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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Greevar (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 7:56am

    The Promo Bay

    sounds like the perfect tool for this struggling filmmaker.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: The Promo Bay

    Especially when Hollywood ignore them because the film is not 'commercially viable'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: The Promo Bay

    Especially when Hollywood ignore them because the film is not 'commercially viable'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:30am

    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.

     

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  5.  
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    Michael, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:31am

    Wait!

    Somehow, this guy is totally screwing the poor mid-western corn farmers. You'll see - this is going to put someone out of the corn farming business before it's over.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:32am

    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!)

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    Re: IF one wants to JUST DISTRIBUTE, piracy works fine!

    "Then, all they need is to build network infrastructure and sell computers so the marginal costs of distribution are near zero"

    This sentence fails the Turing test.

    You are a bot, correct?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:49am

    Re: IF one wants to JUST DISTRIBUTE, piracy works fine!

    >Now, I don't intend to impeach motives here

    That's a laugh.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    You did NOT note that he intends to use DVD pirates. This will get the film to places in Kenya that do not have a phone network, never broadband.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 9:09am

    Re: IF one wants to JUST DISTRIBUTE, piracy works fine!

    You are mistaken. The "give away and pray", and "pay what you want" are not his business models. He only reports on people doing those types of models. It must be easy to troll when reading comprehension fails.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Torrent technology is revolutionary when you stop for a moment and think about it. If only the entertainment industry would see it the same way, instead of trying to criminalize torrents.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    gorehound (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 10:51am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    fb39ca4 (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Protip, don't distribute it in DVD format, use h.264, it makes the file size smaller.

     

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  14.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Nov 29th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Re: IF one wants to JUST DISTRIBUTE, piracy works fine!

    Is that arguable?


    Yes.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 29th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re:

    Not when the intent is to distribute real DVDs, or in this case have the DVD pirates do it for him. Do not assume that everybody has ohone access, never mind broadband.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    UntilHopeIsFound, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: The Promo Bay

    Here you go. Share it widely:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze6tG5dNIfc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    UntilHopeIsFound, Jan 24th, 2013 @ 1:35pm

    My point exactly

    They have the most efficient distribution system in the country, and sell their products for the equivalent of 60 cents. For those who have broadband, I have uploaded the entire film onto youtube. Share it widely:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze6tG5dNIfc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    asdchbh, Jun 6th, 2013 @ 1:22pm

    DVD pirates

    You did NOT note that he intends to use DVD pirates. This will get the film to places in Kenya that do not have a phone network, never broadband.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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