While blockchain technology has been touted as a new revenue opportunity for a range of businesses, it has considerable potential for films aiming to do good for society.
That’s the view of a trio of executives from Indieflix, its parent Liquid Media Group, and blockchain provider Eluvio. The three entities are involved in a partnership whose latest focus is the documentary film Angst, a 2017 documentary.
Scilla Andreen, a filmmaker and co-founder and CEO of Indieflix; Ron Thomson, CEO of Liquid Media; and Eluvio CEO and co-founder Michelle Munson took part in a panel discussion at the Deadline Studio (watch it above).
Blockchain is a decentralized means of distribution in which traditional gatekeepers are removed and support of films, both financial and otherwise, is opened to a vast online population.
Angst, which is screening via Eluvio’s platform at the same time as the Sundance Film Festival, explores efforts to combat anxiety. Shown widely in educational and community settings via traditional means, the film is aims to galvanize a conversation about mental health and stigmas around anxiety. (Among those featured in the film is Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who has publicly shared his struggles with anxiety in recent years.)
Andreen believes the blockchain availability of the film, amplified by a social presence on Discord, will expand its impact significantly. She sees a harmonious blend between purely digital efforts like blockchain and traditional releases, including theatrical and festivals.
“Film festivals are the great curators of the world,” she said. “And it’s where the people are.” While having meaningful films and technology are crucial, she added, “you also have to have the community in order to really give it lift and rise.”
Liquid Media acquired Indieflix, which runs a subscription VOD service focused on “films with a purpose” last fall. During the panel, Thomson emphasized the potential for “this environment where you can really bonus people and get collaboration and invite all kinds of comments, positive and negative. It’s something that’s quite powerful. I would say explosive.”
Added Munson, “This disintermediates what had been the control points of the past. That’s the ultimate point of social good. … You’ve unlocked the engagement of the audience, the ownership of their participation, their ability to benefit from being engaged. And you’ve certainly unlocked the creative autonomy of the person with the idea.”
As part of the partnership around Angst, viewers will have free access for one week to the film. Half of the proceeds from the premiere screening will be given to Jack.org, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation and the Indieflix Foundation.
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