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Arbitrum Partners Oscar-Winner for Cryptoart Documentary and Metaverse

The Ethereum Layer2 has announced that it will help finance New Here, a feature-length film project promising an in-depth look at the digital art space “through the lens of a new user falling down the crypto rabbit hole."

There have been several documentaries examining various aspects of the crypto scene or crypto-adjacent activities. Some of these have been co-funded by crypto companies or advocates to promote a pro-crypto agenda. However, the Arbitrum Foundation has this week announced that it is helping to finance a documentary on the NFT and ‘Cryptoart’ scene.

The Ethereum Layer 2 solution will co-fund the production of New Here, a feature-length film with involvement from Oscar-winning producer Shane Boris and Sundance award-winning director Dan Sickles. Boris won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature with his film Navalny at last year’s ceremony.

New Here promises to take a deep dive into the world of Web3, digital art, the metaverse, and the rise of NFTs as an artistic medium, describing itself as “part oral history, part desktop dreamscape. Shifting seamlessly between virtual and physical life.”

“Our main character goes from an isolated internet user to trading cryptocurrency, exploring the metaverse, and diving into the world of NFTs, rediscovering a connection to humanity and art along the way.”

The documentary will feature interview footage of over 90 of the most important Cryptoartists, including Beeple, Pussy Riot, Snowfro and RTFKT.

However, Arbitrum’s partnership with emerging media company DPOP Studios goes way beyond the funding of a feature documentary. The project also comes complete with its own metaverse, allowing moviegoers the chance to interact with the film on a whole new level.

Two key elements of this are ‘New Here Shorts’ and ‘Glimpses’, which hope to engage audiences with the New Here universe ahead of the film’s release.

New Here Shorts will comprise 11 short films to be released individually over the next year, giving a primer on some of Cryptoart’s biggest names for those new to the scene. The films will reportedly premiere via a unique interactive experience developed especially for the project.

Glimpses are free-to-mint open-edition art pieces that will enable viewers to unlock an interactive experience when watching New Here Shorts. Each Glimpse will correspond to one of the 11 short films; the first one is available to claim from now through early spring. The artist featured in the associated short film will receive perpetual royalties on each NFT minted, as director Dan Sickles explained:

“We're ready to push the boundaries of how we interact with story-driven media, and we're finding exciting ways to reward audiences who engage with our ecosystem. Imperative to DPOP's mission, a protocol rewards system has been established whereby the featured artist in the short film series will receive perpetual royalties from each mint”

Integrating Web3 and metaverse technology into the experience around a feature documentary examining the Web3 Cryptoart scene would seem like a perfect fit to us. It remains to be Observed whether New Here will succeed in encouraging more mainstream adoption of NFTs and digital art.