Inocente-kickstarter-academy-award-224x168Another year, another Oscars, but this one was very special to the indie community for one major reason: the documentary short Inocente made history as the first Kickstarter film to win an Academy Award. Hollywood might have just started noticing the crowdfunding platform recently, but independent films have benefitted greatly over the last few years, and Kickstarter has been involved in a number of festival and award-winning films -- including a few Oscar nods. Also, if you missed it previously, embedded below is Paperman, which took home the best animated short film Academy Award, and the trailer for Curfew, shot on the RED ONE, which received the live action short film award.

Here is Paperman, directed by John Kahrs:

The trailer for Curfew, directed by Shawn Christensen, which was the live action short winner (the film is available to watch on iTunes):

Here is the trailer for Inocente, directed by Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, the short documentary winner (also available to watch on iTunes):

And the Kickstarter launch video:

The film itself had already been completed before the campaign, but they used the Kickstarter funds for the rest of the costs associated with the film, including promotional materials, as well as this:

Finally, we are also writing free, downloadable companion curricula for teachers and creating an arts workshop template for community organizations that will incorporate the arts into core subjects and explore the themes and issues of the film to make it more attractive to the educational market.

I'm sure Inocente won't be the last Kickstarter film nominated for an Oscar (other nominees include Kings Point, Buzkashi Boys, Incident in New BaghdadSun Come Up, and The Barber of Birmingham), and it likely won't be the last to win the award, either. Kickstarter will continue being an important platform for low-budget and independent filmmakers, and it's clear based on previous successes that the site has produced quite a bit of quality work.

On a related note, a particular piece of the writing from the show mentioned that all of the shorts filmmakers would be the "future of film" or could be "future A-listers." There were quite a few angry tweets and comments about the remark, and it's quite understandable, because shorts are absolutely their own art form. I think it's important to recognize that a movie is not a lesser piece of art or less professional just because it lacks a 2 hour running time, and a filmmaker is still a filmmaker regardless of movie length.

It was also the first year that all Academy members received screeners of every short film, whereas in the past they had to attend the screenings in person. While this ensured they had to see the films to vote, sending screeners to all members means more of these great films will likely be seen by more people. Short films have certainly seen a resurgence in recent years thanks to the democratization of filmmaking and the power of the internet, so it's nice to see the Academy attempting to get them in the hands of as many voters as possible.

What do you guys think?