Filmmakers: Boost your movie with Crowdfunding Rally

Freep Film Festival is teaming with crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark and the Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival to give four filmmakers the chance to pitch their projects 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.

The Crowdfunding Rally creates the opportunity for filmmakers to capitalize on the excitement of film festivals by helping them convert festival-going fans into contributors. It’s an event that begins and ends online but makes a pit stop with a live pitch event at the 15th Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival (for narrative filmmakers) and at the 8th Freep Film Festival (for documentary filmmakers).

If your project is chosen to participate, you’ll be asked to set up a campaign on Seed&Spark’s online crowdfunding platform. It will be used to collect the contributions that come your way from our audiences, as well as from your network of friends and family in your own social media campaign.

Interested filmmakers must complete a short application by Sept. 6, 2021. (Note: Deadline was extended from Aug. 30.)

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. Much more information about Seed&Spark specifically can be found at

What is Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival?

It’s a super cool festival that’s celebrating its 15th year in Bay City, Mich. In 2021, it’s happening the same weekend as Freep Film Festival. That’s one of the reasons the two festivals decided to partner this year. This will be the sixth time a Crowdfunding Rally has been part of Hell’s Half Mile.

How will this work?

Four filmmakers will be chosen to participate – two with narrative projects, two with documentaries. The partners are sharing an entry portal, but generally the documentary filmmakers will engage with Freep Film Festival, and the narratives with Hell’s Half Mile.

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 festival audiences, as well as from your network. Freep Film Festival will host the live rally for the doc filmmakers, and also deliver their benefits. Hell’s Half Mile will handle those details for the narrative filmmakers. The festivals will work together to support the promotion of both elements. Freep Film Festival will pay a night’s lodging in metro Detroit for the doc filmmakers.

Exactly who is this for?

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

You do not need to create your Seed&Spark campaign to submit your project for consideration. But you will need to commit to it if you’re chosen to move forward.

Who is eligible?

Filmmakers who are based in the Great Lakes States (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, plus Ontario) and primarily producing their films in those areas. It does not matter if it’s a feature-length or short film, as long as the filmmaker is ready to work with Seed&Spark.

Filmmakers who had movies in the previous lineups of  Hell’s Half Mile or Freep Film Festival also are eligible.

What will the winners receive?

Lots of great stuff:

  • Promotion of your film’s campaign through the festival websites and social media
  • Coaching from Seed&Spark on how to set up your film’s campaign for success
  • Coaching from Seed&Spark and the festivals  in advance of the live crowdfunding rally
  • A Freep Film Festival 2021 pass for the doc filmmakers, and likewise at Hell’s Half Mile for the narrative entrants
  • A $200 Freep Film Festival contribution to the Seed&Spark campaign for the doc filmmakers, and likewise at Hell’s Half Mile for the narrative entrants
  • If the campaign reaches 500 followers, Seed&Spark will provide its Filmmaker Rewards package, valued up to $9,000 in products and services

What are the key dates?

Submissions open: Monday, Aug. 2, 2021
Submissions close: Monday, Sept. 6, 2021
Notification: Friday, Sept. 10, 2021
Live pitch dates: Saturday, Sept 25, 2021 (narratives at Hell’s Half Mile) and Sept. 26, 2021 (documentaries at Freep Film Festival)

What materials are needed for an application?

  • A logline (maximum 2-3 sentences)
  • Short synopsis (maximum 250 words)
  • Answers to these two questions: Why does this project need to be made now? What makes this film important to you, to film or to the world?

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 docs) or at Hell’s Half Mile (for narratives).

What is the application fee?


Where should applications be submitted?

Fill out the form here.

Have questions?

Contact us at