“The Minted Series:” A documentary about NFTs, funded by NFTs

Introducing "Minted," a women-led indie film production that is setting the stage for new ways of making, funding, and distributing art.

Jan 27, 2022 Tech

5 months ago

In the past year, we’ve seen blockchain technology revolutionize the art world, cutting out middlemen, and proving that art not only belongs in decentralized spaces, but thrives here. The film industry—where profit-driven producers and studio heads hold tremendous creative power over independent filmmakers—is next in line to discover the power of NFTs.

Film Teaser

The NFT revolution has started to support creatives from all around the world. As a female-led indie company, we are keen to find out the potential of how NFTs can support filmmakers.

— Martina Russo, Founder of Unleyek

Auctioned on SuperRare this month, “The Minted Series” is the first-ever film fundraiser powered through a curated collection of NFTs. The profits of this unique exhibition will fund a full-length documentary titled “Minted,” which sets out to tell the story of a new, more democratic chapter in art history. The film, which has already begun shooting, is developed by Unleyek, an award-winning, female-led production company based in London in partnership with design house 19.studio. The film features pioneering artists such as Krista Kim, Lans King, Olivier Sarrouy, Kenny Schachter, Scott Stornetta, and Georg Bak about the philosophy and craft that drive their work. Reflecting on 2021, a pivotal moment in cultural history when NFTs disrupted the art world, the film also examines the future of blockchain technology and the ways it may shape the future of independent creatives for years to come.

“The Cowboy Singularity – Vintage Edition” donated to the “Minted” collection by Lans King

I think it’s really important to cover this whole scene that’s still in flux, and it’s a difficult thing to do…I think it’s great they want to cover the perspective of the artist and how NFTs are helping artist bring their work to the public.

– Lans King, artist in the collection “Minted Series,” and contributor in the documentary

The documentary traces the emergence and development of NFTs out of tight-knit online communities whose supportive culture is a stark contrast to the cut-throat competitiveness of so many mainstream creative industries. To produce anything on a large scale, creatives often have to make tremendous artistic sacrifices, sometimes forgoing their credits altogether. In a society that prioritizes profit and product consumption above all else, NFTs are maturing into a vehicle of rebellion. A documentary about NFTs funded by NFTs, set to be released as an NFT is pretty meta, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Reclaiming the funds that make films possible is a revolutionary concept that not only democratizes the film funding process but also has the power to completely transform our cinematic landscape. Many stories never see the light of day because the market is controlled by a few profit-driven players. Indie projects can take years to go into production, especially if mainstream consciousness hasn’t fully embraced their subjects. Many time-sensitive works never get made for this reason. When documenting the fast-changing NFT industry, time is of the essence, and waiting for conventional funding avenues is not an option as this innovative, rare moment in our cultural history is the heart of the story. “The Minted Series” flips the long-standing power dynamic, allowing filmmakers to lead the market rather than submitting to its centralized rule.

Posters available on SuperRare

We are aiming to carry over the benefits of NFTs into the realm of film to allow independent filmmakers sovereignty and control over their work which is not a concept that exists currently in film. It’s so important for the power of blockchain technology to be spread across all creative industries to help democratize spaces that are too set in their ways of not favoring the individual behind the final product.

— Annie Fulcher Unleyek

Funding Through Minting

The film poster is usually the last step in releasing a film, but with “The Minted Series” it serves as part of the funding process. Artists Giacomo Pollesel has designed an original collection of 10 limited edition “Minted” film posters based on recognizable artworks such as “Girl with the Pearl Earring” and “The Mona Lisa,” but then translated into a coded dynamic series reflecting the deconstruction of conventional art practices. The posters will be auctioned on SuperRare alongside donated works from acclaimed artists and collectors like Iness Rychlik, Everfresh, Lans King, 33NFT, and Dimitri Daniloff.

Instead of relying on conventional film investors to tell the story of NFT communities, Unleyek found support from the very communities they are elevating. The auction winners of the “Minted Series” will be credited as associate producers and receive an invite to the film premiere. These collectors will also gain access to private discord sessions where they can interact with the filmmakers and contribute to the direction of the film. While setting out to document the story of NFT communities within the art realm, the film itself appears to be transforming into an online community dedicated to the decentralization and empowerment of its creators and subjects alike.

“The Kissing” donated to the “Minted” collection by Dimitri Daniloff

When Annie contacted me…it was first about my genesis piece…and I entered the NFT world for exactly the same reason as the concept of the documentary… to give power back to the creator.

— Dimitri Daniloff, artist in the collection “Minted Series,” and contributor in the documentary

Decentralization has the potential to disrupt not only financial power structures, but the structures of all artistic disciplines because it fosters community in a radical way. Web3 elevates artists out of the role of users that are either being actively consumed or are consuming within the perimeters of a centralized app into the role of active players. The term “artist empowerment” gets thrown around often in web3 discussions, but the logistical ways in which creatives can be empowered by blockchain technology are unfolding in real-time. “Minted” is capturing this cultural moment while using NFTs to restructure the filmmaking process. If the current trajectory continues, in the coming years, we will see the emergence of new subjects and forms in cinema, stories that would be overlooked by studios could make their way to the forefront. “The Minted Series” is a first step in claiming the power that funds films. The winners of this auction will not only gain production credit on a feature-length documentary, but they’ll also own a small piece of film history.

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Mika Bar On Nesher

Mika is a writer and filmmaker from Jerusalem currently based in New York City. She is SuperRare's Associate Curator.

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