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 – should build their own ‘nations’ of supporters. Identify your audience base, engage and expand it, and develop it into your greatest asset.

Let's turn your film(s) into 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 UK’s fledgling Women’s Equality Party, and helped 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. While this means he sometimes needs to hire external developers for more complicated code, he comes with a deep understanding of the specific needs of the documentary industry.

That said, Ben's services are not limited to clients in the film world, and he really knows his way around NationBuilder themes, page types, style sheets, and the specific Liquid template language.

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, built from the ground up. Have a look at the examples on this page to get an idea of what’s possible. We will either adapt your project's existing artwork or work with a dedicated graphic designer who will develop your bespoke look.

Get organised

NationBuilder's toolset is very powerful, but it is essentially just that: a set of tools. Even with all its automation, it won't do complete magic, and it can seem rather complex at times. 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, or video-on-demand platforms.

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 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 you know have seen the film and those who haven’t).

As you can probably tell, we think it’s great, and it gets results. We could go on... or you could just get in touch now. And get a free initial consultation over the phone or in an online meeting.

Fathers Network Scotland

Fathers Network Scotland

We're also building NationBuilder websites for clients who are not part of the documentary film world. This one is for Fathers Network Scotland which works with a wide range of organisations to help them support dads. 
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Youth Documentary Program

Website for SITAR / Meridian Hill Pictures, Washington D.C.

Another variation of the City of Trees theme developed for Meridian Hill Pictures, this time for the Youth Documentary Program they run together with SITAR.
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Moving Docs

Website for Anemon, Athens / EDN, Copenhagen

Moving Docs enables a selection of European documentaries to cross borders and reach new audiences all over Europe, powered by local and national partners.
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AWAKE – The Life of Yogananda

Website for Self-Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles

AWAKE made headlines because it grossed well over one million dollars at the theatrical box office – an extraordinary success for an independent feature documentary.
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Website for WG Film, Malmö

Film & Campaign transformed the old Bikes vs Cars website into a modern, responsive, easy-to-edit NationBuilder site with slideshows for videos, Instagram and meme.
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Website for Meridian Hill Pictures, Washington D.C.

A few months after the development of the City of Trees theme for Meridian Hill Pictures, the clients asked us to make a quick variation of that NationBuilder theme for another documentary project, KRAMER & SONS. Nothing easier than that!
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Website for Meridian Hill Pictures, Washington D.C.

A new custom theme, based on graphic design by Dizzy Giant, for "DC's community-based documentary company". This is for a film about green jobs and justice – or how "hope can grow anywhere".
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Website for Film and Tell, Stockholm/Oslo

Combining a strong center image with the latest NationBuilder theme, the film's website will raise awareness of kids witnessing domestic violence.
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Website for Film and Tell, Stockholm/Oslo

NationBuilder setup gives members of partner organisations exclusive access to film. News & events sidebar. Entirely bilingual in single theme.
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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.
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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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Let's talk!