Wes Anderson has scored a major win for the cause of film preservation, raising more than a quarter of a million dollars for Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation. In December, Anderson released a video that announced his latest project, the stop-motion animation film “Isle of Dogs,” and also invited people to donate money to a campaign hosted by Crowdrise, the crowdfunding company co-founded by Anderson’s friend and frequent collaborator, Edward Norton. The campaign ended last week.
Among the prizes offered to donors were a trip for two to London for two nights to meet the director, get a tour of the “Isle of Dogs” sets and production and even record the voice of a dog in the film. “Barking, howling and whimpering may be required,” the campaign specified. Other prizes included signed Criterion Collection DVDs and copies of “The Wes Anderson Collection” book, written by Matt Zoller-Seitz.
Anderson’s crowdfunding campaign had no specific fundraising target, as Crowdrise doesn’t require organizers to set a funding goal. Unlike Kickstarter and Indiegogo, the company focuses on raising money for charitable donations.
The money raised through Crowdrise will help The Film Foundation restore more of the films that have applied to be preserved. The organization receives around 200 requests per year to restore individual films, but can typically only afford to take on around 25 percent of the films submitted. Founded by Scorsese in 1990 with the help of filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Redford and Steven Spielberg, the non-profit organization has helped restore around 700 films.
In addition to raising money, Anderson’s campaign also helped spread awareness of the cause of film preservation generally, The Film Foundation’s executive director Margaret Bodde told IndieWire.
“People who are fans of Wes Anderson might not have been aware of film preservation as an important cause,” Bodde said. “You can open a can of film that hasn’t been properly stored and it’s literally a jellied material that will start melting like the Wicked Witch of the West.”
Fox Searchlight will distribute “Isle of Dogs,” which is currently in production and is being produced by Indian Paintbrush. The film is set in Japan and follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog. It is Anderson’s second animated feature following 2009’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”