Madonna to Release Short Film Via BitTorrent to Aid Global 'Artistic Expression'

Madonna
Madonna
 Jennifer Graylock/Getty Images

On Monday, Madonna held an AMA session on Reddit and hinted at an "ambitious" project called secretprojectrevolution. Here are the details of her effort -- which includes a collaboration with two partners, Vice Media and BitTorrent -- aimed at fostering free speech around the world.

secretprojectrevolution is a 17-minute film she co-directed with Steven Klein that will be released on Sept. 24. It will debut in conjunction with the launch of a digital initiative called Art for Freedom, which will encourage others to submit video, music, poetry and photography that addresses persecution around the world and the personal meaning of freedom and revolution.

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"My goal is to show by the example of secretprojectrevolution my creative commitment to inspire change in the world through artistic expression," Madonna said in a statement. "I hope my film and other submissions to Art for Freedom will be a call to action and give people a place to voice their own creative expression to help fight oppression, intolerance and complacency."

In recent years, Madonna has made causes of gay rights in Russia and the prosecution of female punk band Pussy Riot. The short film will encompass a lot, almost a philosophical statement for the singer whose many hits include "Express Yourself."

"This film operates on many levels," says Klein. "It examines our private prisons. It questions what we do, how we do it and how we treat others. It questions our governments and our collective thought patterns. Think about it -- the power of art can lead to peace."

The film is being released as a BitTorrent Bundle, a new platform from the San Francisco-based digital company that has been aiming to show a misconception about its relationship with piracy. The company has worked in the past with artists such as the Pixies, Linkin Park and Public Enemy, as well as with Cinedigm on Arthur Newman.

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"We've spent the last two years working with artists and creators and came to the realization that there isn't one business model for digital content, but a different business model for every piece of digital content," says BitTorrent vice president of marketing Matt Mason. "Bundles allow publishers to bake the store directly into the content Bundle itself, meaning everywhere it is shared, fans will have an opportunity to connect directly back to the publisher."

In practical terms, that means that publishers can set certain terms for unlocking content. In this instance, the company says, fans who download the secretprojectrevolution bundle will receive stills from the film and three HD film trailers. Those who submit their e-mail address will be able to access multiple formats of the film, as well as an interview with Madonna conducted by Eddy Moretti, Vice's chief creative officer.

As for Vice's larger role, it will be acting as curator for the Art for Freedom initiative. Contributors will be given a forum for uploading original artwork; the social media tag #artforfreedom will be used.

"Madonna is making a bold move, putting herself out there to support those suffering under repressive regimes around the world," says Moretti. "Art for Freedom comes from a place of real empathy and emotion. It's a reflection of a world in crisis by an artist who has decided that apathy is not an option. In one discussion, Madonna told me that she wanted to start a 'revolution of love.' How can you argue with that?"

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