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Trends in Financing Independant Films


The financial environment of independent film production is changing because there are many new technologies that have altered the filmmaking process. Investing in Indie films used to mean private placement memorandums, and 900+ film financing distribution and production partners. Today it could be any willing investor.

Several areas have been influenced: 1) Filmmakers now have online schools where they can get training, learn about filmmaking, and locate a mentor in the industry to work with. 2) Many of the traditional fundraising methods to secure film distribution are becomming outdated, while new funding opportunities for independent filmmakers are emerging.

Financeers favor big productions internationally. Many of the large studios have used German tax shelters, New Zealand subsidies, and pre-sales to fund big blockbuster film projects in the past. But what about the small independant filmmaker? Are you wondering where funding comes from for these projects?

Right now, the digital revolution is not only changing the way films are made, but how films are distributed. Faster broadband allows people to watch movies from their computer screens, so independant filmmakers don’t need a large distributor. Some films are simply available for anyone to purchase from the film’s website online. A recent example is a film called “The Fall of America and the Western World.”

In the future these changes will expand all of the opportunities for independent filmmakers who are hoping to receive funds for their film projects.

Trends indicate that companies online are helping filmmakers finance their films by matching them with investors and/or distributors. These kinds of services could help small town filmmakers.

It also helps when an independant filmmaker has good movie reviews from film critics for past film projects. These reviews lend credability to filmmakers when they are seeking investors.

When it comes to online websites for filmakers and investors, the way it typically works is that the filmmaker submits a description of their project or film for consideration. There are many investors registered on the website who can then access the list of projects at their own pace, and review those projects that are in need of funding. They in turn can directly contact the filmakers, which cuts out any middlemen as was popular for film financing in the past.

There are also non-profit organizations that focuses on helping independent filmmakers locate funds to finance and distribute their films. Although they offer fiscal sponsorship to filmmakers, they will not fund them. Sponsorship allows filmmakers to receive funding from sources that limit their funding to nonprofits.

Many websites link independent producers with investors, which encourages fundraising by allowing producers to post information and or ads about Indie film projects for investors.

By Kristin Gabriel

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