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From Amitabh Bachchan to Kamal Haasan, movie NFTs are gaining momentum in India

"The interest is growing but it is small. So, if we take an actor's social media following, we see it sub-five percent penetration in terms of traction for movie NFTs," says Dhruv Saxena, chief strategy officer of Singapore-based Vistas Media.

November 24, 2021 / 09:02 PM IST
[Image: Shutterstock]

[Image: Shutterstock]

The strong traction for the digital collectibles of Amitabh Bachchan has set the stage for the upcoming movie-based non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

NFT marketplace Fantico recently announced Tamil actor Kamal Haasan's digital collectibles will be offering 100-1,000 NFTs which will include customised posters, avatars, among others.

"...We are working on concept of metaverse and this will be exclusive where real connoisseurs can get in," Dhruv Saxena, chief strategy officer of Singapore-based Vistas Media that owns Fantico, told Moneycontrol.

Saxena added that the actual NFT drop might be launched by end December or early January. Along with Kamal Haasan's NFT, more movie-based NFTs will be up on offer.

Yash Rathod and Shaamil Karim's NFT marketplace Diginoor.io has plans to offer digital collectibles of movies, including Kabali and Chandramukhi starring Rajinikanth.

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In the first drop on Diginoor.io, around 17 NFTs of the film Sivaji: The Boss was sold which were in the price range of USD 99-1,500, says Karim, a Rajinikanth fan .

"About 30-40 percent of the Sivaji content is sold and the remaining we will be launching on Rajinikanth's birthday. We have also signed rights for two of Tamil actor Vijay's films including Mersal and Theri along with Vijay Sethupathi and R Madhavan's Vikram Vedha," adds Karim.

To avoid intellectual property rights (IPR) disputes like the one faced by Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino, they are directly dealing with production houses, he says, noting that along with iconic posters and scenes, they are also working on offering alternate endings of films for which they have acquired the rights.

"This will be an exclusive NFT and it will be for all films," he says.

While NFT platforms have a lot to offer in terms of cinema-based digital collectibles, are there takers for such artwork?

"While sports (celebrities) have equally big following, the legalities around sports takes a little more work to get through. Plus, the size of the contract is bigger, there are many agencies involved. So, yes they (movie NFTs) have great demand but the supply is also good," he said.

Saxena pointed out two aspects. One he said that movie stars have huge following. "While sports (celebrities) have equally big following, the legalities around sports takes a little more work to get through. Plus, the size of the contract is bigger, there are many agencies involved. So, yes they (movie NFTs) have great demand but the supply is also good," he said.

Sharing an anecdote, he said, "Last week one of the users who bought Sivaji NFT for USD 1500 performed a pooja (prayer ceremony) for the NFT. That's the fan following and the craze for a film in India."

Banking on the same, Diginoor.io has built a content bank of 4,000 titles and has partnered with AVM Productions, the company that produced Sivaji, Reliance Entertainment and Mango Mass.

"The interest is growing but it is small. So, if we take an actor's social media following, we see it sub-five percent penetration in terms of traction for movie NFTs," Saxena said.

But he noted a concern for NFTs in India. Saxena said that the understanding of people of cryptocurrency is synonymous to NFTs.

"While they both exist on blockchain, NFTs are not currencies. Cryptocurrencies are fungible and art pieces are non-fungible," he said.
Maryam Farooqui
first published: Nov 24, 2021 09:00 pm

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