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Not yet a year and a half old, the creative fundraising platform Kickstarter is helping Maryland filmmakers of all kinds raise funds and heighten moviegoers' interest on-line. Matthew Porterfield found the means to finish his festival hit "Putty Hill" on Kickstarter, offering everything from a postcard and pin for a $5 donation to executive-producer credit for a donation over $5,000. When Kickstarter held a film festival in July, "Putty Hill" was in it.

Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk are hoping to raise $20,000 by September 11 with their Kickstarter campaign for "Hit and Stay: the Ongoing Story of the Catonsville Nine." This feature documentary about the antiwar movement and the Catholic Left includes interviews with Dan and Phil Berrigan, Howard Zinn, Bill Ayers and Amy Goodman. Tropea and Cyzyk too offer an executive producer credit for $5,000 -- but you can become an associate produce for a mere $1,000.

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Click here for the website and here for the kickstarter address.

Tropea and Cyzyk are augmenting their online efforts with live benefits including a screening of scenes at Viva House (26 S. Mount St.) on August 27 at 7 p.m., with musical guests the Charm City Labor Chorus and Bean, and a show at the Windup Space (12 W. North Ave.) on  Sept. 19 at 9 p.m., with music by Lower Dens, Small Sur, Carnivores, and Bean -- and a door raffle.

At the other end of the spectrum, Gary Ugarek of Germantown, Maryland, just won "best horror thriller" for his low-budget zombie film "Deadlands 2," at an event with the suspiciously grandiose title, the World Music and Independent Film Festival. Ugarek is now using Kickstarter to finance  (what else?) "Deadlands III: The New World," with the goal a cool million by October 26. (To get to the fundraising site, click here.) To quote from the site, "A $1000 donation will get a featured zombie role within the film. This includes a front and center camera placement during either an invasion, zombie death or zombie feasting scene. Walk-On Roles will require the person to make their own travel and lodging arrangements."

If the filmmakers don't reach their targets, they can't call in their pledges; if they do reach their targets, Kickstart takes 5% of the funds to turn its own profit.

Have you browsed through Kickstarter yet? Does this entice you as a convenient way to support local artists and entertainers and get into the movie business?

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