For the film industry, which witnessed a decline in the number of movie-goers post-Covid, decentralised non-fungible token (DNFT) has opened a new avenue for revenue. Introduced by UK-based Techbank Movies London the innovative technology offers production houses an opportunity to monetise their content. Big budget Malayalam movie Malaikotai Vaaliban, starring renowned actor Mohanlal and directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, is the first film to tap this revenue source.

Owned by GPL Movies, Techbank Movies London has acquired DNFT rights of the promotional videos and stills of the movie for an undisclosed amount.

Malaikottai Vaaliban is an epic action drama directed by maverick filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery. The film, released on January 25 with mixed responses has been dubbed in Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.

DNFT, a decentralised version of the traditional NFT, has been positioned as a viable alternative to NFT. According to the company, the proportion of revenue DNFT can generate depends on the digital rights that production houses want to wrap into it.

Currently, stills as well as exclusive videos, including behind the scenes videos of movies are distributed freely to everyone as part of the promotional activities of the film. “Even though OTT platforms like Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon purchase NFT rights of the movie along with it, NFT rights of the promotional videos and stills are not included in it. DNFT offers production houses an opportunity to sell the NFT rights of the same to generate additional revenue. There is a huge demand for copyrighted protected materials at the international level and DNFTs of such materials would definitely find buyers,” said Subhash Manuel, founder of Techbank Movies London.

He is confident that demand for DNFT will increase with the growth of web3 technology. In India, currently, there are around 120 million web3 wallet users which stores digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs.

“As a producer I am delighted that Malaikotai Vaaliban is the first film to explore the possibility of selling DNFT rights. I hope that more films will embrace the technology in future as it would help the producers generate some additional revenue,” said Shibu Baby John, producer of the movie.

Techbank Movies London, which has also acquired DNFT rights of 2018 — India’s official entry for this year’s Oscar Awards — has already subleased the same to several companies across the globe. The company is now in discussion with production houses in Tamil, Telugu, Bollywood and Hollywood to purchase DNFT rights of their movies.

“The film industry has been going through one of its difficult stages as very few films are commercially successful. In such a scenario, DNFT provides producers an opportunity to monetise promotional videos and stills by selling NFT rights,” said Venu Kunnappilly, producer of 2018.

Creating publicity

In addition to the revenue, the company said that DNFT could help create more publicity for the movies and enhance the international reach by reaching out to crypto currency users worldwide. “Through this initiative, we are aiming to build a community of international audiences beneficial to the whole movie industry. Though Indian language movies are at an international level, they are not marketed to an international audience. DNFT would help Indian language movies reach them and create excitement through the community,” adds Subhash Manuel.

For the owners, DNFT will give access to events and special shows hosted by the production houses. Each user would deduct a fixed amount from the DNFT’s current value and the deducted sum will be shared among other DNFT owners. If it works well, makers of the make-believe saga can earn some real revenues.

Analyst Kashyap Kompella, CEO RPA2AI, who has been tracking the NFT space says, “Fans should think of NFTs and DNFTs as digital merchandise. Of course, for marketers and artists, it’s another marketing channel to create buzz around their brands and creations. But don’t think of them as investments or collectibles that’ll increase in value just because they are attached to a blockchain.”