How Filmmaker Kipan Rothbury Door-Knocked his way to 6-Figures of Funding

March 24, 2023

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I went to screen Australia to get funding for it. And they said they couldn’t fund it. So I had to get real creative on how I would get it made. I couldn’t get money from a lot of different avenues and it wasn’t working for me.

I’m not really a traditional person in the way I do things sometimes. 

I was talking with a fairly well known director in Australia who was living just up the road from me at the time and he said, you should duck up the road and talk to one of his producer friends because he would be really interested in the idea. 

I just knocked on the guy’s door and he didn’t know I was coming.

I came inside and told him I was a friend of this director and sat down with him and we spoke about the series and at the end of it, he said, oh, yeah, I’ll throw in some money for that. And I was like, ok, that’s great.

I just had this thought in that moment and I was just like, I wonder what it would be like if I just knocked on every single door in this street.

I just started door knocking and I door-knocked the whole street and I would say seven out of 10 people contributed.

And I just thought, why don’t I just keep doing this? And I did for over four years. I just decided to keep door knocking on weekends or in my spare time after work.

by the end of it I think I raised probably over $350,000. I knocked on over 100,000 doors. And got about 25,000 small donations.





Have you ever felt like giving up on a creative project because it’s too hard, too absurd and or  you couldn’t possibly afford the time and money it deserves ? 

Well, feast your ears on this audible tale of devotion! 

Meet Kipan Rothbury, a filmmaker residing in Bangalow –  who knocked on a mind boggling 100,000 doors pitching his passion project, Significant Strangers.

Kip raised over $350,000 for his efforts. Equipped with unrelenting energy, a gift of the gab and un-wavered talent this man is a creative anomaly. 

He wasn’t just behind the camera producing and directing (he did this too), he also played all four of the separated-at-birth quadruplets! Talk about dedication, am I right?

Kipan’s ten-year journey was filled with hurdles that would see the average human throw in the towel. But Kip ain’t average – he never lost sight of his dream. He’s proven that with hard work and blind determination, anything is possible. Truly. 

If you’re feeling discouraged and thinking about abandoning your own creative project, think again. Kipan’s story is proof that success is within reach if you’re willing to put in the effort. A lot of it. 

So don’t be afraid to take risks, think outside the box, and most importantly, never give up on your vision. 





  • Birth of the idea: Significant Strangers (4 mins)
  • Researching and living with the brothers (6 mins)
  • The struggles of getting the film funded (8 mins)
  • How Kip decided upon the self funding approach (11 mins)
  • The first Door Knock (14 Mins)
  • Door knocking in the Hollywood Hills (16 mins)
  • Dealing with the neigh sayers (19 mins)
  • Being relentlessly obsessed (20 mins)
  • The art of the pitch (22 mins)
  • Becoming the characters (24 mins)
  • Wearing the many hats behind the camera (29 mins)
  • Getting on the big screen (34 mins) 
  • How Kip kept Motivated (37 mins) 
  • Kip keeping up his end of the bargain (43 mins)










Kipan Rothbury is an award-winning actor, writer, and director of French, British, Russian, and Scottish descent. He gained his enthusiasm for exploration and the natural world from traveling to over 50 countries. Kipan’s breakthrough performance in Significant Strangers, which he wrote, co-produced, and directed, showcased his remarkable talent and transformative approach to acting. He established his production company, Tree Leaf Films, in 2009, with a commitment to creating films and documentaries that promote ecological awareness and environmental action. Kipan has worked as an actor, director, and filmmaker throughout Europe, Australia, and the United States, starring in award-winning films like Love Untitled and The Lost Aviator. He recently completed filming his 10-year film project, Significant Strangers, and his upcoming American film directing debut, Road North

You can find Kip’s instagram here, his IMDB here, and learn more about Significant Strangers here.








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Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our word nerd and coach from Melinda Harcourt Copywriting.

You’ll also find her regularly dropping hot website/ biz tips inside the Business Map and yelling at people for downplaying their wins (“big” or “small”, every win is still a win).




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