Film funds source lets crowd join in to help get projects off the ground

Filmmaker Jared Abdul-Rahman used crowdfunding to get his vision off the ground. Picture: Luke Bowden Source: Mercury

Filmmaker Jared Abdul-Rahman used crowdfunding to get his vision off the ground. Picture: Luke Bowden Source: Mercury

A GROWING number of Tasmanian creative projects are getting off the ground thanks to crowdfunding.

Small donations from lots of people secured through platforms such as Pozible are helping films to get made, bands to record albums and artists to stage exhibitions.

Hobart filmmaker Jared Abdul-Rahman and business partner Alessandro Frosali reached a crowdfunding goal of $3000 in 45 days for their first feature film, A Step in the Right Direction.

The money is being used to market the all-Tasmanian independent film and to secure screenings. The film was shot over several months with a team of about 40 Tasmanian cast and crew.

Mr Abdul-Rahman, 27, used Pozible to secure the funding, which was mostly donated by friends, family and connections of the cast and crew.

It was decided to pursue crowdfunding instead of applying through an official channel such as Screen Tasmania.

“I have applied for grants in the past but it’s a slow process,” he said.

In accordance with crowdfunding principles, the team offered rewards from a thank you letter to an executive producer’s credit, in exchange for investments from $5 to $500.

The documentary about a violent crime and the events that follow is in post production and will debut at the Tasmanian Breath of Fresh Air film festival next month.

The festival program will include a session on low budget filmmaking featuring information on crowdfunding.

Last year, local film Breeding in Captivity was made after a 50-day crowdfunding campaign on Pozible raised $10,000.

Pozible co-founder and director Rick Chen said the rapid growth of crowdfunding over the past three years showed that artists have been crying out for alternatives to government or corporate funding.

Crowdfunding not only allowed projects to happen but also gave consumers a stake in the work, he said.

Since launching in 2010, Pozible has become the biggest crowdfunding or crowdsourcing business in Australia and the third biggest in the world.

About $14.5 million has been secured for the arts though Pozible, with about $1 million worth of transactions a month.

Mr Chen said for a crowdfunding goal to be achieved, the artist had to create a clear and appealing pitchs.

“It’s hard work. I have to remind people that it’s not free money,” he said.

Arts Tasmania confirms there is an active crowdfunding movement in Tasmania, with several Tasmanian projects successfully sourcing funding in this way.

The Tasmanian Arts Advisory Board, which provides funding and policy advice to the State Government, is looking at ways for Tasmanian artists to best leverage the benefits of crowdfunding for local projects.

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