It’s not easy to get an indie film made these days. Especially not through studios and traditional financial methods. That’s why, all around the globe, crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter are becoming more and more popular among first-time/early career filmmakers.
We perused crowdfunding websites, and found loads of in-development British films that sound really interesting. Aiming to shed some light on these films that don’t have the might of a major studio’s marketing team behind them, here’s our list of 25 upcoming British movies that have been crowdfunded, and could turn out to be brilliant…
Harvey Eaton has been working in the advertising sector of filmmaking for years, and even directed legendary Spanish footballer Andrés Iniesta for a Powerade commercial once.
Black Wolf – a “short film about a woman terrorised by a demonic Black Wolf in the English countryside of 1840” – is his passion project, which he raised over £5000 on Kickstarter to bring to life.
On his Kickstarter page, Eaton describes Black Wolf as his opportunity “to do something really exciting and different.” He promises that the movie will be “completely visceral” with “loads of emotion”. Colour us intrigued.
Dave Lowe is a videogame music composer who penned the iconic score to Frontier: Elite 2 on the Amiga system back in the early 1990s. Back then, he had to compress his music onto a microchip, but now he’s finally unleashing the true glory of his bombastic vision with a full orchestra at Abbey Road studios.
Dave Lowe’s daughter, Lucy Lowe, is a filmmaker. She’s raised over £10,000 on Kickstarter to fund a feature film called Uncle Art, which will chart her father’s journey from the Amiga to Abbey Road. Sounds to us like it could be brilliant.
BitterSuite is a film about “finding your feet, fancying your friends and failing at furniture.” It’s the first feature from Dog Button Films, who’ve previously garnered attention on the festival circuit with their short films. They rasied £11,000 on Kickstarter for BitterSuite.
The film is all about three flatmates lugging a sofa across London. But while this item could really tie their living room together, it could equally break their lives apart. Relationships are tested, secrets are revealed, and sofas are heavy.
We’re told that this one will “marry the authenticity of an observational documentary with the heart and structure of a carefully crafted comedy.” Count us in.
“Set in a dystopian world in which The Cold War never ended, Bastion follows David and his pregnant wife Abigail, whose marriage is being increasingly tested by the events surrounding them.”
Louis Hannan and Dominic Hodge wrote the script for this feature, and will team up again to co-direct it. They succesfully raised £5000 on Kickstarter to get Bastion off the ground. Shooting is currently underway.
The film take place in a Britain rife with turmoil, and could end up being a darkly-relevant cautionary tale about international relations gone wrong.
This one has a synopsis that really made me chuckle: “In the dystopian future, ten unwilling contestants are forced to play a barbaric game of British Bulldog against monstrous opponents.”
Yes, this is the film version of the much-loved school playground game British Bulldog that you didn’t know you needed until now. It’s dubbed a “hyper-violent action horror short film”, which sounds to us like it could be a lot of fun.
Director David James Holloway raised £2500 on Kickstarter to get this short made. He’s currently at the post-production phase to making it, and we’d very interested to see the results once he’s finished.
First And Only
There’s a really strong idea at this one’s core: a million dollar prize is offered to anyone who can prove under laboratory condititions that they have genuine psychic powers. One man passes the test, takes the money, and disappears.
What would that man be like? And what would happen if he saw a premonition of his own death? These questions were answered in Peter Flannery’s popular novel First And Only, and now they’ll be explored on film too.
Flannery and filmmaker Magnus Wake raised a whopping £53,000 on IndieGoGo to bring this story to life as a feature film. We look forward to seeing the finished result.
“Lambing Season is a fast moving, claustrophobic thriller set in the secluded North Yorkshire Moors”, this short film’s Crowdfunder page tells us. We’re sure you’ll agree that not enough claustrophobic thrillers are set in Yorkshire.
This one has an eerie setting, a missing persons mystery and a small budget of just £9000. Yorkshire local Jack Benjamin Gill is directing, and is aiming to capture a malevolence of the moors that he’s never seen fully realised on the big screen before. Lambing Season has a car chase, too. We’re very intrigued by this one.
I Am The Prize
There aren’t enough British comedies in cinemas these days, it seems fair to say. Writer-director Oliver Purches is making one, though, and he raised £15,000 on Kickstarter to do so.
I Am The Prize is a film about pick-up artists, and one man’s quest to become one. Sebastian is said man, “a hopelessly nice guy” without much in the way of seduction skills. Sebastian is the “embittered geek” who will teach him a different path. Laura, the female lead, is apparently “NOT a manic pixie dream girl”.
I Am The Prize, according to Purches’ website, “satirises the ideas, philosophies and characters involved with pick-up artistry, whilst also touching upon how they feed into larger conversations RE masculinity, feminism, gender inequality etc.” Sounds interesting.
James Hastings is 16 years old, and he’s raised over £10,000 on Kickstarter to get a feature film made. Isn’t that incredible? As you can see from the rather elaborate pitch video above, Hastings is clearly passionate about this project.
Raymond‘s 5 is about a chap who gets told he has just five days left to live, and decides to spend them tracking down the people he has wronged in his life. It’s a redemptive tale, we’re told, with an inspirational message.
We like redemptive tales with inspirational messages, and we like people who put themselves out there with plenty of passion and energy to get their creative projects going. To put it simply; we’re looking forward to seeing what young Mr Hastings cooks up with this one.
Inspired by THX-1138, Inflorescence is an interesting sci-fi short from director Alex Falconer. It’s set in a female prison in a surveillance-heavy future, where speaking out isn’t exactly encouraged. The video above sells it rather well.
Falconer has raised £5000 on Crowdfunder and assembled an impressive crew, whose credits include Mad Max: Fury Road, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Poldark and World War Z. We’re verily looking forward to seeing how this one turns out.
“It’s a cross between Little Red Riding Hood, The Hills Have Eyes and The Wicker Man,” director Richard Rowntree says of his upcoming horror thriller Dogged, in the video above. And if that isn’t enough to intrigue you, this synopsis is pretty great too:
“Sam is stuck in limbo in the remote English village where he grew up – his parents disappointment, coupled with his own lack of direction lead to him seeking excitement in forbidden places. As Sam searches for a purpose, he and his girlfriend Rachel are the unwitting victims of a peeping tom, and their lives begin to unravel in a depraved spiral of paranoia. Sam soon discovers that there may be a link between the community leaders he’s grown to trust and a series of terrifying encounters with bizarre masked maniacs.”
Rowntree raised £15,000 for the film on Kickstarter.
Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Anthony and Claire Bueno of the London-based Bueno Productions have already put an immense amount of effort into this project, aiming to produce a pair of feature length documentaries chronicling the origins and production of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II.
£44,000 was raised on Kickstarter to help them finish the films. They’ve already shot interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Ivan Reitman and many more. They’re still shooting at the moment, and we’ll be sure to let you know when Cleanin’ Up The Town: Remembering Ghostbusters gets a release date.
“On a night like no other, in a park that permits filming, two people who kind of like each other experience something that will change their lives forever.” So explains the dramatic voice in the Kickstarter project video for Fell, which sounds like a really charming little film.
£11,000 was raised by co-directors Fern Berresford and Russell Warren to get this sci-fi tale about a romantic evening swerving sideways off the ground. The film follows a young couple (Joel, “the embodiment of ‘geek chic'” and Alice, “an emotional tough cookie”) who witness a meteor shower with mysterious and fantastical consequences.
Not much else is known about the plot at this stage (outside the inner circle of those making the film, obviously), but we look forward to finding out more when the film comes out.
We don’t get to see Brits tackling the Film Noir genre very often, which is why Sunset Rose has caught our attention. Zoe McCarthy raised £7000 on Kickstarter for her Noir-inspired short film Sunset Rose.
Shot on 16mm film, Sunset Rose is described as “a high tension tale of murder and deception in 1940’s America” featuring “a straight talking, enigmatic detective”, “elusive and charming” stranger and “a Lynchian-style setting”.
Production on the film is finished, and we’re keeping our eyes peeled for UK screenings.
“A Pirate Radio DJ is shut down by the British Government”, the synopsis for this one tells us. “In an act of defiance, he proclaims his Ocean Fortress as his own kingdom.” Sounds like an interesting set up.
Fortress is being made by a group of students from Newport Film School, who have raised £2000 on Kickstarter to fund this as their final coursework project. They’ve got an interesting idea and an impressive real-life location (previously seen in The Boat That Rocked), which could be a terrific combination.
“George Banbury is a thirty-three year old struggling actor best known for having appeared alongside a troll in a Wine Gums advert. Stuck in a rut and living with his parents, George is going nowhere fast.”
That’s the premise for Making It, a comedy feature that got £2000 of support from the Kickstarter community. The video clips on the Kickstarter page paint Making It as a touching tragi-comedy about a chap with no direction but plenty of heart. I’d definitely watch it.
This is another film that hooked us in with its logline: “When Ben’s mum passes away he figures it’s not too late for them to take one last trip back to Metroland. After all, she did always want to ride the roller coaster…”
This short film from Benjamin Bee sounds weird, but in a potentially brilliant way. On top of support from the BFI and Creative England, this film received £8000 of funding through Crowdfunder. And here’s a fun fact: Mike Leigh has a hilarious cameo in the video on that Crowdfunder page.
Koby Adom raised £10,000 on Kickstarter for House Girl, his final project as a student at London Film School. Shooting took place in Ghana in February 2016.
“House Girl is a coming-of-age story about Jennifer, a young British girl of Ghanaian descent who goes on holiday to Accra, Ghana for the first time”, the Kickstarter page explains.
In Accra, Jennifer uncovers unsavoury facts about her heritage and the cultures surrounding her family. House Girl sounds like it’s going to tackle some big topics in intimate ways. Could be brilliant.
Did the CIA have a screenwriter killed to stop a film from getting made? That’s the conspiracy theory at the heart of this documentary, which received £4000 of funding through Kickstarter.
The Kickstarter video (which can’t be nabbed and embedded here) for Follywood shows documentarian Will explaining that a legit university lecturer came to him with this project, after getting a lettering instructing him to back away from his research into this rumoured Hollywood murder. Will the resultant documentary have any answers? We’ll have to wait and find out.
App For Life
“The year is 2060. Samantha works for a shadowy pseudo-government organisation that manipulates thoughts and memories, while her husband James (Adam J. Bernard, Thriller Live!, Dreamgirls and Star Wars: Force Awakens) is losing his mind over visions from a past he can’t remember.”
This film – set in a post-apocalyptic world where a memory-manipulating app is the only thing keeping society together – still needs help from willing funders. Landa Pictures has raised £3000 already for this ambitious sci-fi feature film, but they need to hit their £5000 target on Kickstarter to get the movie made. Dig deep if you agree that App For Life‘s central idea sounds really strong.
Prepare yourself for another killer concept: “The Fitzroy is an independent, live action, feature film; a black comedy set in a post-apocalyptic 1950’s Margate. The world is covered in a poisonous gas and the Fitzroy Hotel (a beached submarine) is the last place for a traditional holiday.”
This apocalyptic boating holiday comedy earned a whopping £72,000 on Kickstarter. The Fitzroy has since been shot, with writer-director Andrew Harmer at the helm, and we’re just waiting to hear about its first screenings.
The Axolotl is an adventure/western/fantasy movie, following a lone explorer as she hunts for a mythological monster in the wilderness of a sci-fi wasteland. Max Constable raised £1000 on Kickstarter to support this passion project, which he plans to shoot on location in Dungeness, Kent.
We’ll be watching this one with great interest. Is it possible to make such an ambitious film, with very big ideas, on a budget this tiny? We look forward to finding out.
Have you ever heard of Spinal Tap being an influence on a rom-com? Probably not, unless you’ve seen the Kickstarter page for Finding You already. This film, made on a budget of £5000, could be really great.
Finding You is a mockumentary following a 31-year-old singleton named Alex, who’s on a desperate hunt for love after the death of his dog and years of loneliness. Che Grant and Michael Boccalini are the writer-directors, and Steve Hodgetts is the star. Let him charm you in the video above.
Ever wish you could scroll back time to a few seconds ago, just before you’d put your foot in it by blurting something out that nobody else agreed with or found funny? That’s what Ctrl Z is about. It’s a sci-fi comedy about a man who invents an undo button for real life.
Writer and director James Kennedy raised £2000 on Kickstarter to help fund this short film, and cites Ghostbusters and Back To The Future as his influences. He’s promising a ‘weirdly dark comedy’, which sounds right up our street.
Hum is a short sci-fi film from writer-director Stefano Nurra. It’s based on a strange real life phenomenon: a humming noise that can only be heard by 2% of the population. What if this isn’t just a strange piece of trivia, but a link to another world? And what if the film had some relationship drama on top of that? Sounds good, doesn’t it?
Nurra is still seeking funding for this film. He’s already hit the £6000 mark on Kickstarter, but needs to reach £7000 to get the film going. If you think this film sounds like it could be really interesting, click that link and empty your pockets.
One thing’s for sure, looking at this list of crowdfunded movies. Websites like Kickstarter and Crowdfunder are enabling filmmakers to create small, experimental movies that traditional production avenues wouldn’t allow. There are so many great ideas out there, and thanks to the generous denizens of the internet, a lot of them are coming to fruition. Brilliant, isn’t it?
As we hear more about these movies, and where you can watch them, we’ll be sure to let you know…