This film about a homeless, undocumented teenager in San Diego barely topped its modest $50,000 funding goal. But the filmmakers didn’t need much outside financing because they had already completed the film by the time they launched their campaign in June 2012. Paid for by the movie’s production team, which included the non-profit group Shine Global, the 40-minute documentary chronicles 15-year-old Inocente Izucar’s efforts to be an artist despite being an undocumented immigrant.
But while the film’s initial costs were taken care of, the directors still needed extra funds to cover deferred production expenses, create a website for the film, and compile other marketing materials like screeners for movie critics. That final influx of cash was worth it: in February, the Fines’ film took home the Oscar for best documentary short subject and helped set the stage for more high-profile, crowdfunded film projects to come.