American actress Jennifer Esposito (Summer of Sam, Crash, The Boys, Law & Order) is making her directorial debut on a film with a unique fundraising model involving NFT sales.

Fresh Kills, an upcoming crime drama set in NYC in the ’90s, is being partly funded by the proceeds of an accompanying non-fungible token collection sale.

The Fresh Kills NFT collection features kinetic visual art created by renowned Barcelona-based artist Gala Mirissa and the images are set to music by award-winning musician and producer Mike Gonek and based on the film’s screenplay written by Esposito.

The NFT artworks were originally open to buy on the Upstream exchange but will now be made available in a limited sale beginning on February 3 on the OpenSea marketplace.

According to a press release shared with Stockhead, the collection came together to support the importance of empowering female-driven content created by female directors. And this is echoed by OpenSea:

“NFTs are at the forefront of a cultural and artistic revolution,” said Alexander Bercow, arts partnership manager at the leading NFT platform.

“Projects like Esposito’s are just the tip of the spear at disrupting the traditional film industry by democratizing access to production funds, and offering new ways for filmmakers to interact and connect with fans,” added Bercow.

Featuring early rewards for fans of the film and supporters of the project, the NFT collection includes several unique perks such as executive producer credits, red-carpet premiere invites, visits to the film set and even a cameo in the film, which will star Annabella Sciorra (Cop Land, The Sopranos).


‘This kind of collaboration through NFTs is the future’

“The NFT space to me is freedom,” said Esposito. “Freedom for the artist and freedom for the people who take part in the journey of that NFT… This kind of collaboration through NFTs is the future.”

Aside from the NFT fundraising aspect, Esposito and the film’s producers had already adopted alternative, world-first funding, financing Fresh Kills through a crowd-sourcing model, enabling fans to become investors and buy stock in the film.

The NFTs, meanwhile, are simply another way for fans to get behind the project, and a percentage of the profits from the film will support films made by women.

And in support of that spirit, acclaimed digital artist Ali Sabet will be donating a curated collection of his works to the team’s sale.

“There are moments in your life that you know you have to step up and serve. Helping Jennifer to bring her vision to life of a female narrative is one of those moments for me,” said Sabet.

On the periphery of the Sundance Film Festival’s virtual events, the Fresh Kills NFT sale goes live on the OpenSea NFT marketplace from February 3, running until February 5.

To learn more about the sale, head to the project’s official Twitter and Discord channels.