Bear markets are for filming: the Bitcoin Film Festival in Warsaw

The bear market might rage on, but that won’t stop the Bitcoin (BTC) shooters, creators and filmmakers from producing new content. 

Hosted in the capital of Poland, Warsaw, the first edition of the Bitcoin Film Festival took place in March. The Bitcoin Film Festival brought together Bitcoin advocates and film lovers from across the globe to sit through some of the best-known Bitcoin films and documentaries. 

Hosted in the Kinoteka theater in the iconic Palace of Culture and Science, the Bitcoin Film Festival festival celebrated Bitcoin’s growing global influence while underscoring the thriving cultural movement that underpins the digital network. Some of the talents from the Bitcoin movement’s first film festival, BitFilm in 2015, such as Tomer Kantor, were in attendance–and they continue to shoot Bitcoin-centric films.

Cointelegraph premiered The Bitcoin Farmer, a short documentary about Bitcoin mining using solely renewable energy in Ireland. The film was followed by a panel discussion with Cointelegraph’s director of the video, Jackson Dumont, global reporter Joe Hall, Bitcoin Film Fest co-founder Pierre Corbin, as well as Mark Morton and Vince Giltinan from Scilling Digital Mining.

Pierre Corbin told Cointelegraph that he and cofounder Tomek Kolodziejczuk put together the Bitcoin Film Festival because it’s a “cool idea” for the community. Although the film fest was a useful means of introducing Polish people to Bitcoin, Pierre explained that Bitcoin “has been very popular here in Poland with Ukrainians coming here because of the war.”

Poland borders Ukraine, and as much as 25% of the immigrant population is Ukrainian. At the onset of the war, Bitcoin donations soared, while Pierre explains that people on the ground used the decentralized tool:

“The human rights foundation helped them [Ukrainians] transfer their wealth into Bitcoin, helping them cross the border here into Poland and then walk them through the process of getting their money back out from Bitcoin ATMs because Poland is the country in Europe with the most Bitcoin ATMs.”

Cofounder Tomek set the ball rolling for the world’s first Bitcoin film festival in November of last year. Tomek was keen to meet Pierre and screen his film, The Great Reset and the Rise of Bitcoin, at a local Bitcoin Meetup. However, the idea snowballed. Their encounter and subsequent meetings led to the showings of Bitcoin movies from around the world in one of Eastern Europe’s most iconic buildings.  

From documentaries shot in El Salvador, such as Bond to Unbind, to a snapshot of the impact of Bitcoin on individuals’ lives in The Human B, the film festival showcased the most recent and notable film production efforts. Pierre explained the selection process:

“If you select the right films that tell the right stories, then bringing people from outside will understand Bitcoin from the angle that we want them to understand.”

A crowdfunding campaign was held through the Bitcoin crowdfunding campaign Geyser Fund, in which The Satoshi Mystery by Remi Baillieux won the community-voting segment. Meanwhile, Pierre raised Sats (the smallest denomination of a Bitcoin) for his second Bitcoin documentary, The Fight for the US Dollar.

Related: Film review: ‘Human B’ shows a personal journey with Bitcoin

The film festival also piggybacked off a Libertarian conference hosted in Warsaw the same weekend. Libertarians, or proponents of minimizing the state’s encroachment on daily life, were some of the earliest adopters of Bitcoin.

The Bitcoin Film Festival is investigating whether to change the location for the 2024 installment or to keep the festival in Warsaw. While bear markets are undoubtedly for building, it appears they’re also for filming. 

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