The Hollywood premiere of “Lotawana” is America’s first movie NFT

By Shaurya Malwa

Upcoming movie “Lotawana” is a Hollywood release with a crypto-twist: Its premiere is getting released as a non-fungible token (NFT) and the movie has its own shares for interested watchers to derive distribution profits from.

The movie is the directorial debut of Trevor Hawkins—a director of commercials and shorts whose work has been featured by National Geographic—who took out a mortgage to finance his movie. It explores two individuals who set out to explore the world, fall in love, and try to break down the challenges that their individualities present.

Lotawana is the first movie in history to sell and premiere as #NFTs! Awesome write-up from @cmlindahl at @IndieWire about our new path and how we’ve released these Legacy Tokens out on the @opensea! Own a piece of history at https://t.co/F6x4O6fsVj https://t.co/DaUD9Vahug

— Lotawana (@Lotawanamovie) April 9, 2021

The NFTs and you

NFTs are blockchain-based representations of tangible or non-tangible assets that prove the true ownership of the underlying asset with whoever holds those NFTs. These can range from the quirky to the serious, from digital pizzas to CryptoPunks to real-estate, to…now, movies.

And for Hawkins, the NFT boom couldn’t come at a better time. He is appealing to the crypto- and digital-natives by issuing two NFTs for viewers to be really part of the movie experience.

At $1,000 each, Lotawana would have 1,000 tokens representing ownership shares that distribute the movie’s profit among holders, while the movie’s online premiere itself is a $100 NFT ticket.

“We feel like cowboys on a new frontier. It’s hard to believe we’re pioneering a new way for the film industry,” said Hawkins in a statement.

He added:

“When this came along, we felt it was a way to differentiate ourselves. This was a huge risk as well, but it feels right. We’re just a little bit ahead of the curve here … my personal opinion is that it’s (NFTs) here to stay.”

Hawkins noted that after 500 of the $1,000 shares ($500,000 in total) are sold, the film’s original backers will no longer be majority stakeholders.

Available on OpenSea

Lotawana is currently available on NFT marketplace OpenSea for fans to purchase as an NFT. These are currently limited to the two NFT types, but more exclusive content is expected in the future and shall include posters, photos, and a behind-the-scenes documentary.

As per entertainment publication ScreenRant, Hawkins says several companies have already approached him about collaborating on the sale of other NFTs.

Meanwhile, the trend is always catching on. An example is The Forest Road Company, a movie financial company, that recently raised a $20 million fund that would exclusively make pre-production investments in exchange for exclusive digital collectibles and NFTs after the release.

For crypto-natives, the institutions may or may not be here, but Hollywood definitely is.

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