Australian film & TV industry rolls campaign


MUMBAI: Australia’s film and television industry have united to launch the ‘What are you really burning?’ campaign, which challenges Australians to think about the damage being done to Australia’s film and television businesses by illegal file sharing and purchasing of pirated films and TV shows.


The campaign, which includes three 20-second trailers and posters adapted from the promotional material for the films Happy Feet, Kenny and Wolf Creek, is being rolled out in over 2,000 DVD rental and retail stores and cinemas nationally. The trailers, voiced by actor Barry Otto, show movie posters going up in flames, while the message prompts Australians to consider the negative consequences of piracy on jobs, on our entertainment industry, and on the future investment in Australian films and television shows.


“We’re calling on people to stop and think before they accept a pirated DVD, or starting to download an illegitimate digital copy,” said Adrianne Pecotic, Executive Director of the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT), which is driving the broad-based campaign via the Intellectual Property Awareness Trust.


“Piracy puts at risk the jobs of over 50,000 people working in our film and television industry, from actors and film crews through to your local community cinema and DVD store business,” said Pecotic. “The negative economic effects on the industry are staggering: in 2005, the film and television industry lost over $230 million in revenue to piracy, and over 47 million illegal DVDs flooded the market, almost matching the 52 million legitimate copies in circulation.”


“This is a major endeavor by the Australian industry and one that has our fullest support” said Mike Ellis, Senior Vice President and Regional Director, Asia-Pacific for the MPA. “I hope through this campaign, Australians will recognize the damage piracy causes to their fellow man.”


Australia’s film and television community have banded together to support the campaign, including “Happy Feet” director George Miller, who said: “Piracy basically robs the work of incredibly hardworking and talented people in the film industry… and it is too easy to burn, it only takes a few minutes to burn a film and that work is lost.”


The writer and director of Australian independent film “Kenny”, Clayton Jacobson added: “We’ve seen it up close. Piracy hurts independent guys too, not just movie stars and studios. Our work is being swallowed up by strangers whose film work is limited to putting the “Kenny” disc in one machine and a blank disc in another. Piracy makes it harder for us to keep working in Australia.”


The AFACT IP Awareness Trust was established in 2005 and is funded by Australian film distributors, exhibitors, DVD replicators and rental and retail stores – all of whom are greatly affected by film piracy in Australia. Key sponsors include the Australian Visual Software Distributors Association, the Motion Picture Distributors Association, Independent Cinema Association of Australia, Greater Union, Hoyts, Village Cinemas and Video Ezy. Supporting sponsors include Brazin Group, Regency Media, Technicolor, Sonopress and Summit Technology.