claquete com filme 23 2147807382First, if you did not read the part 1 of this article, we invite you to read it. In this part 2 we will talk about how to get the funds and the different platforms, the distribution part of the business and how you can get your work out there, as well as testimonials and viewpoints of different professionals of this industry.


As an independent filmmaker fresh from film school, you might be wondering: how can I find investors for my short films? Well, if funding feature films is a hard task, especially for unknown filmmakers, when it comes to short films it is no easier effort. Plan well from pre production through post, having in mind that good part of a short film success involves a powerful, simple and emotional plot allied to great advertising, so be ready on your deliverables (online press kit, film exports, posters, catalogues and postcards).

Despite of being way lower cost to produce a decent short film, it generally represents a bigger risk on something that might not bring as much return back for the investor. Therefore one of the most important things through your career is to identify your audience, find your crowd, whose are your films for. Be specific. What we can say out of experience is with good planning you might be able to minimize some of the costs or even make your investment back through the following strategies:

  • Film Schools

Choose well your film school according to the investment you plan to make. Film schools are generally costly; they involve tuitions and fees that will cover not only the knowledge but also insuring the gear. They are a very interesting way to learn the craft by example, by aesthetics repertoire, by learning how to use expensive equipment which maybe you wouldn’t have access to. Soon you’ll realize the more you practice through shorts on various movie sets, the better you get on technique and on artistic choices.

Why are film schools included on “Funding”? It is an investment; it is how you start spending good amount of money in your career, and each of them has a different approach towards the product you as student produce. It’s also an ally for funding partners, for networking, it’s your safe space.Image Cinema Film Rolls

Some schools will cover insurance for locations, health insurance, provide equipment and its insurance too, AFI, for example. Some schools, like the one I attended, NYFA, will only cover locations liability insurance as well as provide the equipment. But NYFA might be currently the only one that allows the student movie to be his/her own property. Most of the other schools are copyright holders of their students‘ productions. It’s also true that some of them will fund the student project on its entirety or partially by giving back part of the amount the student paid as tuition. Here in California you can find AFI, USC, UCLA, Chapman, CSULB, NYFA, LAFS and many others.

  • Crowdfunding Platforms

This was a brand new way of marketing for independent filmmakers, who soon understood these platforms as ‘pre-sales’ oriented advertising spots in which you can build gradually your own crowd by your projects throughout the years. Approaching these platforms as a pre-sale spot for your project changes the entire strategy of advertising it. The secret on how to succeed? Develop advanced schedule for campaign and for production, be active on social medias, altruism: engage with other projects of interest developed by another artists, show great production value already on the campaign, be personal and faithful to your audience, commit to your promises to them.

kickstarter logo largeThere are many platforms out there as well as many third-party service providers who offer to ‘boost’ your campaign. But if you let yourself around 2 months of planning and achieving steps on how to build and engage your audience to the product offered before you even open the funding campaign, that’s how you will make possible capitalization for your short film.

A filmmaker who could fund his first film project through crowd funding is sharing these. “Under Water: Dive Deep” directed by me raised $5,997 in 30 days, reaching 114% of the original goal. It was a full time job during the month of campaign. Here are some platforms: indiegogo, seed&spark (for filmmakers only, with many interesting features), catarse, vaquinha, gofundme, kickstarter. Again let yourself enough time to build your crowd.

  • Grants and Direct Investment

If the competition increased by how accessible high quality equipment became even for “prosumers”, seeking for funds also became ‘easier’ in the digital era. There are many websites dedicated to publish grants programs throughout the year around the world. Private institutions looking for tax rebates by investing on culture. Major and minor studios looking for content. Flm festivals and contests, have money prizes.

TV channels is investing on independent productions, for example, short docs to be developed under their consultancy and funding, like the public contest TV Futura launched in Brazil on the beginning of this year (*2017). Specific institutional grants in which the Sponsor looks for a short film or a series of short films to promote or educate in regards to their company and policies. State Grants to develop culture and qualify new professionals.


If funding can be a challenge, now that you fought for your aesthetic vision, gave up on many certainties and initial choices, lost many nights of sleep from writing, to casting, to rehearsing, to shooting and finally editing, coloring, building sound design and final mixing, where are you going to screen your masterpiece? Who is going to see your short film? Now it starts the real challenge, putting in practice all the phases we discussed about in order to find who to sell it to and how.

The good news about all this process is that if shorts went through different consumption phases throughcopia de vimeo wallpaper by ewizac e1702081188691
history: from being the main production available, to becoming an alternative piece screened along with features on movie theatres, to abandoning the theatres giving in to governmental propaganda and successively to ads and trailers, migrating in purpose and in content to television channels, then having their own festivals, to reaching a free expression space on the world wide web, and now being bought on demand; we are hopeful that short films live a great era in which the consumer is broader in age range, the access is more immediate, the general request for content is higher and the way of absorbing the world became faster, more fragmented, therefore short interesting content became a high demand product for entertainment and advertisement.

Despite the initial discussion on how to produce/fund your short film we will briefly mention ways you can get your work out there and monetize:

There are many specific sites and platforms specialized on distributing short films, some for free, some will offer a closing deal by holding copyrights, some online pay per view portals will allow you to monetize through a percentage of the total profit, based on views, some will allow your audience to straightly buy or rent your short film in a nominal fee at no extra charge for the filmmaker (like Bandcamp for musicians), some will charge you upfront to release the short film for purchase and rent on their interface.

There are varied ones across the world, we will name some located in the U.S. for your personal research on how each one of them operate: Shorts International, also in charge of the branches Shorts HD and Shorts TV; AT&T; T-mobile; DirecTV; Frontier Communications; Century Link Prism, Fios, Google Fiber; SBB; MagineTV; DECTV; USSONET; iTunes; Amazon Instant Video; Digital Box Office; Future Shorts; Youtube; Vimeo on Demand.

goldenglobes com cover epfc photoFilm festivals and film markets are still a strong Go-To choice for most independent filmmakers as a way to showcase their work, reach audiences, know different markets, network with peers and pitch for investors.

Paid Public Screenings at preview theatres, independent theatres, recently open exhibition houses, specialized bars and restaurants, and cinema art houses: Laemmle, Cinefamily, Nuart, Arena Cinelounge, The Downtown Independent, REDCAT, Echopark Film Center, Bugatta Bar & Restaurant, El Cid Bar & Restaurant.

Television and Airlines screenings: A number of local cable operators’ networks as well as airline companies are offering good money for the telecast rights of short films. And ultimately by selling rights of the short film to be made as a feature film.


Being filmmakers ourselves with a solid creative and technical experience on performing arts, producing and directing film and theatre, after reflecting upon origin, definition, purpose, audience and investment, it’s important to hear another professionals on what they could add to this discussion about the importance of exploring short films as a specific creative film product. What follows is their testimonials and expresses their personal intake on the subject.

felipe silveira scaled e1702081398431Filipi Silveira (Filmmaker – MS, BR)

Who was born first the egg or the chicken? Which one appeared first the short film or the feature film? The short film is the beginning, the director’sexercise towards telling his stories, delegating tasks and getting familiar with the structure that moves the 7thArt. The challenges faced on a feature film are others and immense, but you need to start from somewhere and go through some specific phases that the short film production will allow you to in order to reach maturity.

Breno Pessurno (Filmmaker, Singer, Best Documentary LABRFF 2014, – RJ, BR)

I think about major authors, like Virginia Wolf, who gathers such imagination in such few pages. That immediately inspires and transports me to a short film, like those with great imaginative breath. This motivates me to quickly create in a short film format.

Gabriel Moura (Screenwriter CSULB – CE, BR/ CA, US)

I think that the two major reasons to do short films are: experience and resume. Even though on a smaller scale, short films demand all the same steps from a feature film. You need a script, cast, production, locations, rehearsals, camera, editing, effects, score, etc. When you achieve a successful short film that carries major audiences, you are able to show to collaborators and investors that you have the talent for more ambitious projects. By finalizing short films, you have proof of your particular experiences, something that you can list on your resume or make available on your website.

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Dionísio Neto, actor

Dionísio Neto (Actor, Producer, Writer Known by Carandiru/Hector Babenco – MA/SP,BR)

It’s not by chance that cinema is called the 7th art. It’s freeing to think about the dedication, the care and, above all, the time we can invest on it. Besides being extremely accessible, short films allow all this freedom I’m talking about elevated to infinity. Not to mention the importance of exercising this craft, which very often reveals great artists. Kevin Spacey, one of the biggest stars of Hollywood, produces wonderful short films. It’s a way for him to get out of his comfort zone and find out new paths, many times very surprising.

Felipe Folgosi (Renowned Film and TV actor, HQ creator – SP, BR)

Short films many times are underestimated if compared with Features, by being considered a simple “rehearsal” for apprentice directors. It’s true that short films are a format for experimenting by excellence, which makes them essential in the audiovisual arts. As far as importance, the same way that a short story can be as brilliant as a romance, a short film can be more powerful on its synthesis than a feature film.

Kayky Brito (TV Actor – RJ, BR)

More than why to invest on a short film, the focus here is that it serves the purpose of revealing your vision and principles as an artist. It doesn’t matter how deep you go on exploring a theme for that short duration on screen, there will always be a part of you on its subtext.

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Thales Côrrea, Diretor.

Thales Corrêa (Filmmaker – MG, BR/CA, US)

Short films have been unpopular in the film industry for quite some time, but now they are becoming a greater deal with the aspect of monetization behind them. The growth of video ads and an online audience of hundreds of millions, make investing money in a short film an opportunity that could bring huge returns. Internet transformed the way people consume entertainment and short films are at the front of it. They are becoming a relevant tool of communication promoting values, culture and ethics.


Find out extra material about cinema and Brazilian cinema including helpful resources in our CINEMA section here at Soul Brasil. At least at once a year we produce a special issue about Arts and Cinemaand this content is later published here in the website.

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