Crowdfunding has become an invaluable tool for the indie filmmaker seeking funds for the start or completion of a project.

And here at MovieMaker, we applaud and champion workman-like campaign efforts. To raise awareness of great ideas and future talents, we will be highlighting a unique project every month during its funding campaign. If you have a project you’d like us to consider, drop us a line at: [email protected].

We hope you’ll share, support, and be inspired by their stories.

Crowdfunder pick: Topology of Sirens 

Synopsis: “Upon moving into a new home, a woman named Cas discovers a hurdy-gurdy containing a hidden collection of microcassette tapes. Allured by this set of mysterious field recordings, she ventures off on a journey to discover their origin. She begins to investigate workshops, archives, and libraries around town to determine any identifying leads. Eventually she is led from her city environs to more natural settings where she encounters a series of surreal characters. Their own curious stories lead Cas to ultimately find her own unexpected use for the recordings that once guided her.”

Filmmaker Courtney Stephens plays Cas in Topology of Sirens, the central character who investigates a collection of cryptic cassette tapes.

About the moviemaker: As both a musician and moviemaker, Jonathan Davies wants to create a film centered around his own passion for the experimental music genre while pairing it on-screen with early musical traditions of the Baroque and Renaissance periods. Dubbed a magical realist mystery, Davies combines these elements with a detective-style story. Davies hopes to expose the “hidden meanings and histories of the environments that this music is inspired by.” Influenced by the films of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Jacques Rivette, Jim Jarmusch, and Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Davies aims to continue what he appreciates about the unique aspects of international arthouse cinema and bring such themes back to American film.

Cast: Alongside Courtney Stephens’ leading role as Cas, Topology of Sirens features musicians Will Oldham (of Bonnie “Prince” Billy and indie films like Old Joy and A Ghost Story), Sarah Davachi, and Alex Zhang Hungtai (Dirty Beaches, Last Lizard), the latter two will “not only be acting but also providing musical performances conceived specially for the film and woven into its narrative.”

Platform: Indiegogo

Campaign end date: June 15

Target amount: $30,000

Current amount: $3,635

Davies “became enamored with how the music [he has] performed and listened to for so long can illuminate new understandings of the everyday environments and objects that surround us.”


The most important expenses for the feature film that the budget would go toward include:

    • “Cast & Crew: It’s important to us that people involved in the production get compensated fairly. A comfortable cast & crew will ultimately shine through with their efforts on screen.
    • Locations: With location permits and fees being so costly, we need to make sure we can secure the essential locations that anchor the narrative of the film.
    • Post-production: High quality color grading and sound design do not come cheap. To create an immersive, big-screen experience, these artistic contributions are vital.” MM

    Topology of Sirens Indiegogo Campaign