Filmmaker Neil Sanjay is acutely aware of the abundance of unseen films in the world. A couple of them are his.
He graduated from NYU Film School and worked making commercials and videos for a couple of years, all the while thinking of the thousands of filmmakers graduating from schools every year with thesis films that weren’t making it into festivals.
We first met Sanjay at an Alleywire’s Innovations Gala.
“There are thousands of movies that are just sitting on hard drives,” Sanjay told us when we met up with him at the MiNY Media Center in Dumbo. Some of them, he thought, had to be good.
He demo’ed his solution to the problem, a platform on which filmmakers can post their movies and make money on every viewer. It’s called Nukhu. Filmmakers will have access to the platform starting in July. Viewers should be able to start watching movies on the site by the fall.*
Here’s how it works:
- A film on Nukhu gets sorted into various stacks. Stacks are organized, in categories like ‘trending’ and by filmmaker. They also get organized by a set of some 600 tags in the Nukhu database, based on tags widely used by cinephiles already.
- Films are purchased with points. Points cost about $0.10 each now. Points can be bought or they can be earned by watching ads. The system has a way to verify that you really watched, so don’t go get a soda. Filmmakers can control how many points a film costs.
- Viewers may be able to lower the cost of the film by sharing it with others, if the people they share it with purchase the film. This is called incentivized sharing.
All the films are video-on-demand. Once a viewer has purchased it, it is available as long as the film is on Nukhu. It’s similar, in that way, to the Vyer Films system we covered earlier. On the other hand, it’s not a licensing deal. Filmmakers earn money on every sale.
Each year there will be a festival based on the most popular films on the site. Users will get a chance to vote on the top films and the final festival run will be voted on by the platform’s advertisers and filmmakers.
Nukhu is a team of six right now. All freelancers except Sanjay, who is bootstrapping the company.
*Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that viewers would be able to use the platform by July. Filmmakers will be able to use it by July; viewers should be able to use it by the fall.