Rotterdam backs innovative funding

Festival launches 'crowd-sourcing' project

The Rotterdam Film Festival has unveiled what it calls a “crowd-sourcing” project that will allow festgoers and the general public to invest in film production.

Film projects by helmers Alexis Dos Santos (“Unmade Beds”) and Ho Yohang (“Sanctuary”) plus visual artist Pipilotti Rist will be presented at next year’s fest, which runs Jan. 27 to Feb. 7.

A website will allow people to buy “coins” to invest in one of the projects. Shooting will begin when a certain amount of money has been raised.

Backers will be able to track their chosen project, talk to other investors and interact with the filmmaker.

Completed films will bow at the 2011 fest and then be distributed to various online platforms.

Fest topper Rutger Wolfson sees the project, called Cinema Reloaded, as a way to test new opportunities in filmmaking. “This is not about finding the definitive business model but about trying to understand how the closer interaction between filmmaker and audience, enabled by the Internet, can benefit the whole of cinema.”

Linked activities at the 2010 fest include a retrospective of innovative films arising from past challenges to dominant funding models, and a meeting to discuss how related trends in distribution will affect small- and medium-sized independent cinemas in Europe.

A Break Even Store will run during the fest, offering online discussion of related issues, hosting performances and distributing films.

Also online, the fest has launched a YouTube channel featuring films supported by its Hubert Bals Fund, short films from previous fest editions and, during the fest, a choice of films in official selection.

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