South African film makers turning on-line to raise funds for their movies


In the early 2000s film director, Neill Blomkamp, was turned down by investors in South Africa when he pitched a SciFi movie that would also be an allegory of apartheid South Africa. Blomkamp was told time and again that there was no market in South Africa for SciFi. In comes Peter Jackson, and the rest is blockbuster history.

Now, South African film makers keen to further expand the South African film industry, are turning to online media in order to raise funds for their movies. South African directors Jordan Harland and Tyron Janse van Vuuren have both turned to the IndieGoGo website site to raise money for their films.

IndieGoGo describes itself as “The world’s leading international funding platform” and allows the public to fund movies they would like to see on their screens. Visitors to the site are given a brief plot summary of the movie and are able to make contributions anywhere from as small as $1.

Links to Facebook and Twitter also allow people to recommend the movie they are funding to friends. And the best part? Donations from $10 onwards come with free merchandise.

Donations to Van Vuuren’s movie “Shady Valley”, a teenager who ends up inventing karate moves that kill invincible demons, will earn sponsors a ‘demon slaying karate belt’ based, of course, on the contribution made. For $20, sponsors can be a “tokoloshe victim” in Harland’s movie, which is a horror. More generous contributors can earn themselves the title of ‘Sangoma’, or even ‘Executive Sangoma’.

South African Film Producer, Pascal Schmitz, says that the greatest obstacle facing film makers is raising finance in the start or developing a seed fund, “Once you have reached a certain critical mass in financing and publicity you can tap into state funds and rebates and attract film investors.”

Schmitz believes the IndieGoGo can do great things for film makers. “IndieGoGo helps independent filmmakers raise the seed funding without major input costs … It creates a platform to allow friends and family and anonymous film fans to donate to your seed fund and at the same time lets you build a fan base for the film that you can later market the film to closer to its release and thereby guarantee some viewership”

The IndieGoGo website has great potential. Because the site allows people to make small contributions, it makes funding a movie more appealing to the average Joe. The quirky funding categories, tailored to each movie, also give people a sense of involvement in the film. And while the website is helping to raise money for these films, it’s also generating publicity.

Shady Valley Fan Page
– click here

IndieGoGo website