Entertainment

The Truth about Crowdfunding

New documentary highlights the American dream

Crowdfunding lets anyone, anywhere, ask total strangers to help make their dreams come true. That’s only part of the story.

“Capital C,” a new documentary opening Friday in theaters and via Video on Demand services, fills in the blanks. What it reveals is a new chapter in the American Dream, one that begins with a social media push but demands the same sweat equity entrepreneurs have been delivering for decades.

The film focuses on a small group of startups that used crowdfunding sites to raise critical cash. Crowdfunding allows entrepreneurs to request the public at large defray the costs for their efforts. Sites like IndieGogo and Kickstarter serve as the middle men, and typically a goal amount must be met for the project to move forward.

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That project could be a line of beverage koozies. Or, it might be an intricate new deck of playing cards with an American visual spirit.

Today’s visionary no longer is at the beck and call of dubious investors.

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“Capital C” shares their journeys with us, from the humble tasks of corresponding with donors to the sacrifices made to make these dreams come true. It’s never easy. One entrepreneur gets a dream slot on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” but he isn’t sure he’s willing to cut a deal. Another works day and night while his beleaguered wife tries to parent their two very young children.

That’s the beauty of the film, capturing how the American dream is alive and well. It just looks a little differently than it did before.

The film pays some lip service to how crowdfunding is changing the workplace, but we crave more context than what’s delivered here. And as heartwarming as it may be to see these pioneers embrace crowdfunding, the film’s attention to the tiniest details is, at times, dull.

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Parents should consider watching the film with their teens, the perfect audience for the messages embedded in the 85-minute running time. Success doesn’t come easily. Overnight sensations are typically the stuff of Hollywood fiction.

“Capital C” reminds us how our interconnected age is opening up doors that were once nailed shut. Today’s visionary no longer is at the beck and call of dubious investors. All he or she needs is a dream, a laptop and a willingness to work … and work … until the job gets done.

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