Crowdfunding Rally 2017
The Documentary Edition


The Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival, along with partners Seed&Spark and the Michigan Film & Digital Media Office, is excited to present our 3rd annual Crowdfunding Rally, this year focusing specifically on DOCUMENTARY FILM.  The Crowdfunding Rally creates the opportunity for filmmakers to capitalize on the excitement of film festivals by helping them convert festival-going fans into contributors. It’s designed for documentary filmmakers who are ready to start crowdfunding their next project, or who are looking for a fresh approach to supplement their current funding efforts.

The Crowdfunding Rally is a two-part event that begins and ends online, but makes a pit stop with a live pitch event at the 12th annual Hell’s Half Mile Film & Music Festival. If your project is chosen to participate then you’ll be asked to set up a campaign on Seed&Spark. Seed&Spark’s online crowdfunding platform is used to collect all the contributions that come your way from our audience, as well as from your network of friends and family in your own social media campaign.

Just consider Hell’s Half Mile to be that friend you’ve asked to “check out” your crowdfunding campaign and “share” it with our friends. And the cool part is, all our friends LOVE independent film!

Our Contribution

Seed & Spark and Hell’s Half Mile will provide $1000 total to successful campaigns. Plus, if your campaign reaches 1,000 followers, and/or contributors, you’ll receive the Seed&Spark Filmmaker Giftbox, valued at $8,000 in products and services, and distribution on Seed & Spark. In addition, Hell’s Half Mile will screen your documentary in our film series and split the box office revenue 50/50!

This is all in addition to the potential contributions from our audience!

“Participating in the Crowdfunding Rally was a lot of fun. I’d never pitched a project to a room full of people before, but with the help of Alan from Hell’s Half Mile and Erica from Seed & Spark, I was able to hone my pitch down to the essentials and share my project with the audience. A few weeks after the festival, my Seed & Spark campaign for my second feature film, Four Bottles, finished. We raised 94% of our fundraising goal, and started production two months later. We’re in post right now and will hopefully screen the film at the 2017 HHM Film and Music Festival! There is an art to pitching projects, and if you’ve never done it before, this is a perfect place to start.”John Painz, 2015 Crowdfunding Rally Participant (raised $9,316)

There’s no application fee this year, so what are you waiting for?

THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO QUALIFY. You only need to meet the criteria of one of the two qualifiers.
Qualifier #1
The majority of the project will be produced in the of the States of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin or the Province of Ontario. We’re all for supporting Midwest Filmmaking!


Qualifier #2
Your film is in the 2017 Hell’s Half Mile film program, or a past program, and you have another project in the works. We liked your film enough to program it, so now we want to help you get the next one made!

SUBMISSIONS END:  Sunday, September 17, 2017  SUBMIT NOW!
LIVE PITCH DATE:  Saturday, September 30, 2017

If your project is chosen to join the Rally than you’ll need to follow these rules. You do not need to create your Seed&Spark campaign to submit your project for consideration. But once selected, you will be coached BY Seed&Spark on how to best set up your campaign for success.

All selected projects will need to create a campaign with Seed&Spark, our partner, and all funding opportunities will transpire through the S&S platform. This is necessary for us to rally support for participating campaigns during and after the festival. The objective is to get our audience interested in as many projects as possible.
Your Seed&Spark campaign’s total revenue goal must be no less than $5,000.

If your project is chosen for the Rally, you must be present for the at-festival pitch. Lodging for up to 2 nights will be provided by Hell’s Half Mile.


  • Provide the following written information to apply for the Rally:
  • Logline (max 100 characters)
  • Short synopsis (max 300 characters)
  • Why does this project need to be made now?
  • What makes this film important to you, to film or to the world?

For questions or more info email


“The crowdfunding rally was definitely a worthwhile experience. I received helpful pitching and fundraising advice from a crowdfunding professional (Christina Raia from Seed & Spark), and wound up meeting people at the rally that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. I was nervous to pitch in front of a crowd, but with encouragement and support from Christina and Alan, the campaign was a success, as we surpassed our fundraising goal for my feature film, Skippers.”Aaron Wertheimer, 2016 Crowdfunding Rally participant - raised $8,105