October 30, 2013, in Featured, Films, Films in production, Slider

Pirate Copy: A road trip through piratería

Pirate Copy is a road trip through the world of film piracy; from Mexico City, Dubai, Palestine to London. We enter a pirate world and hear the arguments: copyright theft or the democracy of film? Piracy is the most powerful cultural phenomena of our time, yet what happens to a culture that does not protect its filmmakers? Is this the beginning of the end of film?

This film tells the story of piracy today, a story told through four intersecting narratives from four distinct worlds, Mexico City, Dubai, London and Palestine, examining the complex issues of the impact of piracy both culturally to audiences and its impact on filmmakers across the globe. We will examine the issue of the “authentic” versus the reproduction, what this implies in film culture and how it manifests itself in a world of replication, surrogates and cultural hybridism. Pirate Copy looks beyond the warnings on the DVDs and addresses the issues of economics and accessibility; distribution of film and encourages a dialogue on these issues from the perspectives of the majority world. Our film will give a voice to those in film who come from the majority world to speak out on piracy from their perspectives. Within dominant culture there is a tendency to see piracy through a narrow prism; an illegal act, as theft. However, not everyone sees piracy only in this way. Often the motives behind piracy is economic; however as it has become the “norm” it is often seen also as “acceptable theft” in a culture where acquiring something for nothing is often read as ingenuity. For others, piracy is the only means of access to film, any films; or rare or independent film; to others its simply a question of convenience.

PIRATE COPY will look at how piracy impacts global notions of culture and of social networking; piracy as a means of sustaining culture and identity in the Diaspora as well as access to information and ideas. Without these networks for many, these narratives, this information, these ideas, ways of interpreting and seeing would not be accessible. Yet piracy is damaging the potential of many filmmakers to work; if there are no restraints what will happen to filmmaking? Will the screens turn black? Can it be controlled or eradicated? Does piracy lead to a more homogeneous world where cultural specificity is lost and dominant cultural narratives become all our realities? Or does pirating precisely undermine this and create networks for alternative stories to be told; new hybrids to evolve; new ideas and new ways of film making and distribution to emerge. The aim of this film is to explore the issues piracy raises and how it impacts global culture and its economic impact on creative work in film. Today even the physical pirate copy is in jeopardy as streaming becomes the norm in the first world and will eventually in the majority world. So while today we follow our pirate copies, we simultaneously ask the question, how long will this last? Will the streaming pirates put the DVD and Blueray pirates out of business? Pirate Copy through our four narratives will address these issues looking beyond Hollywood and examine what is this most extraordinary cultural phenomena of our time.

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