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Kickstarter Names Britdoc CEO Jess Search to Board (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety logo Variety 6/30/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Jess Search, CEO of U.K. documentary-funding org Britdoc, has joined the board of Kickstarter — the crowdfunding company’s first outside board appointment since 2010.

To date, about $378 million has been pledged to 23,116 funded movie projects on Kickstarter.

“We’re honored to have our friend Jess join our board of directors,” said Perry Chen, founder and chairman of Kickstarter, in a statement. “Britdoc is an amazing organization that works everyday to support filmmakers who tell critical stories. Her leadership and experience are an incredible addition to Kickstarter as we work to help bring creative projects to life.”

The other members of the board are Chen; Yancey Strickler, Kickstarter co-founder and CEO; Fred Wilson, managing partner, Union Square Ventures; and Sunny Bates, CEO of Sunny Bates Associates. The Kickstarter board meets quarterly on the company’s strategic initiatives.

Prior to her appointment as CEO of Britdoc in 2005, Search was commissioning editor at pubcaster Channel 4. The not-for-profit Britdoc is dedicated to providing funding and support to documentaries, with past films including “Citizenfour,” “Virunga,” “Whose Streets,” “Hooligan Sparrow,” “The Square” and “The Look of Silence.” In addition, together with the Ford Foundation and Sundance Institute, Britdoc created and runs the Good Pitch, which connects filmmakers with nongovernmental organizations, foundations and brands. In January, Britdoc pacted with the BBC to fund up to four documentaries annually.

Last December, Kickstarter hired Elise McCave — formerly deputy director at Britdoc — as director of narrative film, working with filmmakers on community building, strategic outreach, and audience engagement. She works alongside Liz Cook, Kickstarter’s longtime director of documentary film.

Brooklyn-based Kickstarter’s investors include Abundance Partners, Betaworks, Union Square Ventures, Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey, Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon and Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca. The company was founded in 2009.

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