Crowd Pleaser: A Filmmaker’s Guide to Fundraising


Saturday December 3rd 2016
Arts Court Studio, 2 Daly Avenue
12 pm

Co-presented by SAW Video Media Art Centre

Raising money for your independent film production through crowdfunding is becoming standard practice for many filmmakers. How should filmmakers approach creating a successful campaign when so many others are doing it too? How does one monetize support, attract donors, and retain an audience? Can crowdfunding models support independent filmmakers to make a living through their work? This interactive panel discussion will help navigate the do’s and don’ts of an increasingly complex and competitive field. A panel of experts will discuss how to plan a viable budget, conduct market research, create pitches, engage with audiences and more.


Dan Gainsford is an award-winning producer, filmmaker and media artist. His recently completed feature documentary, Searching for Dragons, explores ideas of the sacred and whether human patterns are in or out of sync with nature, alongside a larger exploration of the current cultural narrative we continue to support and believe in. Dan is currently president of Windpath Media. Over the years, he has also served as a board member of Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa (IFCO), Available Light Screening Collective, Kaz Media Arts and Etre et Devenir. When not engaged in artistic endeavours, he spends his time working on his family farm as a permaculture designer and beekeeper.

Nancy Kenny is an actor, writer, producer, and arts marketing professional. She is currently Social Media & Community Manager for VIA Rail. She is a workshop facilitator teaching artists and arts organizations how to use crowdfunding. Past clients include Theatre Ontario, Great Canadian Theatre Company, Planned Parenthood Ottawa, ArtsLink NB and the Atlantic Fringe Festival. She personally raised $5,000 through crowdfunding for her one-woman show Roller Derby Saved My Soul and $10,000 for On the Fringe, a feature documentary about life on the Canadian Fringe Festival circuit. An avid traveller who hesitates to call any particular city “home,” she loves the freedom and flexibility she gets from working in an online environment.

Jith Paul is an Ottawa-based filmmaker whose directorial debut al-gebr(a) was featured at Festival international Entr’2 marches in Cannes and has screened at festivals in Canada, Scotland, France, Italy and India. His latest directorial project, the crowd-funded comedy A Clean Slate was awarded Best International Short Film – America at the Valle d’Itria Film Festival in Italy. Jith produced Polar Bear Love, Moments and Perfect, finalists in CBC Television’s Short Film Face-off in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. He is a co-founder of Ottawa Indie Fest, president of Treepot Media and the vice-chair of the Board of Directors for SAW Video. Jith is currently producing Karim Ayari’s Before Me, a bilingual narrative film that explores social intolerance and its impact on children.


Pat Mullen received a Master’s in Film Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat writes the film blog, which spotlights Canadian films alongside independent world cinema and documentaries. He is the Associate Online Editor of POV Magazine, Canada’s authority on documentary culture, contributes to The Canadian Encyclopedia, and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society. Pat was the senior programming coordinator of Ottawa’s former Cellar Door Film Festival and assists with submission pre-screening for Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival. He lives in Toronto with his cat Fellini.

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