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producers’ job was done, but Franny did not remove the donation counter from the film’s website, At the moment of this writing, it has racked up £884,000. Inspired by the success of The Age of Stupid, the director of the Rotterdam film festival, Rutger Wolfson, decided to experiment with a new project of his own for on-line co-production and distribution. He has named it Cinema Reloaded. Most people think of film festivals as places for endless entertainment and partying, but Rotterdam has a slightly different reputation. Since 1972 it has been known for its emphasis on films from the developing world and its welldeveloped international network of fearless independent film makers. Thus, it came as no surprise in 2009 when Rutger Wolfson invited three directors – Argentinean Alexis Dos Santos, Swiss Pipilotti Rist and Malaysian Ho Yuhang – to join him in a novel kind of partnership. All three have distinctive styles and regularly show at the Rotterdam festival, but have relatively few feature films and live in countries where opportunities for subsidies are limited. The principle behind CinemaReloaded. com is simple. The three directors each have a video and a description of a future short film posted on the project’s web page, where users are invited to support the films by buying virtual coins for five euro. After users pay for the coins, they are then free to distribute them as they wish and even to donate them to other registered “producers”. One purchased coin guarantees access to a streaming video of the finished work, while five coins will get your name on the list of

producers in the credits. The idea is for each film to raise at least 30,000 euro by 1 July 2010, but if any one of them raises 65,000 euro before then, the film’s fundraising will be discontinued. If no project reaches the target of 30,000 euro, all the money will go to the director who has earned the most and the Rotterdam film festival will top up the full budget. I personally liked Ho Yuhang’s project the best. What appealed to me was his laconic sense of humor – however, I also noticed that his cashbox was the emptiest. So I invested a total of 25 euro and left for the 39th Rotterdam Festival full of expectations – Cinema Reloaded had promised that the five most generous producers would be invited to a party with the directors. I was two coins short of making the guest list, but I did manage to meet Ho Yuhang and ask him for his take on the whole initiative. To my surprise, he explained that from the beginning there had been more questions than answers with Cinema Reloaded, but that it was precisely this uncertainty that had attracted him to the project in the first place. In the autumn of 2009, while he was considering whether to accept the offer or not, he came across a news story about a group of drunken Indonesians who had stormed the Indonesian/Malaysian border in an attempt to avenge centuries of rocky relations between their country and Malaysia. Ho Yuhang was amused and decided he wanted to meet these people and make a film about them for Cinema Reloaded. My own opinion is that Cinema Reloaded’s


One Magazine ­ Summer 2010  
One Magazine ­ Summer 2010  

One Magazine is an independent Bulgarian quarterly publication