A nation of seals off the coast in South Africa
Photo: Ben Kempas

Building Your Nation

Are you running a grassroots campaign, or organising a more 'traditional' release? Have you thought about where your audience will come from?

We believe that all filmmakers – and especially independent documentary makers – can benefit from building a community of supporters. Identify your audience base, engage and expand it, and develop it into your greatest asset.

Could your film inspire a movement?

At Film & Campaign, we love the community organising system NationBuilder. NationBuilder is best known as political campaigning software – it’s been used by everything from the Yes campaign for Scottish independence to the election of Emmanuel Macron by solidifying support for his newly-formed party La République En Marche!. However, we’ve identified that the innovative software also works brilliantly to build audiences for the films we work on.

Ben Kempas, founder of Film & Campaign, has been a certified NationBuilder Architect since 2012 – and the only one who comes from a background in documentary filmmaking. That said, Ben's services are not limited to clients in the film world.

So how does it work?

NationBuilder allows you to integrate

  • all content management (film and company websites),
  • your own supporter database (audience relations and industry contacts), 
  • a campaigning toolset (including volunteers forms, surveys, petitions),
  • communications (email, calls, social media),
  • event management (screenings and crowdsourced events)
  • and donation drives (crowdfunding).

With NationBuilder, all these channels feed into a main database where you can keep track of prospects, supporters, volunteers, donors, and recruiters.

Built-in tools for your campaign include petitions, endorsements, surveys, volunteer roles, crowdfunding, and memberships. Any calls to action are featured prominently across the platform.

Depending on your budget, we can build your NationBuilder website based on an out-of-the-box theme, as a customised theme adaptation, or completely bespoke. Have a look at the examples on this page to get an idea of what’s possible.

Get organised

NationBuilder's toolset is very powerful, but it is essentially just that: a set of tools. You will need to work these tools. But don't worry! We can help you get the most out of NationBuilder by

  • refining your messaging to make it relevant to targeted, segmented groups from your supporter database, taking into account locations and previous interactions,
  • easily identifying your strongest supporters and prioritising engagement with them,
  • setting up follow-up procedures and point person assignments so you never lose a lead,
  • creating specific landing pages to measure traffic and recruit supporters, allowing you to evaluate how well your communications and advertising are working
  • integrating third-party apps for further advocacy tools, more complex data input, video-on-demand platforms or online events.

As independent expert, Ben can train you and your staff – or actually organise your campaign – on an hourly, daily or weekly basis.

There are a wealth of add-ons not available to NationBuilder customers out of the box that we can implement, such as display of related contents at the bottom of each page, VOD and livestream players that feed signups or purchases straight into your database, site search engine integration, or user-specific website content (so you could show different calls to action for users known to have seen the film and those who haven’t).

As you can probably tell, we think it’s great, and it gets results. In fact, we're so confident about NationBuilder's potential, we over a free initial consultation.


Website for Cycling Films, Edinburgh

Immersive visual language in a bespoke NationBuilder theme. Integration of form app for image uploads and forms with actual signatures.
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Free Leopoldo

Website for Friends of a Free Venezuela, Miami

NationBuilder site upgrades for campaign to free Venezuelan opposition leader. Includes timeline of case history, editable like a blog. Bilingual.
Read more


Website for Northern Lights Film, Glasgow


Website for SDI Productions, Edinburgh

Clean layout with animated fragments on home page. First built on Joomla, then moved to NationBuilder for full functionality. Distrify API.
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Website for Opa Films / SDI Productions, Edinburgh

This is a good example how not every documentary film needs a huge campaign, but how a NationBuilder site can still be crucial for building and managing your long-term audience.
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Website for SDI Productions, Edinburgh

Utilising all the NationBuilder tools: volunteer forms, blogs, event calendars, petition, donations, survey, maps, FAQs. Plus useful custom add-ons.
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Website for WG Film, Malmö

Fredrik Gertten had filmed banana workers taking on the Dole Food Company. When the corporation tried to ruin the filmmakers, Fredrik built a movement for freedom of speech – using NationBuilder.
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Website for SDI Productions / Edinburgh University

Built in 2011, this was Ben's first-ever NationBuilder site, and the first European NationBuilder site for a film, as far as we're aware.
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Let's talk!