Jennifer Esposito Makes Directorial Debut With Independent Film ‘Fresh Kills’

Actress Jennifer Esposito will make her directorial debut with the independent feature film Fresh Kills, a gripping drama that tells the story of the loyal women of an organized crime family that dominated some of the boroughs of New York City in the late 20th century. The Fresh Kills screenplay was written by Esposito, inspired by her own community growing up in Staten Island. In a groundbreaking departure from traditional film financing, the Fresh Kills production will be financed by an offering on the Upstream Exchange, which today announced a $3.5 million Initial Public Offering “IPO” of securities1 by Fresh Kills, Inc. (“Fresh Kills”). 

Fresh Kills intends to be the first feature film financed and traded by a global group of fan investors via this first-of-its kind IPO on Upstream – the revolutionary Ethereum-powered digital stock exchange powered by Horizon Fintex (“Horizon”) and MERJ Exchange Limited (“MERJ”).

Fresh Kills is the work of actress-turned-filmmaker Jennifer Esposito (Summer of SamCrash), a Hollywood veteran and advocate for advancing equality in the film industry. The award-winning actress was motivated to pave a non-traditional financing path to challenge and upend the inequitable systems she has observed and experienced in the entertainment industry. Fresh Kills is being produced by Alexis Varouxakis (Good TimePimp) and Christine Crokos (Pimp). Esposito will also serve as a producer, and Jason Weinberg as executive producer. 

“When I took the concept for Fresh Kills to film financiers and distributors, I was told that financial backing depended on having a male lead in the film, as well as a male director, despite the fact that it is the story of women in the mafia world,” said Esposito. “In addition to lifting up the stories and voices of women, I hope that Fresh Kills will become a social movement. Together with Upstream, we aim to be healthy competition for bigger budget films by mobilizing people to choose character-driven content they can now be part of from the beginning as film investors.”

Apart from purchasing Fresh Kills’ securities, fans in the United States and worldwide can support the Fresh Kills film and movement by purchasing “FRESH NFTs” (nonfungible tokens) 

which feature exciting opportunities related to the film, as well as images, videos, or content from the film, cast and crew. 

Additionally, “accredited investors2” in the United States may purchase Fresh Kills’ securities sold in an offering exempt from the registration requirements set forth in the Securities Act of 1933 pursuant to a Regulation D, Rule 506(c) offering.

Anyone outside the United States and Canada 18 and over may buy the Fresh Kills’ securities through the Upstream app using PayPal, USDC stablecoin, or traditional bank payments. These shares become available to trade with other non-U.S. based investors on the Upstream app after the IPO closes. 

Interested fans and investors in the United States and outside the United States can get started at the Fresh Kills website.

“We are thrilled to announce both the launch of Upstream and the launch of Upstream’s first fan-driven IPO for Fresh Kills,” said Horizon President Mark Elenowitz. “Our mission to provide everyone with equal access to investment opportunities echoes Fresh Kills’ mission to highlight a funding path for women, minorities, and other groups that are often overlooked in the film industry.”

“Upstream introduces what we believe to be the future of trading, featuring some of the highest levels of transparency, accessibility and investor protections enforced using Ethereum blockchain technology,” said Horizon CEO Brian Collins. “These innovations include direct access to Upstream through the Upstream trading app, best bids and offers displayed on a public order book, advanced design to prevent market manipulations like short-selling, along with FDIC-insured USD accounts.”

The Fresh Kills IPO on Upstream represents the first in what Upstream hopes to be a series of fan-driven IPOs tied to entertainers, musicians, athletes, and sports teams that may become immediately eligible for secondary trading outside the U.S. by non-U.S. investors. The next IPOs on Upstream aim to be sourced through recently announced partnerships with Pitbull, Timbaland’s beat-sampling marketplace Beatclub, and SME360.

Written By: Neill Frazer

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