TRUST MACHINE: THE STORY OF BLOCKCHAIN
USA 84 MIN, 2018
Hacktivist and blockchain expert Lauri Love fights extradition in TRUST MACHINE—his computer skills a threat to the US government. Tech innovators strike a raw nerve as banks and network pundits rush to condemn volatile cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology. Why are banks terrified while UNICEF embraces it to help refugee children? Award–winning filmmaker Alex Winter reveals that proponents of blockchain—a verified digital ledger—are already using the technology to change the world; fighting income inequality, the refugee crisis and world hunger.
Director, producer and writer. Alex Winter entered show business as a child actor with co-starring roles on Broadway in THE KING AND I and PETER PAN, and came to prominence starring in movies such as Warner Bros’ hit THE LOST BOYS and the wildly popular BILL AND TED franchise. Winter has directed three narrative features: cult classic FREAKED for 20th Century Fox; FEVER, for Lionsgate, which screened at Cannes; and SMOSH: THE MOVIE, which opened in 2015 as the #1 comedy on iTunes.
Winter has directed hundreds of award-winning television commercials and music videos. Winter’s VH1 Rock Doc DOWNLOADED earned worldwide critical acclaim at theatrical and festival screenings. Winter’s latest, multiple award-winning documentary DEEP WEB had its world premiere at SXSW and a broadcast premiere in the U.S. on the Epix network, alongside a global festival tour. The film opened worldwide as the #1 documentary on iTunes.
Recently completed are two short documentary films for Laura Poitras’s Field of Vision; RELATIVELY FREE and TRUMP’S LOBBY. Winter is now making ZAPPA, the first all-access documentary on the life and times of Frank Zappa. The Kickstarter campaign for this project was the highest funded documentary in crowd funding history.
- Elevate Festival
- CPH:DOX in Copenhagen
- Cleveland Film Festival
The idea of a verifiable ledger is a problem that’s been in search of a solution for a really long time. I got into this working on DOWNLOADED (2013). When I was making my movie DEEP WEB (2015), funnily enough, I still had very little interest in bitcoin. I’m not a mathematician, or a cryptographer or a coder. I’m old enough to have totally come from the analog world, but became very involved and interested in the Internet and technology in the 80s. I came to know a lot of people in that space like the cypherpunk community going back to the 60s and 70s, who had been trying to solve the problem that Satoshi, whoever Satoshi is, solved. I understood what the problem and solution were before I understood it as this thing called blockchain. This is something that a lot of people had been tackling in different ways. How do you create community? How do you create a digital, or internet-based community around the world that’s verifiable? The implications of that are huge if you think about it. I think of myself as one person telling a story. To me documentaries are about people. Especially techdocs. I think it creates a human face of the technological era we’re in, which is very paradoxical. Human beings are complicated, and if you anchor something to a human being you get the complexities of that, but in a human way-not just in a technological way. That’s what captivates me the most. Who are these people that are doing extraordinary things? Who are the people involved in the early days of this technological age we’re moving into? And what are the implications of what we’re moving into^; ethically, politically, socially?
To me Lauri Love really represents the cypherpunks of today. He’s brilliant, he’s contradictory, he’s contentious, he’s not an easy pill to swallow. You may not like him- it’s a question of how you respond to someone like that. There are huge changes happening in human culture right now. Never has something like this happened before, ever. And it is fascinating to me. That’s why I really wanted to make this documentary.
When I first started talking to SingularDTV about blockchain,
it hadn’t quite erupted to the degree that it has now. The world got really confusing with blockchain technology, cryptocurrency, and decentralization. We’re finally at a stable place and now it’s erupting. Bitcoin matters, but blockchain is really where the changes are going to come.
I really wasn’t interested in making a bitcoin movie. It was really about decentralization and inclusion, and not about wealth creation, and again, it’s not like I have a problem with people who want to create wealth for themselves, but it was just the least interesting aspect of it for me. When SingularDTV and Futurism Studios approached me directly, I had already begun to wrap my head around the fact that blockchain wasn’t going to go away anytime soon.
DOKer 2019 — LET IT DOK! COMPETITION PROGRAM