Hair Love (Oscar Winning – Kickstarter Funded)

Hair Love is the Kickstarter-funded film that won Best Animated Short Film at this years Oscars ceremony. This is the 10th consecutive year that a Kickstarter-funded project has won/been nominated for an Academy Award.

Now that the Oscar buzz has settled down, I want to use this time to remind you of this truly beautiful animated short.

Hair Love publicly started its journey in the summer of 2017 as a Kickstarter campaign by director and former NFL wide receiver Matthew A. Cherry, who had already used Kickstarter to fund his feature films 9 Rides in 2016 and The Last Fall in 2012.

The inspirational film follows an African-American father’s first attempt to do his daughter’s hair. The idea came from Cherry’s desire to promote hair love among young people of colour, and to push back against the absent black father stereotype and the lack of black representation in mainstream animated films.

The project received sweeping national attention; by the end of the campaign in August 2017, 4,981 backers had pledged $284,058 to successfully fund the film, almost quadrupling Cherry’s original goal of $75,000 and breaking the record for Kickstarter projects whose creators have categorised them as animated shorts.

After the success of the Kickstarter campaign, Pixar animator Everett Downing and Disney Channel’s The Proud Family creator Bruce W. Smith came on board. They joined Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Peter Ramsey and Pixar animator Frank E. Abney III in turning Cherry’s vision into a fully-fledged animated short.

The successes continued, resulting in a New York Times bestselling children’s book, a nationwide theatrical release before each screening of The Angry Birds Movie 2, and the journey to the Academy Awards. The film has topped 14 million views on YouTube in just 2 months.

It’s a good example of how Kickstarter is a great place for filmmakers who start small but who have big vision and even bigger ambitions for their project, and who want their community with them every step of the way.

Related to this, this year, the crowdfunding platform is encouraging filmmakers to launch new short film campaigns in March 2020 as part of its Long Story Short initiative. Bespoke crowdfunding guidance is available on the site, and short film projects will be heavily promoted by Kickstarter throughout the month so industry friends from the fields of funding, programming, acquisitions, and distribution can track projects to discover new talent. You can find more details here!

Check out the short film below! (Or just search for Hair Love on Youtube)

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do! I will stop everything I am doing to watch this again and again. See below a full list of all of the other Academy Nominated Kickstarter-funded films.


2020: Hair Love, WON Best Animated Short

2019: Period. End of Sentence. WON Best Documentary Short

2018: Loving Vincent, nominated for Best Animated Feature

2017: Joe’s Violin, nominated for Best Documentary Short

2017: Pearl Cider and Cigarettes, nominated for Best Animated Short

2016: World of Tomorrow, nominated for Best Animated Short

2016: Anomalisa, nominated for Best Animated Feature

2016: Racing Extinction, “Manta Ray” nominated for Best Original Song

2015: Finding Vivian Maier, nominated for Best Documentary Feature

2014: The Square, nominated for Best Documentary Feature

2013: Inocente, WON Best Documentary Short

2013: Kings Point, nominated for Best Documentary Short

2013: Buzkashi Boys, nominated for Best Live Action Short

2012: Incident in New Baghdad, nominated for Best Documentary Short

2012: The Barber of Birmingham, nominated for Best Documentary Short

2011: Sun Come Up, nominated for Best Documentary Short