Lynchpin, a documentary that explores the inner workings of the business of basketball, will premiere at the Elinor Bunin Film Center on November 23, 2021. The film stars America’s most recognized basketball powerbroker, Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Compton Magic & CEO Etop Udo-Ema and key basketball players from the AAU and the NBA, exploring the power dynamics and corruption between brands and players. The film is directed by Mike Nicoll and produced by Zack Weiner and Joe Gallagher of The Bitcoin Movie Club in conjunction with Gabriel Merkin and Doug Matejka.
The short film follows Etop Udo-Ema and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the brokering of a power play made by Puma, via Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports agency, to lure the Compton Magic away from their longtime corporate sponsor, Adidas. Etop is ultimately denied the sponsorship opportunity with Puma and finds a life raft when approached by Swan Bitcoin, where a new opportunity for sponsorship emerges. Traditional means of sponsorship are no longer the only way as Bitcoin makes its grand entrance into the world of basketball.
The film features key NBA and up-and-coming basketball players Evan Mobley, the Rookie of the Year candidate for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Mikey Williams, the first ever high school player to sign an NIL deal and Johnny Juzang, the breakout star of UCLA’s Bruins. Jay-Z also makes an appearance.
The partnership with BMC & Swan Bitcoin signals the filmmaker’s turn toward a permission-less system of independent film financing and production. “I’m tired of waiting for green-lights,” Nicoll says, “especially with a film like Lynchpin that’s a living, breathing story, evolving in real time.” The ‘smart-contract’ bitcoin venture will allow the filmmaker to partner with Bitcoin investors to independently finance, produce and distribute the film to his audience without waiting on traditional platform stakeholders to open the gate – drawing a clear parallel with the new equity possibilities afforded to young athletes in the NIL era.
Director Mike Nicoll is best known for writing and directing At All Costs, a feature documentary that was picked up by Netflix in 2017. The film explored the life inside the seedy underworld of AAU basketball, profiling the many ways that youth sports in America have been professionalized. Nicoll has worked on projects with Nike, Netflix, Facebook, 21st Century Fox, CNBC, YouTube, Snapchat, BallisLife.com and SLAM Magazine.
Lynchpin is presented by The Bitcoin Movie Club and will be available to stream globally on Friday, November 26th at LynchpinMovie.com. Its television premiere will take place on Sunday, November 28th at 8:30pm EST on Whistle TV (available on all smart TVs and OTT platforms). It will also be available on VOD through the Whistle app on Roku, Fire TV and Android TV.
About Bitcoin Movie Club:
Bitcoin Movie Club represents the interests of the Network in NYC and online. https://www.bitcoinmovieclub.com/