Student filmmakers hail the crowd for support

Published: May 29, 2014

Good art springs from the “horrible inclemency of life,” Aldous Huxley said, and two young filmmakers at the University of Colorado Boulder personify his point. Their work—which tackles the human toll of depression and drug addiction—is being supported in part by a university-sponsored pilot program in crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding draws small contributions from large numbers of people to finance projects or campaigns. Crowdfunding, often boosted via social media, has helped fund a wide array of relatively small projects, and the university hopes to use this mechanism to support innovative work by students, faculty and staff.

The eight projects in the university’s pilot project range from improving renewable-energy technology to teaching constitutional law in K-12 schools via CU law students.

Both film projects are spearheaded by students pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in film. In that degree program, students are required to produce a film as a senior thesis, which is done at the students’ own expense. Crowdfunding could blunt that financial burden.

Alicia Ramirez and Amanda Gostomski plan to produce their films in the fall and graduate in December. They discussed their projects recently with Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine.

Ramirez doesn’t want to spoil her plot but describes her film, “Bug,” as “a dark comedy about a man who’s treating his depression and turns into an ant.”

Gostomski’s film “Burning Fawn” will focus on the death of a brother, a tragedy that coincides with the protagonist’s 16th birthday.