(Update on Nov 4, 2011: The movie crowd-funded the pledged amount in 25 days!)
Deepak Rauniyar, a young Nepali film director, is attempting to crowd-fund the post production of his movie – Highway, through Kickstarter, which claims to be the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.
This is first time that any Nepali creative project has sought crowd-funding. Although the shooting and many works of the movie have been already completed, the 33-year-old producer/director/assistant editor is seeking to raise nearly Rs. 2.3m (USD 30,000) in 30 days.
As of writing this post, the project has already raised USD 15,494 in 11 days, and it looks like the project will raise the pledged fund.
Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website where people can pledge a certain amount for a creative project. If a project is successful to raise the pledged amount in pledged period, the project gets funded (with all money from pledged donors) otherwise all the raised money is returned to those who have pledged to support.
Highway is already a talk of the film industry for its star lineup – in casts and production. Noted journalist and philanthropist Rabindra Mishra is one of the actors while Hollywood actors Danny Glover and Jolyn Barnes are co-producing the movie through Louverture Films along with Aadi Productions.
Golden Globe award winner Richard Hurrowitch composing music for the movie while David Barker and renowned in Bollywood, Rita Meher, are editing the movie along with director Rauniyar.
Set against the backdrop of the new culture of organizing general strikes in post-conflict Nepal, the movie follows five different relationship stories that become connected during an ill-fated bus journey from eastern Nepal to the capital.
When the passengers discover that sometimes wedding parties are permitted through the massive traffic jams caused by strikes, they devise a plan to stage a fake wedding. Some characters are hindered directly by the strike on the road, but every character is affected by it. Their lives are put on hold by circumstances that they have no control over. All they can do is wait, hope for the best, and try to make the best decisions given the circumstances.
How will they succeed in fulfilling their goals, and how will their dreams change in a world full of strikes and stoppages where nothing happens as it should? To answer those questions, you have to watch the movie when it’s released.
Rauniyar is hoping to send the movie to International Film Festivals as soon as it’s completed.
I sent Rauniyar, who is a close friend since we worked together as journalist for a daily newspaper in Kathmandu, a few questions about the crowd-funding and here are his answers:
Why you are trying to raise fund?
To pay for the final edit, sound design, color correction and mix.
I know it sounds silly to some of you. But we are trying to raise minimum cost to make Highway as good as other international films. You all know I have been working on this film from last year. A doctor couple from Nepal financed us to start the journey. And so far we have made significantly remarkable journey.
Popular actor/producer Danny Glover and Jolyn Barnes has come to co-produce the film, being able to be associated with them and Louverture Films means a lot for us. Golden Globe winner Richard Hurrowitch is composing for us. With very talented editor David Barker, who himself is New York Times picked film director/editor, I am very happy working with.
With Highway we are trying to achieve something which from long time Nepali cinema is looking for. You know, for that we need a very strong film with all aspect. And we are very close to make that. But we don’t have money to pay for final few things which is very much needed.
Our financier is able to just bring that all from pocket. And you know how difficult is to get financed or get a grant! So we are looking for everyone’s support, and collaboration.
Kickstarter is world’s biggest online funding platform now. It might be new for us Nepali, but very popular form for international community.
Do you think you can raise the expected fund?
Yes, if you or all support
Who are your prospective funders?
Everyone. All Nepali in Nepal or living abroad and internal community. People who love Inddie films and who want to be part of films.
If this project is successful, will you be looking to fund your future movies completely via Kickstarter?
I haven’t thought about that now. But will love to come back at Kickstarter with new project.
Rauniyar, who already directed films like Chaukaith and Pooja, is dreaming big with Highway and I wish all the success.