Troy Kotsur Exec-Produced ‘Houria’ Gives NFTs to Benefit Deaf Women – Variety

Troy Kotsur Exec-Produced ‘Houria’ Gives NFTs to Benefit Deaf Women – Variety

In an effort to showcase the utility of NFTs in cinema, the team behind Mounia Meddours’ (“Papicha”) Rome premiere film “Houria” is launching a limited-effect NFT collection.

Meddour’s follow-up to her Cesar-winning feature debut “Papicha,” “Houria” is still playing in theaters in France and was recently brought on board by “CODA” star Troy Kotsur who is now executive producing the film. Kotsur made history last year as the first deaf person to take home an acting award at the Academy Awards.

The initiative, developed by the film’s producers Ink Connection and High Sea, as well as the banners MADworld and Lumiere, will enable the creation of a series of NFTs focusing on “Houria’s” central themes – sign language and dance. Powered by blockchain technology, a portion of the NFT proceeds will be donated to the Paris-based non-profit organization Femmes Sourdes Citoyennes et Solidaires (United Deaf Women Citizens).

Meddour’s film tells the story of Houria, a gifted dancer with dreams of joining the Algerian National Ballet. To make ends meet, she engages in secret battles overnight. But after winning a final, Houria is violently assaulted by a man determined to get his money back. When she wakes up in a hospital, she is no longer able to speak and will surely never dance again. Refusing to abandon her dream, she throws herself heart and soul into her physical recovery and meets other women damaged by life at a rehabilitation center. Houria decides to help them transcend their wounded bodies and stand tall by teaching them how to dance through a choreography inspired by sign language.

The FSCS, founded in 2003, has been fighting for the rights of deaf women and has set up some campaigns to raise awareness against domestic violence.

MADWomen, a Web3 and digital assets banner, has teamed up with Lumiere, a Hong Kong-based metamarket investment firm, to design a new digital collection. In addition to benefiting the deaf women’s organization, owners of “Houria” NFTs will be able to attend a private event with Meddour and the producers at the upcoming edition of the Cannes Film Festival, ahead of the film’s release in Japan in July.

“Blockchain technology with NFT has been able to empower women around the world to use technology to create new intellectual assets, inspire and support our next generation,” said Kelly Leung, co-founder of MADworld (Multiverse Art Defender) and its affiliate MADwomen.

Leung said that MADWomen “thrives in discovering many of the unsung heroines of the world, highlighting their success in helping to inspire a younger generation of women who can be given the digital tools and the magic of humanity to uncover how each of us has the talent to win in our own way.”

Patrice Poujol and Sélim Oulmekki at Lumiere said they wanted to “support filmmakers, especially strong female talents with a strong social conscience who can share their vision of peace with the world.” They said they are also “breaking ground in the way films are now financed, produced and promoted through Web3.” Lumiere previously worked on “Papicha” to “tokenize” direct investment in film equity.

Gregoire Gensollen of The Ink Connection, who played a key role in putting together the digital initiative, said he “couldn’t think of a better association than the FSCS to benefit from Houria’s NFT sale as their bold mission resonates perfectly with the history of our movie.”

Shirley Tong On, who heads Femmes Sourdes Citoyennes et Solidaires, said “sign language is struggling to find the place it deserves in our society. Deaf children still do not have access to a mainstream education they deserve.”

“But this language is beautiful and necessary, not only for the deaf, but also for people who cannot speak, as it is portrayed so wonderfully in the film,” Tong On continued.

Meddour previously won the 2020 Academy Gold Fellowship Award for Women from AMPAS, and the Humanitarian Award from the International Press Academy.

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