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Director Tom Sands has claimed that he received an ‘unsettling’ video threat demanding he pull his satirical comedy about Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

The film producer, 34, alleged his film company received a sinister video threat from crypto hackers who tried to halt production of the film and even threatened his wife.

Fictional satirical comedy movie Decrypted features the kidnap and torture of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto by US government agents who want to destroy cryptocurrencies.

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used by the creator or creators of Bitcoin but their real identity is not publicly known. American actor Akie Kotabe plays the presumed pseudonymous Bitcoin creator in Decrypted.

Director Tom said he was sent a deeply ‘unsettling’ video message urging him to ‘bury’ the film earlier in February, shortly before the comedy was set for release in the US.

Threats: Director Tom Sands has claimed that he received an 'unsettling' video threat demanding he pull his satirical comedy about Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

Threats: Director Tom Sands has claimed that he received an ‘unsettling’ video threat demanding he pull his satirical comedy about Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

The video shows a masked individual speaking with a voice changing technology to disguise their vocals as they demand the film be withdrawn.

They say: ‘You have crossed a thick red line with your so-called comedy about Satoshi Nakamoto. Don’t throw your life away – pull the film now.’

It was not the first time that Tom received threats about the film as he and lead actor Akie Kotabe, who plays Satoshi, received threatening messages last November, when the film was released in the UK.

Speaking about the alleged video threat, Tom said he found it deeply unsettling because they threatened his wife and revealed they knew where he lived.

He said: ‘I will say the last video threat got under my skin because they knew personal details about me and they threatened my wife.’

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After discussing the sinister threats with his team, Tom said they decided to carry on regardless, saying it is a ‘minority’ of people in the crypto community who have not been supportive of the comedy.

The independent filmmaker claimed the group threatened to close down production on Decrypted unless they told the story in a ‘very specific way’.

Tom said: ‘Most people we’ve spoken to from the crypto community have been supportive and really get what we’re trying to do here but there is a minority who have a problem with it for some reason.

Sinister: The film producer, 34, alleged his film company received a sinister video threat (pictured) from crypto hackers who tried to halt production of the film

Sinister: The film producer, 34, alleged his film company received a sinister video threat (pictured) from crypto hackers who tried to halt production of the film

‘Receiving the video threat was definitely quite unsettling for everyone involved in the making of the film and for me particularly.

‘That said, we obviously discussed it but decided we’d carry on regardless. We’re independent filmmakers and we were always going to tell the story we wanted to tell.

‘This group threatened to close down production unless we told the story in a very specific way, which is completely outrageous, especially as we were trying to make a film that is supportive of this community.’

Substantial Films originally received a series of threatening and unsettling messages on social media and via the company’s website during the making of the film.

American actor Akie said he was deeply concerned after receiving Instagram messages soon after it was announced he had been selected to play Bitcoin creator Satoshi.

Sinister: Director Tom said he was sent an 'unsettling' video urging him to 'bury' the film earlier in February (Pictured L-R: writer Mick Sands, director Tom and producer Phil Harris)

Sinister: Director Tom said he was sent an ‘unsettling’ video urging him to ‘bury’ the film earlier in February (Pictured L-R: writer Mick Sands, director Tom and producer Phil Harris)

He said: ‘I was shocked and surprised by the messages, and it made me realise what strong opinions are out there regarding crypto.

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‘It was clearly a very worrying situation but we discussed this between us and decided to make the film as we wanted to make it.’

One of the messages to Akie allegedly read: ‘You better hope I like this f***ing movie. It’s illegal for me to say what I’m going to do to you all but I think you understand exactly what I mean.’

Another message sent via the Substantial Films website said: ‘You do not have permission to create or use the likeness of Satoshi Nakamoto. 

‘We may be silent but we are in no way out of the picture and will do what it takes to protect our brand.’

Unsettling: American actor Akie said he was deeply concerned after receiving Instagram messages soon after it was announced he had been selected to play Bitcoin creator Satoshi

Unsettling: American actor Akie said he was deeply concerned after receiving Instagram messages soon after it was announced he had been selected to play Bitcoin creator Satoshi

The movie, which was released on digital platforms including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and Google Play, has been well received by the crypto community.

Decrypted tells the story of the botched kidnap and interrogation of Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of blockchain and Bitcoin, by a team of NSA (National Security Agency) agents operating from a safe house in Kensington, West London.

In the movie, the agents are desperate to break blockchain’s cryptographic codes and sabotage the rise of Bitcoin.

The planned operation hilariously falls apart when the NSA agents, MI5 agents watching them, and a local resident are all spiked with a truth drug which leads to some profound and amusing discussions about race, gender and sexuality.

Sparks fly when respective prejudices clash leading to an unexpected finale.

Decrypted is the fifth film from father-son team Mick Sands and Tom Sands, and producer Phil Harris. Their previous work includes Rupert, Rupert & Rupert, nominee for Best Comedy at the National Film Awards 2020.

Writer Mick Sands said: ‘The idea that the US government is very interested in controlling, if not destroying, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies seemed like a new and exciting set-up for a film. 

‘Since the blockchain is essentially about honesty and transparency, I thought it would be fun to explore those themes through the characters.’

Tom Sands commented: ‘Mick and I discussed the story at an early stage. I wanted to strip it down and have it play out in a claustrophobic environment, where the location acted as a pressure cooker and everything supported the performances of the amazing cast we were working with.’

Comedy: In the movie, the agents are desperate to break blockchain's cryptographic codes and sabotage the rise of Bitcoin

Comedy: In the movie, the agents are desperate to break blockchain’s cryptographic codes and sabotage the rise of Bitcoin

Phil Harris, producer/editor, added: ‘I really hope the crypto community gets behind this film because it champions cryptocurrency, and promotes honesty and transparency. 

‘I have seen an emerging blockchain revolution within the film industry, which I hope will help disrupt the current outdated, bloated and often dishonest status quo. 

‘I want us to be a part of this new and transparent movement and will be looking to form partnerships with these emerging blockchain companies.’

The British feature film has been released on US digital platforms and is available to rent or own on-demand or stream for free on select A-vod platforms. All links to watch the film can be found on www.decryptedfilm.com. 

Drama: The planned operation hilariously falls apart when the NSA agents, MI5 agents watching them, and a local resident are all spiked with a truth drug

Drama: The planned operation hilariously falls apart when the NSA agents, MI5 agents watching them, and a local resident are all spiked with a truth drug

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