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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Filed Under: anurag kashyap, distribution, kenya, movies, piracy

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

    The Promo Bay

    sounds like the perfect tool for this struggling filmmaker.

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