Blockbuster executive producer including Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman to direct Hollywood’s first feature film funded entirely by non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with the promise that those who invest will receive a share of the profits and meet the stars from production.
Niels Juul, who set up production company NFT Studios to fund a series of films, hopes to raise between $ 8 million and $ 10 million (£ 6 and £ 7.5 million) from the sale of NFT 10,000 to the public and institutional investors.
NFTs are a digital certificate proving that you own something, in this case part of a movie. They have become a hot new financial trend, hailed by some as a gold rush and seen by others as the last bubble, with a risk that investors will be left behind.
Juul said the goal was to develop a new funding model for films to bypass an archaic Hollywood system in which small productions take up to eight years to reach movie or television screens.
“As a producer my biggest frustration comes from the financial side, it’s a test,” he said. “The studios mostly make big franchise movies, an independent movie can take years and years. It is difficult to get investors for films and productions, especially at the development stage, with the Hollywood system. We want to democratize it.
The film is set to be shot, with a big star and director attached, but Juul would not reveal their identities until an official announcement scheduled before the Berlin Film Festival in February. Filming is set to begin in April in Malta and London, and a transatlantic premiere is scheduled for September.
The film, A Wing and a Prayer, tells the true story of Briton Brian Milton, who retraced Phileas Fogg’s world tour in a microlight after taking a bet at the Reform Club, where the fictional character of Jules Verne was also a member.
Juul struck a deal with NFT Investments, a London-listed vehicle that funds market opportunities and paid $ 1 million to take a 20% stake in its production company to kick off the fundraiser.
Investors were told they would get a share of the box office profits and licensing fees, as well as a chance to tour filming locations, meet the cast and attend the premiere.
Digital artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, made history in March when he sold an NFT for $ 69.4 million. Big names who have joined the NFT business movement include Paris Hilton, Damien Hirst and even London Royal Ballet dancer Natalia Osipova.
Others are more suspicious. Rabobank financial analyst Michael Every said earlier this year he was stunned by the “bubbling stupidity” of the market.