Directed by Michele Josue
A documentary by a close personal friend, examining the aftermath of Matthew Shepard's tragic death.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $60,414
Production Notes: Josue and her friends created celebratory dance videos at different stages of the fundraising campaign and posted them on her Kickstarter page to thank her donors.
Directed by Sini Anderson
A documentary about the life of iconic riot grrrl, Kathleen Hanna.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $61,455
Production Notes: One of Anderson's largest donations came, surprisingly, from Kate Nash. The singer-songwriter, who's cited Hanna in interviews as an influence, gave $5,000 to the project.
Directed by Michael Stabile
A documentary on the gay porn mogul who helped found the Human Rights Campaign.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $28,430
Production Notes: After the first week of his Kickstarter campaign, Stabile quickly edited an entirely new trailer to post on his page. The first one, a “VH1 Behind-the-Music” trailer as he calls it, was too salacious to draw support from strangers.
Directed by Adam Baran
A narrative short about a gay teen in New Jersey who seeks out a collection of porn rags abandoned near a dumpster.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $22,250
Production Notes: On top of giving donations, some of Baran’s backers became part of his crew, including his production designer.
Directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall
A documentary detailing the 2011 murder of gay rights activist David Kato and the queer community of Uganda.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $11,969
Production Notes: During their first 2½-week shoot, the directors cut costs by staying in a hostel and taking public transportation (crowded minivans). The hostel’s only electricity was in the bar, where the pair downloaded their footage to hard drives after consecutive 14-hour days of shooting.
Directed by Leilah Weinraub
A documentary on L.A.’s eminent black lesbian strip club.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $29,525
Production Notes: During her campaign, Weinraub, who had been filming Shakedown for seven years, donated to Jennie Livingston’s Kickstarter for her new autobiographical documentary, Earth Camp One. “She wrote back instantly,” says Weinraub. “She and I had a little brainstorming session about how to better reach people who could support our films.”
Directed by Dee Rees; Produced by Nekisa Cooper
A full-length narrative about a black lesbian teen’s troubled coming out.
Amount Raised on Kickstarter: $11,001
Production Notes: Pariah started as a short film, which played at over 40 festivals around the world and won 25 Best Short awards before it was made into a feature. Rees and Cooper used the short and its success as calling cards to secure further production funds from investors.