Indie Cinema Leverages NFT, Blockchain, Social Media Tech

Online film sales tool Cinemarket, a platform for international buyers and sellers, is launching Cineverse, which intends to make it possible to market and distribute films and associated items using NFT and blockchain technology. The company reportedly has about 300 films in the pipeline for its soft launch at the this month’s Berlin International Film Festival and is prepping for a major debut May 21 at the Cannes Film Festival. Cineverse is designed to be an open platform that uses social media tools to allow filmmakers and marketers to connect directly with audiences.

Cinemarket CEO Adrian Lugol tells Variety that of the 80,000 or so films produced globally each year, few find traditional distribution, and the trade publication writes that Cineverse will be a way for people to “buy, share, gift, sell and resell films over the platform.” Berlin-based Cinemarket, which launched at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018, built its business around the concept of using blockchain as a secure and transparent means by which sellers and buyers could transact using its website.

“While film financing via NFTs and blockchain is already happening, it can be difficult without the kind of infrastructure that Cineverse offers, namely a seamless payment system,” Variety writes, paraphrasing Lugol’s belief that “the efficiency of code makes legal paperwork and lawyers superfluous.”

“What we offer, and we do it for free, is that when somebody pays, even if there are three to five rights owners, everybody gets their share automatically when the payment is done,” Lugol says in Variety. “And if you buy a movie yourself, you really own it … In five years they cannot take it out from the library like on Apple TV. You can use it yourself, you can gift it to a friend or you can resell it on the secondary market.”

In addition to films, limited release collectibles will also be part of the NFT mix, “tradable on Cineverse as well as on leading marketplaces, such as OpenSea,” Variety writes. Cineverse’s dashboard and analytics will allow users “to track purchases and resales of their films and provide real-time data that can be used to design and improve advertising and marketing campaigns,” with a percentage going back to the filmmakers with every change of ownership.

Startup Teleciny is also launching as a blockchain marketplace and film and TV platform, “providing a place for artists, filmmakers and fans to connect with digital collectibles, limited virtual merchandise and unique experiences.”

The platform launches with a fundraising effort for the western-comedy “Dustslickers,” scheduled to begin shooting this summer. NFTs “present a whole new dimension in how fans engage with their favorite movies, TV shows and actors,” suggests “Dustslickers” writer-director Gina Nemo in the Teleciny press release. “We see this as a fundamental shift.”

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