attract a good or established actor towards your script. Since you are starting out, your budgeting might be less. But if you wish to get a dynamic actor on board, then the one thing that can entice them is a credible script. [2] So, not only is a great script the basis for a good film, it is the prime requirement to ensure that your film gets funded. Unless you sell a script, it might not seem like it has monetary value, but it has the intrinsic component that ensures that you raise money from it.

  1. Investors

If you are a student, now is the time to think of broadening your network of investors. For a new investor to consider your project, you first have to ensure that you have a previous work of reference. So, it is absolutely vital that the student films you make are of the best quality as they would be the benchmark through which your other projects may be financed. Are you done with bootstrapping from family and friends and are still short on cash? Why don’t you consider an outside investor? The easiest way to find an investor while you are a student is to approach other students, alumni or graduates from your Alma mater. And the best place to reach out to them at once is Alumni Alliances, which is a professional networking community that has investors who might be interested in funding your short film. Click here to find how.  

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  1. Co-Production Markets

If you are an independent filmmaker, there are so many opportunities available that were not otherwise available to filmmakers two decades ago. Or if there were, it wasn’t readily accessible. Now you can find film co-production markets in film festivals around the globe, where you can meet financiers, collaborators, distributors, etc. If you are able to afford traveling on your expenses and searching for producers, then maybe you would like to try Marche du Film[4], the business counterpart for the Cannes Film Festival. On the other hand, Berlinale has markets where you can pitch your script along with the entry fee and if your work is selected, they would financially aid the production of your film[5]. 

  1. Online Distribution

Sometimes, it is not the making of the film but the distribution that is of a dilemma. Some films are canned because they might not get screening, satellite or streaming partners. Screening partners or cinemas could be a big haul if this is your first film. Why not try out smaller streaming partners, where your film at least gets a decent amount of audience. With Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and HBO being the bigger fishes in the ‘stream’, try the others like Crackle, Apple Itunes, YouTube, Popcornflix, and Vudu.

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  1. Film Festivals

This channel has come as a blessing for many indie styled movies from around the world. With movies from Iran, India, Korea, and many other countries getting a meaningful platform to showcase their films, film festivals provide students a means to submit their films for the opportunity of getting it screened. Once it is screened, it provides a valuable laurel to your film which would further convince a potential producer. You can use these self-distribution methods: Filmfreeway, Without-a-box, Reelport, Shortfilmdepot, Clickforfestivals, Festhome, Uptofest, etc.

Bonus Point:

You all know about digital videos and how absolute novices have stormed over the digital community with quicky videos. Well, you could do the same! But why try out already dense platforms. Reach to members of Alumni Alliances and approach them with concepts to make videos that would strengthen their branding! You could create cool videos to help establish a brand while making some money to fund your short film.

We would be elaborating more crucial factors of filmmaking and distribution via Alumni Insider for our valued independent and student filmmakers. Stay tuned to this blog thread and you would find similar articles. Subscribe to Alumni Insider for more articles like this and spread the word via the various social media handles.

References:
1. Featured Post – Vanilla Bear Films
2. How to Fund Your Short Film
3. K Mitch Hodge
4. Marche Du Film
5. Berlinale
6. K Mitch Hodge

 

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