Instead of stealing other people’s content, visitors to popular torrent finder EZTV have helped crowdfund an independent horror film on Indiegogo.
Lao filmmakers set up a page for Nong Hak (Dearest Sister in English) on Indiegogo, which is currently 35 per cent funded. Ever since EZTV owner NovaKing posted about the film on his site, the torrent finder has been sending a steady stream of traffic to the Indiegogo page.
According to the film’s screenwriter Chris Larsen, husband to Laos’ first horror director Mattie Do, EZTV regulars accounted for 25 per cent of all donations since NovaKing’s post last week.
Currently the project has secured $10,715 (£6,322) worth of funding which means the EZTV community has contributed roughly $2,600 (£1,500) towards Nong Hak.
Speaking to file-sharing and piracy news site TorrentFreak, Larsen said “Since the EZTV promotion went up, users from the site now account for about 25 per cent of the total donations, about 80 per cent of the traffic to the campaign, and about 80 per cent of the Vimeo views of our campaign video.”
As a result of the support from EZTV’s fans, the filmmakers have agreed that if the $30,000 (£17,000) target is reached, the pair’s previous horror film Chanthaly, will enter the public domain.
Chanthaly has earned a place in the hall of cinema history as it’s both the first Lao film to be directed by a woman as well as the first Lao horror film.
Larsen added: “If we reach our goal then we’ll release the copyright on [Do’s] first film and we’ll put the film into the public domain. Nobody will own the film anymore, everybody will own it.”
According to Do’s Indiegogo page, Nong Hak will be the 13th feature film produced in Laos – a pretty auspicious number for a horror movie. The campaign ends on July 2.
Following release of a High Court order, BT, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and EE blocked access to EZTV last year. Since then, numerous workarounds and proxy versions of the site have appeared, allowing users to bypass the ban.