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Behind the Scenes of DETAINED, the First Short Film Launched on Tokit

We caught up with filmmaker Khushnuda Shukurova to discuss the shoot of her tokenized film and got an exclusive look behind the camera.

When Tokit launched in November, a highlight of its capability to create opportunities for developing independent creators as well as high-profile stars like Gramatik was laid out most clearly with the KHUSH Token. The project was created by Khushnuda Shukurova, a talented young Tajikistan-born filmmaker, to fund the production of her short film DETAINED, a story about a family torn apart by political turmoil in the United States and Middle East. With shooting completed last weekend, DETAINED has achieved a special feat of becoming one of the first Tokit projects to complete the production phase.

“We launched the KHUSH Token at the same time Gramatik launched the GRMTK Token,” Khushnuda recalls of the Tokit launch. “I was so nervous — he’s got this huge fan base, and compared to him, I thought nobody would care!” That turned out not to be the case: “I thought it would take a few days, so I decided to go watch a movie to take my mind off it,” explains Khushnuda. “Then I got a text that my campaign was already successful. I was shocked. It was very surreal. I didn’t expect it. A couple of friends told me they even bought the token. It was so exciting for me.”

The KHUSH Token launch raised 167 ETH. This gave Khushnuda a real opportunity to bring her story to life, hire cast and crew, and film the project. After months of planning, working, and going through the logistical aspects of achieving a successful tokenization launch, Khushnuda and her crew shot the footage for DETAINED, marking a milestone not just for the young filmmaker, but also for Tokit projects looking to take the leap from digital dreams to creative reality.

Khushnuda discussing DETAINED during the Tokit launch for the KHUSH Token.

“The shoot was over two weekends. It went so quickly. We had three weeks pre-production, including hiring actors. Valentina Caniglia, an incredible and award-winning cinematographer, was the first person to come on board. I had an amazing casting director and producer who brought some amazing people onto the project,” says Khushnuda. “All of the crew were more experienced than I was! They were very supportive. Everyone came together really well. I was nervous at first, but I grew into it. I didn’t realize how well I knew my movie.”

The crew, led by a female director, cinematographer, and producer amongst many other women in leading roles, worked so well together that they even wrapped shooting early some days! “It struck me when I finally got the team together and started filming: how everything came together — it was an eye-opening moment,” says Khushnuda. “I didn’t even know this world existed a year ago. Now, I’ve been able to work with a really good budget to make the film I really wanted to make. It wouldn’t have been possible if I had never learned about blockchain or SingularDTV.”

DETAINED will move on next to post-production. “The footage looks great,” says Khushnuda. “We’re planning on moving quickly to color grading, music, sound effects, all that stuff.”

As the project moves to the next phase of production, here are some highlights from the DETAINED shoot, with commentary from Khushnuda:

“That’s the main character Fatima, played by Hend Ayub. When she stepped in and performed her audition, she made all three of us cry. Afterwards, she told us she was also an immigrant as well, Israeli-Palestinian, and knew what the character was going through.

She is in the interrogation room. Costume, make-up, sound, and DP are all working at the same time in between takes.”

“The crew was mostly female. It was a happy accident! I wanted to work with a female DP, but when I also got a female producer, she brought a lot of women in the crew. But there were a few guys too!”

“This was the third day of shoot. We found a location that we dressed as an airport. I’m talking with my DP Valentina Caniglia about blocking actors.”

“This scene featured extras of all different ethnic backgrounds. It reminded me of my journey from Tajikistan and why a story like DETAINED is so important in the first place.”

Head over to Tokit to check out more tokenized film, music, and art projects, and keep an eye out for the release of DETAINED, coming to a blockchain near you…

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