Hedgie Fund: Local animation studio to launch NFT collection for autism awareness

Business Insider SA
The Hedgie Fund logo (Supplied)
The Hedgie Fund logo (Supplied)
  • South African animation studio MAAN will be launching an NFT collection from the short film Sam the Hedgehog.
  • The animated film follows the life of an autistic hedgehog, and through The Hedgie Fund, aims to raise awareness of autism acceptance.
  • The short film was conceptualised in 2014, but due to budget constrains, could not be completed. 
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MAAN Creatives, a South African film studio behind the creation of animated short film Sam the Hedgehog, has made a NFT collection from the film to raise awareness of autism acceptance.  

Through the short film, which follows the life of an autistic hedgehog named Sam, founder Matt Landon put together the idea for the The Hedgie Fund.  

This is a randomly generated non-fungible token (NFT) collection of "Hedgies" using the sets, props, and characters already created for Sam the Hedgehog, and funds raised from the project will help complete the short film.  

The Hedgie Fund logo (Supplied)
The Hedgie Fund logo (Supplied)

"While we are not the first to consider how to use NFTs beyond just owning a piece of artwork, we do believe we will be the first to finish an actual animated short film funded by NFT minting. Of course, we considered alternative forms of crowdsourcing, and even traditional finance, but that only gets one so far.

"Using the popularity of NFTs just felt right, as we are creating unique pieces of art for collectors to own and trade while also becoming part of a far larger effort to raise awareness for autism acceptance and do good," said Landon.

For 0.05ETH each, NFT amateurs can mint one of 8,128 algorithmically designed crypto Hedgies produced by MAAN, and the proceeds will go toward completing the short film.

Funding milestones to be achived (Supplied)
Funding milestones to be achieved (Supplied)

"NFTs are digital representations of ownership of various items, with one of the most popular use-cases being to represent art. Purchasers buy, sell, and trade for a number of reasons, but rarely do NFTs fund real projects with real purpose.

"By purchasing a Sam Hedgie, collectors can become part of something meaningful that has intent and that raises awareness and funds for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)," said Landon.

The proceeds will also be donated to autism-related charities and other causes aimed at driving autism acceptance, and those who purchase the Sam Crypto Hedgies will get to enjoy certain privileges.

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These include early access to view the film while it is submitted to independent film festivals. They will also get to choose if they want to have their name, pseudonym, eth name, Twitter handle, or Ethereum public address acknowledged in the end credits of the film, and even stand a chance to land a cameo role in the film, according to the company.

"The film project has such a rich world with so many thoughtful details and the NFT project provides another avenue for us to showcase this world that will probably get lost in the film.

"For example, the way Sam arranges his building blocks meticulously by colour – a subtle clue to his autistic nature," said co-director at MAAN Creative Michael Clark.

The complete version of the short film, once fully financed, is expected to be around 12 to 14 minutes long, and will premiere on the international film festival circuit before being released for free online as a public resource.

Sam's Crypto Hedgies will be available to mint from 2 of April 2022 – World Autism Awareness Day – through April.

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