Web3 film funding platform Decentralized Pictures has awarded its $40,000 Kevin Smith Comedy Screenplay Award to the short film script “Holy Smokes.”
Written by Gabby Fiszman and Isabella Ares, the film is billed as a “dark stoner comedy that features Latinx representation,” in which Catholic School survivors Emma and Lauren embark on a “sin-filled roadtrip.”
“We were inspired to write 'Holy Smokes' because we wanted to see ourselves as Latina women and our generation’s sense of humor represented on screen, in a genre that typically doesn’t feature us,” said Fiszman in a tweeted video about the submission.
Representation MATTERS! 📣 What we see in the media dictates how we think about the world. 2023’s first spotlight goes to Gabby and Isabella and their #comedy project, “Holy Smokes” which you can check out and vote for on DCP rn: https://t.co/qQsRXP3hX6 #Filmmaker #indiefilm pic.twitter.com/m2wb1njJT1
— Decentralized Pictures (@DCP_Foundation) January 6, 2023
Decentralized Pictures partnered with Smith to launch the award, which will see “Holy Smokes” receive $40,000 in funding along with notes from the director of films including “Clerks,” “Dogma” and “Red State.” The short film is intended to be a launchpad for a feature-length project.
“It's the original voice that stands out,” Smith said of the winning script during Tuesday's livestreamed announcement. He added that the film industry is looking for “people like the kids right here; people who haven’t said their thing yet.”
In an industry where sequels and remakes are the norm, Smith said, “They dream about you—the person who's gonna walk into their office and tell them a story they've never heard before.”
“It's really full circle for us,” said Fiszman, who explained that the pair were prompted to write the script after attending a “stoner comedy screenwriting class” that Smith hosted at the University of Southern California. “We were so inspired by that, and knew we had to actually write out this screenplay and pursue it,” she said.
What is Decentralized Pictures?
Described as an “evergreen, self-sustaining film fund,” the non-profit Decentralized Pictures uses a DAO-like structure in which holders of its native token, FILMCredits, vote on which projects should be considered for funding awards. A portion of profits from features backed by the fund return to DCP, where they’re used to finance further funding rounds.
“What we're trying to build is a community of people who love movies, people who want to make movies, [and] people want to see interesting movies,” said co-founder and filmmaker Roman Coppola on Tuesday's stream. “We're using the blockchain to do so in a very equitable and democratic fashion.”
Co-founded by Coppola alongside producers Leo Matchett and Mike Musante, the platform has already handed out several awards. Most recently, it awarded a $100,000 grant backed by “Ocean’s Eleven” director Steven Soderbergh to “Calladita,” a so-called “Film3” feature that was financed by NFT sales.
This isn’t Smith’s first brush with Web3 filmmaking, either; his 2022 horror anthology film “Killroy Was Here” was released as an NFT (disclosure: the writer of this story owns both Calladita and Killroy Was Here NFTs).
“If I was making “Clerks” today, that’s where I would’ve gone,” Smith said of the Web3 filmmaking space, lauding the “idea of a playground where there’s a very supportive audience and it’s wide open.”
He added that, “Right now on the blockchain, it’s the wild wild west; you can just pick a piece of property and build.”