Seed&Spark CEO Emily Best & Duplass Brothers Productions Celebrate Hometown Heroes Crowdfunding Rally Film Winners: “MisEducation of Bindu” & “Drought”

Seed&Spark CEO & Founder Emily Best and Mark Duplass (Room 104, The One I Love, Creep) and announced that Duplass Brothers Productions will be executive producing two locally based features as the winners of the Hometown Heroes Crowdfunding Rally: The MisEducation of Bindu (Indianapolis, IN) and Drought (Wilmington, NC). Drought also received a $25,000 no-interest loan from Duplass Brothers Productions.

“The outpouring of creativity and hard work we saw from the crowdfunding teams was mind-blowing. And to witness that met with overwhelming support at local and national levels is proof again that film crowdfunding is a powerful tool for creators and audiences,” Best shared with Crowdfund Insider via email. “What’s special about a crowdfunding rally is that there are no losers, on the contrary — the filmmakers who participated all gathered money and audience to make their films. Seed&Spark can’t wait to do it again, and we’re beyond excited for what 2018 has in store for the CF community.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”The Winners are … @MarkDuplass @emilybest @seedandspark #HometownHeroes #crowdfunding #films @crowdfundinside” quote=”‘The outpouring of creativity and hard work we saw from the crowdfunding teams was mind-blowing,’ noted Seed&Spark Founder & CEO Emily Best. “]

The rally launched in mid-September when the 73 participating films began their crowdfunding campaigns. All the campaigns closed on October 13, together raising  than $860,000 was raised across all rally projects, who also amassed a total of 63,000 followers in the 30-day period.

“At the core of it for me is my belief that it’s 2017, the technology is here, the resources are here. Anyone with their parents’ or even their grandkids’ iPhone and a great idea and big heart and smarts can go out and make the movie that wins the Independent Spirit Award. There’s nothing stopping you,” urged Duplass. “There are these wonderful stories that can be coming from all over the country, from underrepresented cities, from underrepresented people, and that’s what Seed&Spark is all about…We saw your desire to represent the unrepresented, your ingenuity, your beautiful sweet spirit, and we want to help as much as possible.”

[clickToTweet tweet=”Congrats! @MarkDuplass @emilybest @seedandspark #HometownHeroes  #crowdfunding #films @crowdfundinside” quote=”‘We saw your desire to represent the unrepresented, your ingenuity, your beautiful sweet spirit, and we want to help as much as possible,’ shared Mark Duplass.”]

The MisEducation of Bindu is a coming-of-age comedy about bright and awkward Bindu, a 14-year-old Indian American girl who’s not only caught between girlhood and womanhood, but also with a foot in India’s traditional past and the promise of global future. Though shooting in producer Edward Timpe’s hometown, director Prarthana Mohan is originally from Chennai, India and studied directing at Chapman University in California. Main character Bindu’s feeling of being caught between India’s traditional past and the promise of global future is a reflection of her experience.

From filmmaking team Hannah Black and Megan Petersen comes Drought, the story of recent high school graduate Sam, living in a small southern town with her autistic younger brother Carl in 1993, during the worst drought in history. This film was partly inspired by co-producer Hannah Black’s experience as a teacher for children on the Autism spectrum.

Duplass also announced the brand new Duplass Brothers Oh Shit grant, awarding $1,000 to cover unforeseen expenses for each of the following projects:

  • A Room Full of Nothing (Austin, TX)
  • Bring Me An Avocado (San Francisco, CA)
  • D.I.Y. (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Lost Bayou (Lafayette, LA)
  • Miles Underwater (San Antonio, TX)

Additional prizes from local partners were awarded to:

  • A Room Full of Nothing, from Duncan Coe and team, receives a free screening at the Austin Film Society
  • Epiphany, from Koula Kazista and Kotina Sossianis, receives a 10% marketing grant from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission
  • I’ll Be Around, from Michael Cuenca and his LA team, receives a in-person, day-long custom consultation or training on the topic or gear of their choosing from AbelCine
  • Little Evil Bookshop, by the Emerald City Arts team, receives a free screening at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle
  • Miles Underwater, from Jen Prince and her San Antonio team, receives a free screening at the Texas Theatre
  • Mini Lights, from brothers Johnny and Paul Vitale, receives a 10% marketing grant from the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission

Seed&Spark and Duplass Brothers Productions announced the Hometown Heroes Crowdfunding Rally in June 2017 to empower storytellers and filmmakers from all over the country to tell stories that have never been told from wherever they are. Hometown Heroes Crowdfunding Rally campaign films and other live campaigns may be viewed here.


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