Women in Film & Television Ireland



Women in Film & Television Ireland presents: Everything you ever wanted to know about crowd-funding!

Tuesday, November 17th, 6.30pm – O’Callaghan Hotel St Stephens Green


Crowd-funding is increasingly becoming a key part of financing for independent film – with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Ireland’s Fund It experiencing huge growth spurts in recent years. There have been huge success stories, but in reality it can be really challenging – only 41% of film & tv projects on Kickstarter reach their goal, and that compares well to Indiegogo’s 11% success rate.   This panel aims to give a warts and all picture of crowdfunding, via three Irish projects that successfully used crowd-funding to part-fund and raise awareness for their films. The projects are My Name is Emily, written and directed by Simon Fitzmaurice and produced by Kathryn Kennedy, and Lesley McKimm and Jackie Larkin. They achieved €120,000 in 30 days during the crowdfunding campaign for Simon Fitzmaurice’s ‘My Name is Emily’. The original target was €200,000, and they raised €51,015 on Indiegogo, the rest being made through direct donations via post, bank transfer and paypal on our website.  Frankie Fenton’s The Good Reactor successfully raised £50K on Kickstarter. Blinder Films’ The Queen of Ireland raised just over EUR54,000 on Indiegogo, from a goal of EU50,000.



Panelist Biographies:

Kathryn Kennedy

Winner of the Bingham Ray New Talent award 2015, Kathryn Kennedy is an up and coming Irish Producer with her company, Kennedy Films. Kennedy’s first feature film My Name is Emily had its North American premiere as part of the Discovery section at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival 2015. The film had its world premiere as the opening film at the Galway Film Fleadh 2015 where it won Best Cinematography. Kathryn Kennedy has a BA in Film Production and an MA in Screenwriting, she launched Kennedy Films in December 2012 with a short film, Just Saying by director Dave Tynan, which was an instant viral sensation, achieving half a million hits online to date. Since then she has produced 3 further shorts. Kennedy’s  first feature film is with director Simon Fitzmaurice, My Name Is Emily, producing together with Newgrange Pictures Ltd, and co-producing with Garage Films in Sweden, Paradox in Norway. My Name is Emily is financed by the Irish Film Board, the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, Section 481, TV3, Film Vast and SVT and is due for release in 2015. Kennedy Films are producing two documentary features, It’s Not Yet Dark and The Good Reactor with director Frankie Fenton, both projects due for completion in 2015. Kennedy is also developing a sci-fi feature film Prescience with writer/director Kevin Lehane (Grabbers 2012) in conjunction with the Irish Film Board.



Frankie Fenton

Frankie Fenton is an Irish Film and TV Director/Producer specializing in documentary film to do with pressing social matters. He is a graduate of Dublin City University and has achieved a Masters in Film and Television Studies. As founder of Sector 7G Frankie has participated in international pitching, financing and shooting in many forums worldwide. Recent directing credits include “The Good Reactor” (release date tba) an environmental feature documentary about controversial ways to solve the coming global energy crisis. He successfully raised £50k in 30 days on Kickstarter for this film. “It’s Not Yet Dark” (working title) is another feature in conjunction with Newgrange films and Kennedy films in Dublin Ireland. This film explores the work of award winning Irish film director and best selling author Simon Fitzmaurice who has just finished filming his own feature “My Name Is Emily” (TIFF Official Selection) but under the burden of motor neuron disease (ALS). Simon uses his eye to communicate through Eye Gaze technology. Both films are due to be completed in late 2015. Frankie has spent many years working in the post production sector of UK television before moving to independent directing professionally.



Katie Holly – Blinder Films, The Queen of Ireland

Katie Holly is Managing Director of Blinder Films, where she has produced documentaries, scripted comedy, and feature films. Many of these have screened at numerous international festivals including Edinburgh, Seattle, Slamdance, Rotterdam, London, Toronto, Palm Springs and SXSW.


Feature credits include:

One Hundred Mornings which received a Special Jury Award at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival, an IFTA for Best Cinematography and won the inaugural Workbook Project Discovery and Distribution Award as well as awards at numerous international film festivals

Citadel, a coproduction with Sigma Films that won the Midnighters Audience Award when it premiered at SXSW 2012 and has since won numerous awards at festivals worldwide; it was released by Metrodome in UK/Ireland, Cinedigm in the US and sold internationally by Films Distribution

Sensation, written and directed by Tom Hall, starring Domhnall Gleeson (True Grit, Never Let Me Go), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released by Element Pictures in late 2011

The Perverts Guide to Ideology, directed by Sophie Fiennes with Jim Wilson (Attack the Block) and Martin Rosenbaum, with finance from the BFI, Film4/More 4, the Irish Film Board, and Rooks Nest Entertainment. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013 and was released in UK/Ireland by Picturehouse and in the US by Zeitgeist Films.

She also was Exec Producer on JUMP, an UK/Irish co-production directed by Kieron J. Walsh and produced by Brendan Byrne for Hotshot Films. JUMP stars Martin McCann, Nichola Burley and Richard Dormer and won the Cinema Without Borders 2013 Bridging the Borders Award at Palm Springs. It was released in April 2013 by Element Pictures, and by Breaking Glass in the US.

Katie is also Exec Producer of the television shows Irish Pictorial Weekly and The Savage Eye, one of the most successful scripted comedy shows for national broadcaster RTÉ, which ran for four series.

Katie is currently in post-production on Love and Friendship, a feature film directed by Whit Stillman and starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny, and has recently completed The Quene of Ireland, a feature doc on Panti Bliss/Rory O’Neill, directed by Conor Horgan which Universal are releasing theatrically in October. Next up is feature doc Grace Jones: The Musical of My Life directed by Sophie Fiennes, which is financed by the BFI, BBC Films, the Irish Film Board and ZDF/Arte. She is a graduate of the producer training programme EAVE, was Ireland’s representative as Producer on the Move at Cannes 2010, is a member of SPI and is on the board of the Dublin Dance Festival and the Irish Film Board.






Aoife Kelly – Blinder Films, Assistant Producer and Crowdfunding Campaign Manager, The Queen of Ireland

Aoife is a young film producer currently working as Office Manager  / Production Executive with Blinder Films.   Since graduating from The National Film School, IADT in 2012, her short films have been acclaimed on the international festival circuit, including Breathe In (2012, dir: Kate Dolan) which won best Student Narrative at the Women & Minorities in Media Festival, USA and was nominated for the BFI Future’s Award and Best Composer Award at London’s Under Wire Film Festival, amongst others.

Her most recent credits include Archive Researcher on RTE’s hit comedy series; Irish Pictorial Weekly (2015) and Assistant Producer / Archive Researcher of feature length documentary The Queen of Ireland (2015) where she also managed a crowd-fund campaign, raising almost €60,000 towards the production budget.

She’s currently developing several projects, including radio documentary, documentary and fiction.




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