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BitTorrent Offering Cash Grants to Filmmakers and Other Artists

BitTorrent is launching the Discovery Fund, which will provide 25 cash grants of up to $100,000 in marketing and distribution funding.

“We are looking for artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers, and other creators working on uncompromised projects representing a diverse, original perspective seeking global distribution,” the file-sharing service announced.

It’s the latest move by BitTorrent to elevate its profile. It created a live TV streaming app in May and started a TV news network in July, launching BitTorrent News with coverage of the Republican National Convention.

The Discovery Fund comes two months after BitTorrent enlisted A24, Oscilloscope, and Honora as partners to refresh the service’s Bundle platform with a pilot program for ad-supported streaming releases across multiple platforms, with 70% of ad revenues going to artists.

Missy Laney, director of creative initiatives, told Variety, “We are aiming for this to be the most artist supportive platform with a simple grant program for a sustainable distribution system that allows for artists to own and retain creative control.”

Laney joined BitTorrent in April after managing the Sundance Institute’s artist services program, working with more than 250 filmmakers on crowdfunding campaigns totaling more than $13 million.

Also on Tuesday, BitTorrent released Dan Schoenbrun’s anthology “Collective: Unconscious” at no charge. “Collective: Unconscious” is the first ever omnibus film to premiere in competition at SXSW.

The film originated in 2014, when Schoenbrun asked five filmmakers to adapt each other’s dreams for the screen, including Lily Baldwin (“Sleepover LA”), Frances Bodomo (“Afronauts”), Daniel Patrick Carbone (“Hide Your Smiling Faces”), Josephine Decker (“Thou Wast Mild and Lovely”), and Lauren Wolkstein (“Social Butterfly”).

The BitTorrent release will include a deluxe pay-what-you-want download complete with bonus features, samples of the directors’ previous work, and the original recordings of the dreams they adapted.

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