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Freep Film Festival is teaming with crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark to give two documentary filmmakers the chance to pitch their project in front of a live festival audience – and receive financial support, feedback and more for their film’s crowdfunding campaign.

It’s designed for Great Lakes-area filmmakers who are ready to start a new campaign with Seed&Spark or bolster an effort that is already underway.

Interested filmmakers must complete a short application by March 27, 2020. The winners’ projects will be incorporated into a special event on April 25 during Freep Film Festival weekend.

What is Seed&Spark?

Seed&Spark connects people through stories that matter. Since 2012, their platform has helped thousands of creators bring stories to life and to audiences via story-centric crowdfunding, on-platform streaming, live community events and workplace programs that cultivate a culture of diversity and inclusion. It’s an online crowdfunding platform created by filmmakers for filmmakers. It offers tools and resources (including audience data) geared specifically toward successful film fundraising. It is partnering with Freep Film Festival on this event. Much more information about Seed&Spark specifically can be found at www.seedandspark.com/faq.

How will this work?

If your film is chosen, you’ll set up a campaign on Seed&Spark. Its platform will be used to collect the contributions that come your way from the Freep Film Festival audience, as well as from your network.

Exactly who is this for?

It’s for documentary filmmakers who are ready to embark on a crowdfunding campaign through the Seed&Spark platform – or want to bolster an existing campaign there.

Who is eligible?

Documentary filmmakers who are based in the Great Lakes States (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania) and primarily producing their films in those states.

What will the winners receive?

Lots of great stuff:

  • Promotion of your film’s campaign through the Freep Film Festival website and social media
  • Coaching from Seed&Spark on how to set up your film’s campaign for success
  • Coaching from Seed&Spark and Freep Film Festival in advance of the live crowdfunding rally
  • A Freep Film Festival 2020 pass
  • A $250 Freep Film Festival contribution to the Seed&Spark campaign
  • If the campaign reaches 500 followers, Seed&Spark will provide its Filmmaker Rewards package, valued up to $9,000 in products and services

Where did this idea originate?

The Hell’s Half Mile film festival in Bay City, Michigan, has been partnering with Seed&Spark for a crowdfunding rally for the past five years. At a meeting of Michigan film festivals in fall 2019 in Bay City, HHM reps suggested their concept could be successfully taken on the road. Freep Film Festival agreed, and is heavily borrowing from the HHM template.

What are the key dates?

Submissions open: Monday, Feb. 17, 2020
Submissions close: Friday, March 27, 2020
Notification: Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Live pitch date: Saturday, April 25, 2020

What materials are needed for an application?

  • A logline (maximum 2-3 sentences)
  • Short synopsis (maximum 250 words)
  • An answer to this double-pronged question: Why should this movie be made, and why are you (or your team) the people to make it? (maximum 250 words)
  • OPTIONAL: A footage sample or trailer (less than 5 minutes)
  • OPTIONAL: A resume or CV from the director or lead producer

Any other key rules or stipulations?

Filmmakers don’t need to have a Seed&Spark campaign started to apply. But winners must be prepared to begin a campaign of at least $5,000, with all contributions handled through Seed&Spark. You also must commit to being in Detroit on Freep Film Festival weekend for the rally itself.

What is the application fee?

Zilch.

Where should applications be submitted?

Fill out the form here.

Have questions?

Contact Freep Film Festival education director Meredith Finch at meredithbfinch@gmail.com.