Few words about the need for mass-funding or crowdfunding in film production

Posted by Kaahon Desk On November 18, 2020

Culture is considered as the fourth pillar of sustainable development in the process of civilisation and how it can connect all possible financial resources is currently demanding special attention. The conventional “Commercial Cinema Model” of film production was, is, and will be the most successful model always. But there might be some wrong aspects or lack of good sense in this model. And that’s why in the history of cinema, there have been repeated attempts to raise money for production through other means, and some of them have had temporary success as well. In fact, inspired by those small successes, a number of other business models for cinema have also been established that have given a new dimension to the film industry as a whole. Film production in Europe benefits from public financial support. Proper execution of film projects requires large sums of money and the public support may prove to be insufficient compared to the actual need. But it is quite obvious to filmmakers to consider it as an alternative source of funding. In our country too, mass financing or crowdfunding has recently been established as an alternative model of raising money for all creative-cultural activities and especially for film production and some successful references have also been created. Notable efforts include:

  1. Manthan (1976) Shyam Benegal
  2. “I AM” (2010) by Sanjay Suri and Onir
  3. Greater Elephant (2012) by Srinivas Sunderrajan
  4. Lucia (2013) by Pawan Kumar
  5. Kothanodi (2015) by Bhaskar Hazarika
  6. Placebo (2015); a hybrid media, documentary film by Abhay Kumar
  7. WADE (2016-pending)
  8. Fading Clouds (2017) by Suman Majumder
  9. Nedunalvaadai (2019) by Selvakannan

There must be some more examples and we will be obliged if you inform us about them.

Previous Kaahon Cinema Update:

Crowdfunding is an alternative financing method and should be used in projects that would not be acceptable under conventional financing or investment methods. This is because there are hardly any specific successful references of such kind of projects or endeavours. Research and development, innovation and technology, social and humanitarian factors are the main driving forces of such creative-cultural art-endeavors which are not considered reliable enough by the investors. However, the need for these creative-cultural industries for inclusive development at the national and regional levels is undoubtedly undeniable.

Crowdfunding filmmaking usually pursues some strategic objectives such as-

  1. Creating a perspective of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue or discussion.
  2. Promoting culture by using creativity as a catalyst.
  3. Promoting culture as an important factor in the overall development of a community or nation.
  4. Increase cultural and linguistic diversity.
  5. Promoting cultural heritage.
  6. Attempts to bring the strengthening of the creative-cultural field to the notice of the state by identifying it as a state program.

The film industry and creative-cultural activities need to be considered as part of the economy. While this may seem unreasonable, though these actions contribute to the implementation of the strategic goals outlined above. Moreover, it is possible to be fruitful and these goals are especially necessary for value addition, employment growth, improving and promoting the image of countries or nations, raising awareness, increasing tolerance and socio-cultural inclusion.

Any charitable project that is supported by public funding or crowdfunding creates a benevolent environment in the form of grants. Production in exchange for assistance is done without expecting any financial reward which sets an example in social life.

The success of crowdfunding film production has been proven with the help of social media, video blogs and related websites, and it has extended the field of film industry. This has increased mankind’s acceptance of gender balance, intercultural and ethnic diversity. Assisted in the distribution of creation outside the borders of countries. While the model of funding by cine lovers of the world has not worked directly in this case, but there is no doubt that it has worked for the overall development of the film industry and the nation.

Let me give you a few examples: The impact of radical documentaries on social perspectives is particularly significant in Greece in an attempt to restore economic and social trust. These documentaries are primarily made through crowdfunding. Crowdfunding efforts are therefore credited with turning the tide of economically and socially devastated Greece. It can be said that the mainstream media has almost failed. The issues of crowdfunding film production in Turkey revolve around various social issues. In addition to gaining independence, social or political signs are reviewed with the support of the common people through these films which are believed to have played a special role in the overall development of the Turkish country. In other words, conventional investment from the upper strata of society and financing from the bottom layer – the coexistence of these two systems gives a kind of balance to art, which is very important in the judgment of civilisation.

Crowdfunding also has a promotional role and applies collective knowledge and intelligence by encouraging active community participation. Creates a support community around any idea or project. The next production process can be decided by product-testing following community feedback. This can improve the quality of the product.

Recently, people from Aranghata and some adjoining villages in Nadia district of West Bengal, under the leadership of film director Ujjwal Basu, have produced a movie called Doodhpither Gachh (The Rice Cake Tree) on the model of crowdfunding film production. The detailed story of making this movie is depicted in the video below. After listening to the stories of the villagers’ emotional engagement with the film and their participation in the process of filmmaking, we don’t think it would be an exaggeration to call the rural locality of Aranghata as the Cinema Village of Bengal.

Uro Khoi
Uro Khoi is a casual banterer with reference to cinema. You can take him seriously or just pass him off as an exhibitionist. The choice is yours!


Read this review in Bengali.

বাংলাতে পড়তে ক্লিক করুন।



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