Maverick director Abel Ferrara turns to Kickstarter

18th May 2015, Comments 0 comments

Maverick New York director Abel Ferrara has turned to Kickstarter to help fund his new project, a nightmarish road movie starring Willem Dafoe, he told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival.

The filmmaker, known for classics such as "Bad Lieutenant" and "King of New York", gave a typically energetic press conference on the sidelines of the festival to describe his new project, dubbed "Siberia".

"I'm going to hurt people with this film. I'm going to scare the shit out of people," he told reporters, as he prowled back and forth on a roof-top terrace overlooking the Riviera port town.

"Siberia" is based on a book by psychoanalyst Carl Jung, and will explore dreams and nightmares as well as dramatic scenery from snowfields to deserts.

Ferrara said it will offer a return to his iconic horror-infused early work.

"We start in Jack London territory, and we move by dog sled -- you can imagine Willem and me, New York city guys, in that environment -- shooting iconic places, the Sahara desert, mythical farmland, caves."

To find the money, Ferrara has embraced Internet fundraising platform Kickstarter, which encourages people to contribute to creative projects.

His team is seeking $500,000 (440,000 euros) in a month-long drive. The target must be reached by June 13 or none of the contributions will be released.

"The game has changed. I have a lot of memories of Cannes -- big parties, big deals, but it's not like that anymore," said Ferrara.

"I need to connect and be with the people who care about my dream. Don't let five companies decide what everybody is going to watch," he added, referring to the studios that dominate Hollywood production.

Ferrara has keenly embraced new technology in the past.

Last year, he was at Cannes to promote "Welcome to New York", a film loosely based on the alleged sexual assault that brought down French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn, starring Gerard Depardieu.

After a blitz of publicity, Ferrara and his distributors bypassed the usual cinema deals and released it directly to video-on-demand services on the Internet -- the first time a serious film had done so in France.

It was a major success, scoring 100,000 views in its first eight days.

"We're in a new world of financing film," he said on Monday.

"The Kickstarter thing works, bro. But it means everyone has to give me money -- even if it's five euros -- and what you get back is a film from the heart, uncompromised."

© 2015 AFP

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