"Iron Sky," a Finnish sci-fi epic about Nazis who have been hiding out in the moon since WWII, is finally having its world premiere, at the Berlin Film Festival this Saturday, and according to the The Guardian newspaper, it's the second most popular selling film at the festival. While researching an article on crowdfunding a couple of years ago, I first stumbled upon "Iron Sky," and its successful efforts to generate fans and funders pre-release. So far, according to their website, they have received nearly 45,000 screening requests–lead by cities like Helsinki (913), Berlin (523) and Moscow (374), with the biggest U.S. interest expressed in Brooklyn (182).
The production has also secured about 6.3 million euros through traditional film funding channels like the Finnish Film Foundation, Eurimages, Screen Queensland, and pre-sales. But they are still aiming to cover 900,000 euros of the budget with crowdfunding. As of January 24 of 2012, they had confirmed investments of 617,260 euros, 68% of their goal.
Since writing that crowdfunding article for Filmmaker Magazine ("DIWO Realities"), the realities of the landscape have changed considerably, with Kickstarter spawning numerous major film finance campaigns. The current leaders are "Blue Like Jazz" ($346,000), and two documentaries: "Rise and Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story" ($223,000) and "Minecraft: The Story of Mojang" ($210,000).
But the fervor around "Iron Sky" is comparatively immense, and impressive (generating three times that of the top Kickstarter film). If publicity and awareness about "Iron Sky's" model continues to gain traction in the mainstream media and then earn significant ticket sales upon release, the film could be something of an indie-film gamechanger.
While I never thought I'd care about Nazis from outerspace, look out.