CANNES — Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Luc Jacquet (“March of the Penguins”) and producer Sophokles Tasioulis (“Deep Blue,” “Earth”) are partnering to launch Icebreaker, a new production company that uses blockchain technology to create innovative ways to produce and finance films.
“We saw that we’re coming to a dead end for the kind of movies we do, and how we used to do them,” said Tasioulis. “We cannot finance our movies any longer in the way we used to.”
Icebreaker is in advanced negotiations with Extended Monaco, an initiative recently launched by the principality that uses blockchain technology to offer investors an opportunity to support sustainable, environmentally minded businesses. Icebreaker will be based out of Monaco.
The company will also raise financing through an initial security token offering, as well as the sale of additional tokens through a secure, blockchain-enabled platform. Corporate sponsorship alliances will also play a role.
The new funding model will allow Icebreaker to exploit content across multiple platforms.
Building on past experience producing some of the most acclaimed and commercially successful nature documentaries of recent years – including “Penguins,” which grossed $127.4 million worldwide – the duo have announced a wide-ranging slate of projects about man’s relationship with the environment that they’ll produce over the next 10 years.
Among the projects Icebreaker is announcing are “Galapagos,” an exploration of how evolution affects all living organisms on the planet, which is being developed as a film, TV series and exhibition; “Siberia,” an evocative journey across the majestic landscape, which is being developed as a film and exhibition; and “Lascaux,” an imaginative depiction of the lives of the early men who created the famous paintings of the titular cave, which is being developed as a film, TV series and exhibition.
“Since we finance it, we sit on all the rights. We took the risk, which enables us to maximize the use of the material,” said Tasioulis. He added that footage that might have previously been tied up by complicated rights deals could now be exploited across platforms to produce a feature film, a TV series, a traveling exhibition, as well as short-form content for social media. “Out of one production, you have multiple ways of monetizing it. That already makes it more profitable.”
Jacquet said the projects will both inform and entertain and hopefully move audiences sufficiently to nit only be concerned abouy such issues as climate change but take action: “For me, this is the best way to touch people, not touch them by really precise scientific documentaries,” he said.
As alarm bells sound over climate change, Jacquet said these projects are being developed with future generations in mind. “We have to help them to give the will to do something. We have to help them to be inspired. We have to help them to take their own destiny,” he said. “We have a problem, but don’t be passive in front of the problem.”