Hal Hartley’s next movie is called Meanwhile.

It’s unfinished. And he needs some funds to finish it.

So he’s taken it to Kickstarter.

Hartley has now set up a Kickstarter campaign where you can pre-order Meanwhile on limited-edition DVD, while at the same time contributing to the cost of finishing it. Those who donate up to $1,000 or more, of course, get all sorts of extras—up to and including being listed as a co-producer on the project in both the credits and advertising, which gets you into both the film’s premiere screening in New York as well as its after-party.

For those of us who have found some of our favorite films in Hartley’s work—The Unbelievable Truth and Henry Fool are two of mine—this is rather hard to stomach. Can’t an artist as interesting and adventurous as Hartley get enough studio support to bring his visions to theatres?

Perhaps not. He may not even be able to get his past works distributed. Have you seen any copies of The Unbelievable Truth on DVD anywhere lately? (I’ve been considering transferring my VHS copy onto a DVD, rather than shell out the 60 bucks for it at Amazon.)

On the other hand, maybe this is a good thing. Maybe Kickstarter will help Hartley prove that he can do better without worrying about studios. Maybe other adventurous filmmakers will follow his example, making even braver films than they would have in the studio system’s Factory of Compromises.

What filmmakers would you support if they made their next project a Kickstarter project?

What directors never get the respect they deserve, or the studio support they need? Would you pitch in to help get their next movie off the ground?