Film frat revs up anti-piracy campaign for New Zealand students

MUMBAI: The New Zealand film industry’s "What are you really burning?" campaign was stepped up with the launch of the first of 6,000 posters being distributed to 2,700 schools throughout the country.

The posters, featuring art work for the award winning New Zealand film Sione’s Wedding, were unveiled by Kiwi film icon Temuera Morrison in front of 600 students at Hamilton High Boys School, and encourages New Zealand’s young people to think about the damage burning, downloading and purchasing pirated films does to the country’s film industry.

The "What are you really burning?" campaign was kicked off in April this year with the launch of a 30-second anti-piracy trailer showing a Sione’s Wedding poster going up in flames while a message, voiced by Temura Morrison, prompts New Zealanders to consider that buying, burning and downloading pirated movies threatens the future of the film industry and the jobs and economic prosperity it creates. The trailer is now being supported by the 6,000 posters being distributed in schools and by DVD inserts being rolled out in DVD rental and retail stores and cinemas nationally, all containing promotional material from Sione’s Wedding.

The "What are you really burning?" campaign is being supported by educators filmmakers, actors, film production company Park Road Post, the Film and Video Labelling Body and the following cinema and home video distribution businesses: Hoyt’s, SkyCity, Readings, Independent Cinemas, Civic, Blockbuster, United and VideoEzy.

"Today’s students are tomorrow’s creators. It is vital that they understand that the theft of creative products likemovies today can damage their future employment prospects in the creative industries," said Hamilton Boys High School deputy principal Mark Wilson.

"While Sione’s Wedding had the biggest opening weekend of any New Zealand film, piracy cost an estimated $208,482 in lost box office returns and a further $138,988 in DVD sales. Losses of that size endanger the production of future films and put film industry jobs at risk," said Sione’s Wedding producer and South Pacific Pictures chief executive John Barnett.

"We were pleased to help with the production of the anti-piracy trailers. Movie pirates steal the results of other people’s hard work and undermine our whole industry. Everyone in the industry needs to contribute to fight piracy," said Park Road Post general manager Aimee McCammon.

"This is an excellent initiative where everyone involved in the NZ film industry has stepped forward. Our joining hands to seek the support of every New Zealander brings over the message clearly. This cross-industry support is a model we are promoting across the region," said Motion Picture Association president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis.

"This has been a great effort right across the New Zealand film industry, from filmmakers, actors, cinemas / home video distributors and the Film and Video Labelling Body. We welcome the support of our educators because only the public can put pirates out of business – by realizing the harm piracy causes and supporting the investment, creativity and hard work that gives us the movies we love," said NZFACT executive director Tony Eaton.

A study undertaken by independent research firm LEK Consulting on behalf of the Motion Picture Association showed that piracy cost the film industry in New Zealand an estimated 25 percent of the potential market in 2005 – $70 million.

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