Kenyan Filmmaker Looking To Cuts Costs By Using 'Pirates' As His Distributors

from the pirates-as-middlemen??? dept

It's not often you'll see a filmmaker turn to pirates for help. Almost every American film takes great pains to inform paying viewers just how awful these people are and how much trouble they'll be in if they're ever caught. That's “our” culture, as delivered by the MPAA: the only good pirate is an arraigned pirate (or one that has a boat, died a couple hundred years ago and resides safely on the MPAA's side of the screen).

But that's the US. Other cultures have their own take. Notable Indian filmmaker Anurag Kashyap views piracy as just another way to get his message to the masses. Incredibly efficient pirates in Nigeria spread purloined films as far as they could reach, creating new markets for Nigerian filmmakers. China's film industry continues to thrive despite being held up constantly as an example of unchecked IP infringement.

Here's another filmmaker who recognizes what pirates can offer a filmmaker on a budget. Patrick Mureithi, a Kenyan filmmaker who currently lives in Springfield, Missouri, is hoping to show his documentary on post-election violence and rebuilding in his home country, and is raising travel funds via Indiegogo. Most of this $5,000 will go directly to travel expenses, as Mureithi is counting on some of his countrymen to handle the rest.

I need to raise at least $5,000 for airfare, meals and transportation. Airfare is $2,000, transportation and meals another $2,000, and $1,000 is for miscellaneous expenses. My hope is to show the film on national television, and also to distribute it at minimum cost via the DVD piracy industry. Anything extra that I raise will go towards venue and equipment rental so that I can host public awareness forums.

When money's tight, no one does better, cheaper distribution than those whose only “business” is cheap distribution. With this “industry” already well established in Kenya, Mureithi simply needs to get his finished film into their hands and let them do what they do best — get his film into the hands of as many Kenyans as possible.

“Kenya: Until Hope is Found,” tells the story of severely traumatized men and women who learn various ways of taking responsibility for their own healing. This is a message that will resonate in the hearts of many, and will help start conversations about the need to heal from trauma, without which there can be no lasting peace. This is a message that is relevant not just in Kenya but to EVERY human being on the planet.

Hopefully, Mureithi will get his film funded and spread throughout Kenya. Roger Ebert has tweeted his support, calling the filmmaker's project an “urgent documentary.” With Kenya teetering on the edge of genocide (according to Genocide Watch), the upcoming 2013 election could prove to be the tipping point, one that Mureithi hopes to head off with widespread viewing of his film.

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Comments on “Kenyan Filmmaker Looking To Cuts Costs By Using 'Pirates' As His Distributors”

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gorehound (profile) says:

Re: The Promo Bay

Sounds great to me !
Put it on P2P and many will watch your film.We will appreciate what you did in posting it yourself.We will be very Supportive.
MAFIAA you need to die now ! Someone please crack them and Air all their Dirty Laundry.
There are many of us who would love to see their crooked Accounting right up there for anyone to see.

out_of_the_blue says:

IF one wants to JUST DISTRIBUTE, piracy works fine!

Problem comes when people want to be rewarded (and multiplies when they wish to be excessively, obscenely, rewarded). Is that arguable?

Now, I don’t intend to impeach motives here, but purpose is obviously to GO promote the film. — Sheerly on the distribution bit: Pirate Bay and Rapidshare will do that FOR FREE. So that’s settled. — Oh, wait. This fellow wants to do it with physical media! I’ve explained at times the differences there. [I’d suggest he try for commercial pressing here, then, and ship them, IF requires physical media.] — Then, all they need is to build network infrastructure and sell computers so the marginal costs of distribution are near zero. — Never mind who builds the infrastructure and so on: those are “sunk (or fixed) costs” and Mike sez they’re irrelevant. Next item.

PROMOTION. — This is why I’ve advised Mike to go sheerly into advertising. He seems not to have even studied it. If he’d schmooze people in the existing Old Media biz instead of suggesting that they throw away all their present income streams in favor of his untested “give away and pray”, “pay what you want”, and various other notions that are never going to scale up — anyway, just focus on PROMOTION, guys. Once you’re noticed, assuming minimum competence and appeal, the rest including big bucks is often inevitable.

Anonymous Coward says:

and i guess the film will remain in Kenya for this reason. use ‘pirates’ to distribute? but ‘pirates’ use torrents as the distribution method. disgraceful practice! then how will the big studios get their cut, even though they are not entitled to one? whatever next? (Hollywood movie execs running around like headless chickens!)

Carlos Sol?s a.k.a. ArkBlitz (in the rest of the I (profile) says:

Street sellers: the best way to purchase... copyleft art?

If I ever make a copyleft music album or movie, the first thing I’ll do is to burn a few hundred copies, wrap them in the simplest covers I can find, place some contact information, and sell them cheap to some street sellers so they can resell them. Best. Self-promotion. Ever.

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