×

Cannes’ ‘Papicha’ Receives Tokenized Investment from Hong Kong Financiers (EXCLUSIVE)

Papicha,” the Algerian film in Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year, has received finance from two Hong Kong companies that have used modern financial techniques to “tokenize” their direct investment in the film’s equity.

Directed by Mounia Meddour, the female emancipation story about a woman daring to put on a fashion show in the post-revolutionary era has been selected to represent Algeria for the Best International Feature Film at the Oscars. It is set for a commercial release in France on Oct. 9 on approximately 150 prints.

Papicha” was produced by Xavier Gens and Gregoire Gensollen from Paris-based The Ink Connection, and Patrick Andre from High Sea Productions. It is distributed in France and internationally by Jour2Fete.

Hong Kong-based Lumiere and FinFabrik have teamed up to apply their business and technical know-how to tokenize a co-investment into “Papicha.” The value of their investment was not disclosed.

“By having their equity participation digitalized, investors will have the opportunity in the future to transfer or sell it to other investors who want to have access to an exciting alternative asset,” Patrice Poujol, CEO of Lumiere, and author of the book “Online Film Production in China Using Blockchain and Smart Contracts,” told Variety. “If allowed by the issuer, these tokens can immediately be traded on CrossPool over-the-counter, directly between investors. In the future, we may see more liquid markets on dedicated exchanges.”

“We are humbled to bring forward our experience and our distributed ledger technology-based asset tokenization platform CrossPool to co-create with Lumiere a new way to invest into movies, that will lead to more transparency, security and efficiency gains,” said Alex Medana, co-founder and CEO of FinFabrik. He described the company’s mission as “reinventing capital markets and bringing finance to everyone.”

Distributed ledger technology, such as Blockchain, allows information ranging from contracts through to units of stock, or money (such as Bitcoin), to be stored and simultaneously updated on multiple servers around the world. Encrypted and stored this way, transactions are secure, always available, and cannot be controlled by a single gatekeeper or authority.

Poujol said that the transaction was a first of its kind, and a step forward for film financing. “What Finfabrik and Lumiere have done with ‘Papicha’ is the first issuance with a hybrid instrument and fully digital workflows. Previous experiences from other companies involve the finance of films with crypto assets like Braid. But this is a totally different mechanism and procedure (as) raising funding through crypto assets does not mean that the underlying participation of the film is digitised,” said Poujol and Florian Spiegl, co-founder of FinFabrik.

“The arthouse film industry is eager for more transparency and flexibility, and we are glad to pioneer into this new initiative by digitalizing an investment in our film ‘Papicha’ and its promising international theatrical journey,” said Gensollen, co-founder of The Ink Connection

Jour2Fete is a Paris-based company set up in 2006 by Sarah Chazelle and Etienne Ollagnier, which has released over 100 films theatrically, and in video/vod/tv/svod. Its international sales department, launched in 2012,has handled titles including 2017 Un Certain Regard film Beauty and the Dogs, Alain Gomis’ 2017 Berlin prize winner and “Manta Ray,” by Thailand’s Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, and which won the best film prize in the 2018 Orrizonti section in Venice.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • There's Something in the Water

    Toronto Film Review: 'There’s Something in the Water'

    Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the unpleasant sights, smells and pollutants of industry have typically been located where the poor folk dwell, and police society needn’t notice. With the dawn of popular environmental consciousness about a half-century ago, it became clear that toxic byproducts with a dismayingly long shelf life and unknown (or, [...]

  • 'David Foster: Off the Record' Review:

    Toronto Film Review: 'David Foster: Off the Record'

    By the early 1970s, as the counterculture was dissolving and reconfiguring, there were new pop-star archetypes on the horizon that we still tend to think of — the glam rocker, the sensitive singer-songwriter, the hair-band metal strutter, the prog-rock wizard, the belting pop chanteuse, the punk rocker. But there was another figure of the era [...]

  • Bob IgerSimon Weisenthal Gala honoring Bob

    Bob Iger Would Have Combined Disney With Apple if Steve Jobs Were Still Alive

    Disney and Apple are both launching their own streaming services come November, but Disney CEO Bob Iger says the two companies weren’t always on competing paths. In an excerpt from his autobiography published Wednesday in “Vanity Fair,” Iger revealed that Disney and Apple likely would have merged if Steve Jobs hadn’t died in 2011. “I [...]

  • Aaron Janus Lionsgate

    Lionsgate Hires 'A Quiet Place' Producer Aaron Janus as Senior VP of Production

    Lionsgate has hired Aaron Janus as its new senior vice president of production and promoted Meredith Wieck to the post of vice president of production.  Prior to Lionsgate, Janus served as Platinum Dunes’ head of development, where he oversaw filmmakers Brad Fuller, Andrew Form and Michael Bane. There, he brought in “A Quiet Place,” on [...]

  • Ang Lee Reveals First Look at

    Ang Lee on 'Gemini Man' and De-Aging Will Smith

    On paper, Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” is a standard-issue, shoot ’em up with Will Smith playing a deadly assassin who must battle a younger clone of himself. The explosions and gun battles aren’t what drew Lee to the project, even if they’re the reason that most people will show up at theaters when it opens [...]

  • Hopper Reserve

    Dennis Hopper's Dying Wish: His Own Strain of Marijuana

    Even as celebrity brands are starting to flood the emerging Cannabis market, Hopper Reserve stands out. The brand was launched by Marin Hopper, Dennis Hopper’s daughter from his marriage to Brooke Hayward. Hopper Reserve is a gram of California indoor-grown flower, two packs of rolling papers, a pair of matches and a trading card either [...]

  • Sean Clarke Aardman Staff Photography Bristol.Pic

    Aardman Appoints Sean Clarke as New Managing Director

    Aardman, the Oscar-winning animation studio behind “Chicken Run” and “Early Man,” has appointed Sean Clarke as its new managing director, replacing co-founder David Sproxton, who is stepping down after 43 years. Clarke has worked at the British studio for more than 20 years, including heading the international rights and marketing department for over a decade. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content