The Gotham Gal and I have been at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. We’ve seen a nice mix of documentaries and feature films. And in the feature film category we’ve seen mainstream crowd pleasers like Mindy Kaling’s Late Night which Amazon bought for a bundle and indie films that may struggle to find a mainstream audience.
We tend to prefer the latter and among the best of the indie variety that we’ve seen was a film called Ms Purple that we saw yesterday morning at its world premiere.
Ms Purple raised almost $75k on Kickstarter (a USV portfolio company) a few months ago which funded much of the post-production costs and licensing expenses. A total of 373 patrons invested an average of $200 each (some way more, some way less) to help this film come to life.
From my experience yesterday morning, I would say it was a fantastic investment. Ms Purple is about the challenges that immigrant families navigate in the US, and about the tensions that exist in sibling relationships, particularly when a parent is dying.
Ms Purple’s filmmaker (writer and director) Justin Chon is exactly the kind of artist that Sundance and Kickstarter exist to serve. While I hope his stories can and will go mainstream, they need to be heard even if they don’t.
And funding mechanisms outside of the studio model/system insure that they will.