Apr 17 2019
Today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Kodansha, one of Japan’s leading publishers, to support creators in Japan across all categories.
Connecting creators in Japan with the rest of the world
Through the partnership, Kickstarter will provide Kodansha’s team with the tools, knowledge, and resources to help creators in Japan bring projects to life on our global platform. With these insights and tools in hand, Kodansha will advise creators on how to effectively tell their stories and find supportive audiences on Kickstarter.
“Like Kickstarter, Kodansha is a private company focused on championing each individual creator,” says Taro Kodama, Kickstarter’s Country Manager, Japan. “With Kickstarter, Kodansha’s team of over 500 experts will strengthen the bridge between talented creators in Japan and the rest of the world. We are excited to see how this new partnership will impact other markets to induce more creativity everywhere.”
A family-owned publishing powerhouse
Founded in 1909, Kodansha is the family-owned publishing powerhouse behind some of the most critically acclaimed manga series worldwide, including Akira, The Ghost in the Shell, and Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon. In addition to manga, Kodansha produces magazines and books across all categories. Their editorial team has accumulated vast experience working with creators and helping to unlock their full storytelling potential.
“A Kickstarter project is a story in itself,” says Miki Nakata, Kickstarter’s Outreach Lead, Japan. “Every creator has a compelling story to tell, and they invite their audience to become part of that story. Kodansha is an expert on this exact matter—their name, ‘Kodansha,’ literally translates to 'storytelling company'—and we are excited to work with them.”
“The partnership is an excellent opportunity for both teams and many of the amazing creators they’ve connected with, who we couldn’t provide an ideal platform for,” adds Yuki Kishi, a representative at Kodansha. “Kickstarter will enable us to direct creators who weren’t able to find a place on our publishing platform to a fitting outlet.”
Keep an eye on kickstarter.com/japan to discover new projects launching as part of the partnership.
このたび Kickstarter は、株式会社講談社（本社：東京都文京区、社長：野間省伸、以下講談社）と、日本のクリエイターを支援していくためのパートナーシップを締結いたしました。
このパートナーシップにより、Kickstarter は講談社チームに、Kickstarter プラットフォームやミッションに関する情報を共有し、クリエイティブなプロジェクトを実現していくためのツールやリソースを提供します。これにより Kickstarter と講談社の両チームは、クリエイターの効果的なストーリーテリング、およびオーディエンスをみつけるための指導と支援に協力して取り組んでまいります。
■ Kickstarter Outreach Lead, Japan 中田 美樹によるコメント
■ 講談社担当窓口 岸 勇喜によるコメント
■ Kickstarter Country Manager, Japan 児玉 太郎によるコメント
Kickstarter と同様に、講談社はクリエイターを主役にすることを最も大切にしている非上場企業です。Kickstarter と講談社の500人以上のエキスパートが協力することによって、日本と世界のつながりが広がり、世界中のクリエイティビティがより活性化することを期待しています。また、このパートナーシップが日本以外のマーケットにもより良いインパクトを与えることができることを楽しみにしています。
講談社のサポートを得てローンチしたプロジェクトは、今後 kickstarter.com/japan にて紹介していく予定です。
Apr 16 2019
It’s a great time to love games. We are stoked-and-a-half to report that backers have now pledged more than $1 BILLION to Games projects on Kickstarter. And we’re just getting started!
Since launching in 2009, the Games category has grown steadily, helping titles like The Banner Saga, Exploding Kittens, Darkest Dungeon, Kingdom Death, Shovel Knight, and many more get the funding they needed.
Backers like you have funded nearly 17,000 Games projects, bringing to life the beautiful, bold, and unexpected visions of creators from across the globe. We’ve seen projects that made us laugh, cry, shoot lasers at bad guys, and think about games in totally new ways.
And as we’ve grown, we’ve continued to look for ways to support our creator community and get our backers the latest info. Whether it’s through our weekly emails, Projects We Love, or our creator-focused podcast, we want to give our more than 3.2 million Games backers the latest from the bleeding edge of independent games projects.
With $1 billion in pledges under our belt, we can’t wait to continue to grow Kickstarter Games and bring you more of the irresistible projects you never knew you needed.
Speaking of the future, here are a few of our favorite campaigns that are live right now. Their fate is in your hands...
A PC and VR adventure from the folks who brought you Myst. Strap on your goggles and your little robot buddy and solve puzzles in an intricate steampunk world.
Run a cozy cat cafe in this magical-girl-themed community sim. We need you to also know that there are giant cats you can ride like a pony.
Every creature in the land of Arzium sleepwalks endlessly through ancient ruins and unexplained wonders. Wake them and recruit them to help you find the cute.
Tell the tale of millions of years of marine evolution in this vibrant board game that is as educational as it is fun to play.
You can’t be eliminated in this new social deduction game, but you may be taken to beyond the grave.
Mar 20 2019
On May 11, join a daylong conversation about fostering a more inclusive, fair, and vibrant publishing landscape
The world of publishing has changed dramatically in the last decade. Amazon has become a dominant channel for book sales (and almost everything else). Viral tweets can lead to bestsellers. Local journalism outlets like Gothamist have shuttered—and been reborn. Writers are struggling more now than ever before. But in other ways, it hasn’t: Publishing still isn’t representative of the world we live in, which leaves important stories untold.
And yet, passionate independent writers and publishers have developed innovative ways to connect with audiences and create economic opportunities in an uncertain time. While the conversation about the future of writers and publishers is a complicated one, it’s one I’m hopeful about nonetheless.
On May 11, 2019, I invite you to join this conversation with The Next Page: Creating the Future of Publishing, a digital conference hosted by Kickstarter. From 9 am to 5 pm ET, we’ll host discussions with some of the leading thinkers in the current magazine, book, web, and comic publishing landscape from the Kickstarter community and beyond.
Together, we’ll contemplate the big questions—around topics like the intersection of publishing and tech, how to bring about a dramatically more diverse publishing industry, creating economic sustainability, and cultivating strong communities—and begin to consider what the next decade of publishing could look like. I’m hopeful that these conversations will help us begin to build a more inclusive, fair, and vibrant publishing landscape.
As a digital conference, The Next Page will stream online for free to the public
The Next Page is Kickstarter's first digital conference. These Kickstarter-led discussions focus on topics that affect independent creators. The opening remarks, panels, and closing remarks of The Next Page will stream online for free, and will be available to anyone with an internet connection.
We also encourage online attendees to get involved: Throughout the digital conference you’ll be able to join the conversation via YouTube Live chat and make connections with other attendees.
For questions about the conference, write to thenextpage [at] kickstarter [dot] com.
Mar 19 2019
To the Kickstarter team, creators, backers, and friends:
I’ve decided to step away from the CEO position at Kickstarter to focus on high-level and long-term company needs in my role as chairman of the board.
We’re just about a month shy of Kickstarter’s 10th birthday. Ten years ago, I took a leap with Yancey and Charles to create a platform with a simple mission: bring people together to help bring creative projects to life. And in doing so, Kickstarter came to life in ways I never could have imagined. In just ten years, we have accomplished so much together, with over $4.2 billion pledged to projects and nearly 160,000 projects from all over the world being successfully funded.
When I returned as CEO in 2017, I initially intended to spend about six months working to set up a long-term foundation to ensure Kickstarter remained aligned with its mission, and to set the next leader up for success. Those months quickly became two years dedicated to developing a better way to deliver on the core aspects of our service through a robust operating system, a strong product, and the team we have assembled at Kickstarter today.
I feel confident in what we’ve been able to accomplish, and even more confident in the next generation of leaders. And as a part of this decision, I’m happy to announce that Aziz Hasan, the head of Kickstarter’s Design & Product teams, will be stepping into the role of running day-to-day operations as interim CEO—with the Kickstarter PBC board working with Aziz over the next weeks and months to make this role permanent.
Aziz is an experienced leader who joined the Kickstarter team early last year. He is deeply committed to the work, mission, and staff, and I cannot imagine Kickstarter in better hands.
It’s been a true honor to serve as CEO for the first five years of this company and again for the last two. As we’ve been saying around here ahead of our milestone birthday, 10 is just the beginning. And I cannot wait to see what the next 10 years of Kickstarter will bring.
Mar 13 2019
Like everybody else who loves music and…[squints at list]...huge untamed crowds and walking through piles of unsorted recycling, we’re off to SXSW Music!
For the next week, my cohort Russell Elliot (of Kickstarter’s People Team, but also a brilliantly successful Kickstarter Music creator and oh my god have you heard this song??) and yours truly will be kicking dust all over South Congress, sneaking into your shows, eating all the tacos, trying on all the most psychedelic vintage, getting selfies with our heroes, and most importantly—
—seeing you, your band, your friends’ bands, and your friends’ band’s bands, and talking to you about music.
We wanna have all of the good, bad, inevitably weird ‘I didn’t think people were supposed to talk about that’ kinds of conversations, whether it’s gender disparity in festival lineups, adding morality clauses to label contracts, how to book shows if your town doesn’t have any shows, what the scene is like (or what you want it to be like) where you’re from, being the queer weirdo outlier in a macho genre, being a better ally in this industry, conquering stage fright and performance anxiety, and, of course, how to run a successful Kickstarter Music campaign.
We want to come to your shows and cheer you on like proud, weird, gender-nonconforming dance moms.
We want to invite you to our Airstream trailer and make you pancakes (seriously) and be the people who will legitimately listen to you as you break down all the really crazy things you’ve had to deal with since you started thinking about signing with a label.
We’re ready to strategize, hand-hold, snack, and cry our way through your scariest industry concerns.
And, we want to amplify your incredible creativity, your music, and your message through the photo and video series we’re making while we’re down there. (What, you thought we could work at a place that exists to ‘Help Bring Creative Projects to Life’ without making one of our own?)
So: where are you playing, when, and with whom? Are you big mad about something to do with music and in need of someone to commiserate with?
Do you have questions, comments, concerns that you know would get shoved to the bottom of the bottom of the priorities pile were you to ask them of a Fancy Industry Executive?
Holler at us on social media, because why front like we do things differently than anybody else? I am here. Russell is here.
With love and oh my god what are we doing,
Meredith (Director of Music) + Russell (Brains of Thee Operation)
Mar 4 2019
Earlier this year, we announced an open call for the fourth edition of our Creators-in-Residence program. We received hundreds of applications from amazing, independent creative people, and today we’re thrilled to announce our eleven residents for the spring 2019 season.
From March through May, these residents will make use of the space and resources at Kickstarter’s Brooklyn HQ to plan, launch, and fulfill campaigns across categories. Learn a bit more about them below, and stay tuned for their projects.
Join us in welcoming eleven talented creators into our Brooklyn HQ for the next three months
Carly Pifer is a Brooklyn-based writer and content creator intent on updating the genre of erotica for a modern, sophisticated reader. She’s currently building Aurore, a women-powered site for real sex stories that she is both “terrified and thrilled” to launch on Kickstarter this spring.
Jordan Draper is an artist, entrepreneur, and six-time Kickstarter creator who’s lived all across the globe. He was a musician for 10 years, and has since started designing and publishing board games as Jordan Draper Games. During the residency, he’ll work on manufacturing and fulfilling his recent campaign for Tokyo Series, which raised over $200K from 1,702 backers earlier this year.
Krystal Persaud is a product designer and passionate advocate for women working in STEM. She was previously the Senior Director of Product Design at littleBits, and currently teaches product design, sustainability, and interaction design at SVA and New Jersey Institute of Technology. At Kickstarter, she’ll work on Grouphug, the company she founded to empower everyone to practice sustainable habits on a daily basis.
Myriah Towner is a Brooklyn-based storyteller and digital curator whose work has appeared in The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail Online, and Arts London News. Previously, she co-created The Emmett Till Project, which serves as a digital platform commemorating the murder and trial of Emmett Louis Till that helped spark the Civil Rights Movement. This year, she’s planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign for Black Farmer Stories, a multimedia project that aims to preserve the legacy and cultural heritage of Black farmers.
Nicholas O’Brien is a Brooklyn-based artist and researcher, and an Assistant Professor in 3D Design and Game Development at Stevens Institute of Technology. He makes video games, digital animations, and installations addressing civic history, urban infrastructure, and overlooked narratives of technology and labor. At Kickstarter, he will work on developing The Last Survey, an interactive work of speculative fiction.
Co-founded by siblings Meredith Finkelstein and Jesse Finkelstein, Print All Over Me is the world’s leading online platform for high quality, custom-created apparel, home goods, and textiles. It began as a project to make manufacturing simpler and more transparent, and has grown into a company with two privately-owned factories, over 500,000 active users, and wholesale accounts with institutions and brands like Google, The Whitney Museum, and Nickelodeon. At Kickstarter, they’ll work on an experimental project exploring creativity and consciousness.
Regine L. Sawyer is the owner and writer at Lockett Down Productions, a small press comic book company that specializes in science fiction and horror comics. She’s also the founder of the Women in Comics Collective International, an organization focused on the work of women and non-binary people working in the comic book industry. During the residency, she’ll focus on planning and launching a Kickstarter campaign for a new comic book series.
Sarah Rowan is a game designer who will use her time at Kickstarter to work on her first board game publication, Soothsayer. She has been writing games together with her wife for years, and has a strong dedication to bringing greater diversity of experience to the gaming scene. When she isn't working on games, she likes growing bonsai and practicing martial arts.
Tim Platt is a comedian, actor, writer, and musician who’s appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Master Class with Steve Martin, and Comedy Central's Someone's In Here. Along with performing stand up, Tim performs comedic micro-plays in the duo Pasic & Platt, puppeteers with the ongoing show Cartoon Monsoon, and is a member of the Story Pirates, an arts-education company that turns stories written by kids into shows. He wrote the song "V is for Vegetable" for Sesame Street, and will use the Kickstarter residency to develop a campaign for a full-length comedy album.
Ytasha L. Womack is an author, filmmaker, scholar, and dancer. She's author of Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture and the Rayla Universe series. She travels internationally speaking on Afrofuturism and teaches Afrofuturism Dance Therapy classes. While in residence, she plans to launch a project for A Spaceship in Bronzeville, a three-book series of novellas with Mouse Books.
Sign up for the Kickstarter Alumni newsletter to learn more about our Creators-in-Residence.
Explore 12 Projects from Emerging Mexican Filmmakers Premiering at the Guanajuato International Film Festival
Feb 21 2019
Versión en español a continuación.
Kickstarter is once again teaming up with the Guanajuato International Film Festival to support emerging Mexican filmmakers through workshops, training, and Kickstarter campaigns.
For the third year in a row, Kickstarter is teaming up with the Guanajuato International Film Festival (GIFF) to support emerging Mexican filmmakers. Twelve teams of students from all across Mexico, selected by GIFF, have launched Kickstarter projects to fund the production of short narrative and documentary films which will premiere at the festival in July.
GIFF is the only film festival in Mexico to offer an educational program for students. Each year, students from universities across the country are chosen to take part in workshops and training to help bring their film projects to life.
The program is divided into two initiatives: Rally Universitario (University Rally), which challenges students to produce a narrative short in just 48 hours, and Identidad y Pertenencia (Identity and Belonging), which features six short documentaries that explore the regional identity and contemporary challenges of life in Guanajuato, Mexico.
Keep reading to learn more about the 12 projects that will premiere at the 22nd annual Guanajuato International Film Festival. You can support them all on Kickstarter now.
Rally Universitario: Narrative Shorts
What if Jesus hadn’t died on the cross? What if, instead, he had been forced to remain 33 years old for eternity—what would he think of the world today? In En el nombre del hijo, a team of students from the state of Querétaro will explore these questions.
Segundo en 48 will be a satirical send-up of the GIFF itself. The film will follow a group of students participating in the University Rally section of the festival on their first day of filming.
This short film will revisit the 1950s in Guanajuato to tell the story of plañideras, women hired to wear black and mourn at strangers’ funerals.
Told from alternating perspectives, this short film from a group of students from San Luis Potosí will explore how a crisis of indifference and distrust takes over a family.
El sorprendente Sánchez will follow a call center employee and comic book enthusiast whose monotonous life is turned upside down when he answers an ad looking for real-life superheroes.
In Pepe Co., Carlos, the employee of the month at an unusual department store, begins to unravel the darkest secrets of the business.
Identidad y Pertenencia: Documentary Shorts
Through the testimony of two women from San Francisco del Rincón, El llano will consider the cultural legacy of the state of Guanajuato, where the tradition of hand-weaving hats is in danger of extinction.
The filmmakers behind Toci intend to explore the pre-Hispanic tradition of the temazcal, a type of sweat lodge, as a path to healing in contemporary society.
A group of students from the University of Celaya plan to look into the business of pyrotechnics in Mexican culture: the beloved traditions, as well as the devastating risks.
Don Jesús is an artisan from Guanajuato who has spent his life manufacturing molcajete, traditional Mexican mortars used for cooking. Andrea Monserratt and her team will narrate the dangers of his job and the urgency of keeping this Mexican tradition alive.
Faroles will transport viewers to the city of Salamanca, where the hostility of the streets disappears once you find those corners that invite you to fraternize.
The city of León is undergoing a street art revolution. León es como lo pintan will follow two people at the forefront of this movement who are empowering young artists to color their streets.
Doce proyectos de cineastas emergentes mexicanos en el Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato
Por tercer año consecutivo, unimos fuerzas con el Festival Internacional de Cine de Guanajuato (GIFF) para impulsar el cine emergente mexicano. Doce equipos de estudiantes de todo México, seleccionados por el GIFF, han publicado proyectos en Kickstarter para financiar la producción de sus documentales y cortos de ficción, los cuales se estrenarán en el festival en julio de este año.
El GIFF es el único festival de cine en México que ofrece un programa educativo para estudiantes. Cada año, estudiantes de universidades de todo el país son seleccionados para recibir meses de talleres y formación para la realización de sus proyectos de cine.
La formación propone dos programas distintos: “Rally Universitario,” que implica el reto de producir un cortometraje de ficción en sólo 48 horas, e “Identidad y Pertenencia,” que consiste en cortos documentales que exploran la identidad regional y las inquietudes de Guanajuato, México.
Sigue leyendo para conocer más acerca de estos 12 proyectos a estrenarse en la edición 22 del GIFF. Puedes apoyarlos a todos en Kickstarter ahora.
Rally Universitario: cortos de ficción
¿Qué hubiese pasado si Jesús de Nazaret no muriera en la cruz? Y que, al no morir su punición fuese tener 33 años de edad eternamente, ¿qué opinaría Jesús del mundo en el que vivimos ahora? En En el nombre del hijo un grupo de estudiantes de Querétaro explora estas preguntas.
Segundo en 48 será una sátira del propio GIFF. Este corto sigue a un grupo de estudiantes del Rally Universitario en su primer día de grabación.
Este cortometraje nos lleva a los años cincuenta en Guanajuato para contarnos la historia de las “plañideras”; mujeres con el oficio de vestirse de luto y llorar en los funerales de personas ajenas.
Contando desde perspectivas alternas, este corto por estudiantes de San Luis Potosí explora la crisis de indiferencia y desconfianza que invade a una familia.
El sorprendente Sánchez sigue a un empleado de un call center y apasionado por los cómics que ve su vida monótona transformarse al contestar a un anuncio buscando superhéroes.
En Pepe Co., Carlos, el empleado del mes de una tienda departamental poco usual nos lleva a descubrir los lados más oscuros del negocio.
Identidad y Pertenencia: cortos documentales
A través del testimonio de dos mujeres de San Francisco del Rincón, El llano se adentra en el legado cultural de Guanajuato donde el tejido artesanal del sombrero está en peligro de extinción.
Los cineastas detrás de Toci exploran el método prehispánico del Temazcal como una vía de sanación para la sociedad contemporánea.
Un grupo de estudiantes de la Universidad de Celaya planean investigar el negocio de la pirotecnia en la cultura mexicana: las tradiciones y los peligros que conlleva.
Don Jesús es un artesano de Guanajuato que ha trabajado toda su vida en la confección del molcajete. Andrea Monserratt y su equipo narrarán los riesgos de este oficio y la urgencia de mantener viva esta tradición.
Este documental nos lleva a la ciudad de Salamanca, Guanajuato, donde la hostilidad de las calles desaparece al momento de encontrar esas esquinas que te invitan a la fraternidad.
La ciudad de León está viviendo una revolución de arte callejera. León es como lo pintan seguirá a las personas al frente de este movimiento, quienes están empoderando a artistas jóvenes a pintar sus calles.
Feb 11 2019
Films include Boy Howdy! The Story of Creem Magazine, Strange Negotiations: The David Bazan Documentary, and festival favorite Knock Down the House.
Another amazing lineup of Kickstarter creators will bring their documentaries, narrative features, and shorts to Austin, TX, for the SXSW Film Festival (March 8–16, 2019).
“The SXSW Film Festival is known for welcoming fiercely independent, smart, fun, and often irreverent filmmaking. It's no surprise that Kickstarter creators often make up a significant portion of the festival's lineup,” says Kickstarter Film’s Liz Cook Mowe.
Kickstarter’s Film team will also be at SXSW this March cheering on Kickstarter-funded filmmakers at their films’ world premieres (Follow @Kickstarter on Instagram for live updates), enjoying too many breakfast tacos, and meeting with filmmakers interested in running campaigns.
Will you be at SXSW too? Get in touch with our Film team at email@example.com.
Learn more about the films headed to SXSW below.
Award-winning cookbook author, diehard environmentalist and feisty British nonagenarian Diana Kennedy reflects on an unconventional life spent mastering the cuisines of Mexico. (World Premiere)
Community First, A Home for the Homeless, is a feature documentary about a totally unique concept for mitigating homelessness. Conceived and created in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village is truly transforming the lives of homeless people. (World Premiere)
In the early 1980’s, the only family that toddler Luke knew were the strippers, bouncers, and outcasts that made OKC’s rowdiest strip club their home. (World Premiere)
This film explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged—to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it… except, maybe, poke fun at it all. (World Premiere)
A desperate man seeks refuge from the predators hunting him by befriending a cheerful intruder. (World Premiere)
Ripping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine‘s wild and disruptive newsroom; a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered. (World Premiere)
The film explores the seminal 90’s band Brainiac from Dayton, OH, and its creative force Tim Taylor. Just days before signing a major record contract Taylor was killed in a bizarre auto accident leaving his family and bandmates to pick up the pieces. (World Premiere)
The story of lyrical genius, Martin Phillipps and his band, The Chills, is a cautionary tale, a triumph over tragedy, and a statement about the meaning of music in our lives. (World Premiere)
Nothing Stays the Same celebrates the last 30 years of live music in Austin, while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub. (World Premiere)
A documentary exploring the existential, artistic and family life of musician and former evangelical, David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), set against America’s own crisis of faith highlighted during the 2016 presidential election. (World Premiere)
Becoming Leslie reveals the inner and bizarre world of Leslie Cochran, a cross-dressing homeless misfit who became the most iconic and unlikely civic symbol of Austin, Texas. (World Premiere)
Four women run for Congress, overcoming personal adversity to battle powerful political machines across the country. One of their races will change the country forever.
Six-feet of Texas trouble, Molly Ivins, a legendary journalist and a warrior for the Bill of Rights, fought Good Old Boy corruption with razor-sharp wit that left both sides of the aisle laughing and craving ink in her columns. Raise Hell y’all!
A teenage girl in an evangelical church youth group must deal with the fallout when her trust is publicly betrayed. (World Premiere)
Reading isn’t natural. It’s a struggle for each of us to master, but those with dyslexia fight to read their entire lives. In the Dark is about performance, persistence and Phyllis, a woman in Austin, Texas, who says she can reverse dyslexia. (World Premiere)
In 2017, Brooklyn-based filmmaker Matthew Puccini’s short The Mess He Made premiered at SXSW and was later featured by Short of the Week. His newest short, Lavender, is a raw and realistic portrayal of a young gay man as he grows increasingly entangled in the marriage of an older couple.
Film descriptions courtesy of SXSW.