400 Funders: The art of crowd funding 

Indian film director Onir took the stage to explain how his feature film ‘I am’ was financed entirely through crowd funding.

After his first film, ‘My brother Nikhil’, was financed with the help of friends and family, Onir thought “why not more people?”

He put the idea of a film on child abuse, among other themes, up as a Facebook note. Within a few weeks he received a cheque of a thousand rupees from a young student from Pune. This student wrote to Onir, saying he had been abused as a child and wanted to help get the film made. That was the first bit of money deposited into the account for the film. Soon after, there were be 400 funders and dozens of volunteers ready to help on set.

Child abuse, is just one of the separate four narratives that make up ‘I Am’. The other parts deal with artificial insemination, displacement and a same-sex relationship.

Onir said that because there were so many funders and volunteers in the making of the film, he used social media like Facebook and Twitter to update everyone on what was happening. “It was like watching a baby grow up”

"It took one and a half years to make the movie, and within that time, everyone who had invested in the film was able to see what was happening on ground."

What made it successful was the sense of participation that was created, he said.