59 – Film Funding & Distribution with ‘Big Sonia’ Filmmakers

February 2, 2018

Film marketing & promotions, crowdfunding, and theatrical distribution are topics that, at some point in time, all independent doc filmmakers will need to know about.  So if you’re looking to start arming yourself with some knowledge that’s going to potentially culminate in a successful release and maybe even in theatrical distribution then this is the show for you.

Two filmmakers who know this journey as well as anyone and are currently having spectacular success with their independent documentary film is Leah Warshawski & Todd Soliday. Their current film, Big Sonia, has not only won over twelve film festival awards, played theatrically in a number of cities, but just this past week set a new record for the all-time highest grossing film to ever play the Glenwood Arts Theatre in Kansas City.

Among topics discussed:

  • crowdfunding strategies outside of the Kickstarter & Indiegogo platforms
  • how to run a successful promotions campaign for your theatrical screenings
  • how a company like Film Sprout can propel your film to outreach and screenings
  • how to film particularly sensitive scenes
Additional Notes

5 Tips for Crowdfunding Your Doc

These were all covered in the actual podcast episode, but I wanted to supply the list in text form, if you wanted to take a look at it:

  1. Clear Your Calendars
  2. Become Friends with Facebook (Social Media, in general)
  3. Email people consistently, but not constantly
  4. Use an intro video
  5. Have fun


View the Big Sonia trailer:


Film Sprout 

Film Sprout is a boutique distribution firm that helps social-issue filmmakers create
robust community and campus screening initiatives for their documentaries.  This was a service that Leah & Todd used for their doc, Big Sonia.  As you’ll remember from the episode, they spoke glowingly of the work that the Film Sprout people did in getting Sonia out into the world!


Women You Should Fund

Women You Should Fund is the rewards-based crowdfunding platform that Todd & Leah talked about on the show.  They were very happy with working with them during the crowdfund campaign.  They may be a nice fit for your own campaign!



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