Bitfilm, the international bitcoin and blockchain-themed film festival, has released its call for entries today.
Founded in 2000, Bitfilm previously showcased films using digital technology creatively. Having experimented with bitcoin as prize money in 2011, it rebranded as bitcoin-only last year.
Managing director Aaron Koenig told CoinDesk the event aims to expand the reach of the technology beyond the usual crowd:
“We want to reach a broad audience: people who are interested in bitcoin and want to know more about it, but who would not attend a bitcoin meetup or conference, as it seems too geeky for them.”
Kicking off in Berlin on 6th November, its finalists will be screened at different bitcoin hubs across the globe including San Francisco, Mexico, Budapest and Amsterdam. Winners in its two categories – best feature film and best short film – will be announced at Mexico City’s LaBitConf on 5th December.
At the festival, bitcoin will be both prize money and a voting tool. Each film will have its own bitcoin address, with viewers donating to the submission they like best. The film with the most amount of funds when voting closes on December 4th will be the winner.
Could this leave the festival open to abuse, with filmmakers effectively paying their way to the prize? Sure, Koenig said. “A film maker who motivates all his fans to donate for his film has better chances to win, but every filmmaker has that same chance, so I don’t see it as problematic,” he added.
Bitcoin on film
In the seven years since its inception, a flurry of filmmakers have taken up bitcoin’s story. The biggest release so far, Tribeca-listed documentary The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, hit number one on the iTunes download chart following its debut last October.
On the more salacious end of the spectrum, ex-DEA agent Carl Force (now awaiting sentencing on charges of money laundering and fraud) was said to have signed a deal with 20th Century Fox worth $240,000 for the inside scoop on Silk Road.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the demise of Mark Karpeles – CEO of failed bitcoin exchange Mt Gox – is also being shopped around Hollywood by Creative Artists Agency.
Besides documentaries, Koenig himself is hoping to gather investment for a bitcoin-themed thriller via his other business, Bitfilm Production. Entitled Satoshi’s Last Will, the feature-length film follows a detective as she sniffs out the bitcoin creator’s murderous heir.
Popcorn image via Shutterstock