Crowdfunding has become ubiquitous, but let's not forget it's made a lot of cool things happen that wouldn't have happened otherwise, because money.

Crowdfunding has become ubiquitous, but let's not forget it's made a lot of cool things happen that wouldn't have happened otherwise, because money.

This Thursday, the 5th Annual Kickstarter Film Festival comes to the Gateway Film Center. GFC is one of just 32 theaters across the U.S. and Canada screening a program made up of films funded through campaigns on Kickstarter.

The early program kicks off with "Afronauts," a short film about the Zambian Space Academy's effort to reach the moon before the United States. The short opens for one of the funniest films I've seen this year, the drolly hilarious vampire mockumentary "What We Do In the Shadows." The 7,204 people who backed this can rest easy knowing they helped get a future cult classic to the big screen.

The later program is headlined by "T-Rex," a feature documentary about a 17-year-old girl from Flint, Michigan, who dreams of winning Olympic gold in boxing. That film is joined by two shorts, the bizarre and whimsical stop-motion animation of "Submarine Sandwich" and "World of Tomorrow," the latest from animator Don Hertzfeldt.

Tickets for the one-night-only festival are free but require an RSVP at kickstarter.com/fest.