Last week in Seoul, Korea the first ever Shared Film Festival occurred. The event was organized by Creative Commons Asia; HyoJung Sun, a shared culture activist and researcher; and myself (Jamie King), founder of VODO (a BitTorrent partner). It brought together filmmakers from all over the world, including Brett Gaylor of RIP! and others who’ve shared their work through the VODO and BitTorrent platforms. The filmmakers were there to meet local Korean audiences, showcase their productions, take part in Q&As, and of course, party!
The event kicked off in style with an appearance from Lawrence Lessig, founding board member of Creative Commons, alongside Deckard Choi from KODIFI, a Korean film organization, and filmmakers from the festival. The speakers introduced the audience to the benefits of a shared film culture, and how they’re getting increased exposure towards new business models that can sustain indie film production.
The idea of the Shared Film Festival is to bring free-to-share films that have already been distributed online to the attention of local audiences by promoting shared culture and the films and filmmakers involved. Around this core concept, the event also invited Korean filmmakers to submit films that could be screened at the festival and later distributed by VODO in a free-to-share form. In the future, a cash-prize competition is planned that will also give winning filmmakers the chance to be distributed through P2P platforms like uTorrent - giving them access to a large and engaged in audience in the many millions.
This event was critical in providing a venue in which P2P filmmakers could see their films on big screens, meet other filmmakers, and — perhaps most importantly — engage with other creators, funders and members of the public who were not yet familiar with shared culture. The lively discussions between the audiences and the filmmakers as they grappled with the realities and possibilities of shared film culture were one of the most memorable parts of the event. One of our hopes as founders is that future Shared Film events will expose more filmmakers to the idea of sharing their works by demonstrating the value that a free-to-share film offers.
HyoJung Sun and I are now in discussions to bring the Shared Film program to other events and are actively looking for international film festivals to partner with. BitTorrent is keen to support the Shared Film Festival as it develops.
- Jamie King, founder of VODO -