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Kickstart This: 'Canvas'

Frank Abney III is an acclaimed animator who has worked on movies for Pixar, Disney and DreamWorks, including Coco, Frozen and Kung Fu Panda 3, as well as video games like Tomb Raider. Now he's looking to make his directorial debut with the short film Canvas and he's turning to crowdfunding to help make it a reality.

Coming from an African-American background, Abney says that growing up there were only a handful of projects that featured characters that looked like him "and some weren't very nice about it". "A few years back I decided to make a film and create the representation that I wanted to see"  he explains. " And hopefully inspire others to do the same".

That film is Canvas. The story itself is a universal one dealing with a grandfather who has suffered a loss and is trying to regain his inspiration. Abney is partnering on the project with producer Paige Johnstone and character designers TB Choi and Randy Bishop. The film is being produced by a diverse team of artists from around the world.

The artwork and teaser footage released so far show that the film is going to be beautifully animated- and looks like it will move all but the most stoney-hearted of viewers.

We're not alone in that, as we're glad to say that the project has already exceeded its initial $40,000 goal. However, every extra dollar will help them towards their stretch goal to make the film the best it can be. $25 will get you a digital download of the completed film.

The campaign runs until March 31. Head over to the campaign page if you want to be part of making it happen.