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Kickstarter: Users Pledge More Than $100 Mil to Indie Film Projects

Five Oscar-shortlisted documentaries are among the more than 8,500 projects that have received backing.

Perry Chen

Here's a big kickstart for the indie film community.

Users of Kickstarter.com have pledged more than $100 million to independent film projects, the fundraising site announced in a blog post Thursday. In all, 891,979 backers have pledged $102.7 million to independent films since April 2009. A little more than $85 million has been collected so far, going to more than 8,500 projects.

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“In Hollywood, $100 million might be the marketing budget for a single blockbuster, but independent filmmakers are more resourceful,” wrote the site’s editors. “This $100 million helped to create more than 8,000 films, many of which have gone on to great acclaim and success.”

Here’s the breakdown of the types of projects that have been funded, from April 28, 2009 to Jan. 1, 2013:

Documentary - $42.64 million pledged to 2,394 projects

Narrative Film - $31.74 million pledged to 2,331 projects

Short Film - $16.68 million pledged to 3,000 projects

Webseries - $6.83 million pledged to 619 projects

Animation - $4.87 million pledged to 223 projects

Some of those projects have gone on to receive Oscar nominations, including the 2011 documentaries Sun Come Up and Incident in New Baghdad.

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Three Kickstarter projects have been shortlisted for the 85th Academy Awards in the documentary feature category (The Waiting RoomDetropia and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry), and two more have been shortlisted in the documentary short category (Inocente and Kings Point).

Kickstarter-funded films also have been hitting the festival circuit, with about 10 percent of the Sundance Film Festival’s 2012 and 2013 slate being made up of films backed by the site's users. The same was true of the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival and the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival, according to Kickstarter.

“This would be a very impressive track record for an established studio or production company. To see these results come from outside the system in such a short time is even more inspiring,” wrote the Kickstarter staff.

Kickstarter was launched in 2009 and allows people to seek funding for creative projects from backers online.