During Sundance, the Film3 on the Mountain conference focused on innovative film finance.
Film3 had a moment of prominence in Park City, Utah, on Saturday, when “Calladita,” a new film by filmmaker Miguel Faus, was selected the winner of the Andrews/Bernard Award.
Established by famous filmmaker Steven Soderberg and the Decentralized Pictures platform, the award grants $300,000 in post-production funding for outstanding English-language films and shorts.
“Winning this award from Steven Soderbergh is a dream come true for me and the whole Calladita team and community,” Faus said.
What is the story of Calladita ?
“Calladita” tells the story of Ana and, according to Faus, is a mix of realism and satire that shows the Catalan high bourgeoisie.
“The film touches upon themes of class differences and injustice from a profound and sophisticated perspective, moving away from easy clichés and caricatures,” Faus wrote in the film’s description.
Unlike traditional films, the team behind Calladita utilized NFTs to finance the production. In 2021 and 2022, more filmmakers, notably renowned directors Spike Lee and Kevin Smith, turned to digital collectibles to finance films and increase audience participation.
“This movie started as a crazy idea in my mind that maybe I could fund my first feature through an NFT collection, and a few months later, thanks to 500 degens on the internet who believed in us and minted our NFTs, we got to make the movie,” Faus said. “To have it now awarded by a legend of independent cinema like Steven is a dream come true.”
What is the effects of NFTs?
With NFTs, film productions may create and sell exclusive digital assets to collectors, investors, and fans. Now, instead of simply purchasing a ticket, movie buffs may own a digital piece of film history while directly sponsoring the next Hollywood blockbuster.
“What blockchain allows us to do is not only fairly and transparently determine who is most deserving of the financing we offer,”Leo Matchett, co-founder of Decentralized Pictures, spoke at a discussion at the Film3 on the Mountain conference held in conjunction with the annual Sundance Film Festival. “But it also has this incentivized behavior mechanism built into it.”
“The use of the tokens goes back to, how do you get people to vote? How do you get them to spend the time to review the projects?” Musante said. “So we created a token that is the incentive to get people to vote.”
Launched in the summer of 2021 by Mike Musante and producers Roman Coppola and Leo Matchet, with a $50,000 documentary funding award from The Gotham Film & Media Institute, Decentralized Pictures is a blockchain-based platform where filmmakers can submit movie pitches, paying a submission fee in the project’s native token, FILMCredits (FILM).
Soderberg funded the $300,000 grant via the Decentralized Pictures platform in April 2022. At the time of the launch, he told IndieWire that he was curious to see if blockchain-based film financing is effective. For “Calladita,” it did.
Even though the world might not be ready to buy a JPEG of a monkey, the idea of directly funding and supporting their favorite creator could be the spark that starts a Web3 and Film3 revolution, putting filmmakers and their audiences in direct contact with each other.