Upstream executive, artists vow to go after those pirating MMFF movies

Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 27 2020 06:29 AM | Updated as of Dec 27 2020 12:51 PM

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The new online platform showcasing entries of the 46th Metro Manila Filmfest (MMFF) has started to crack down on the piracy of filmfest entries showing up online

“We are all working on the prosecution of the illegal copying of the entries with the producers and their lawyers, the NBI and the Intellectual Property Commission (IPC),” Dondon Monteverde, head of Upstream.ph, the online partner of the MMFF, told ABS-CBN News Saturday night. 

This developed following the spread on social media of copies of excerpts of the Paulo Avelino-Charlie Dizon flick, “Fan Girl,” directed by Antoinette Jadaone. 

The images were allegedly lifted from the Upstream site. Other filmfest entries, such as “Mang Kepweng” and “The Boy Foretold by the Stars” have also reported alleged cases of piracy. 

“Since Christmas Day, the start of the filmfest showing, we have been working double time to identify the suspects,” said Monteverde, who also indicated that the process of pinpointing experienced pirates is like separating wheat from the chaff. 

“Bubuksan mo iyong link na pinost nila, wala namang laman. So there are also posers. Pabida lang. We also have to consider the location of persons of interest, since MMFF entries are available worldwide through Upstream.” 

He stressed that ultimately, it was the producer who has to file cases since they have the copyright to their films. 

“But right now, kailangan naming tulungan mga producer, kailangan kaming magtulung-tulungan para matigil ito,” Monteverde added. 

Jadaone had earlier made an appeal on her instagram, saying: “We’re asking as nicely as possible: please don’t reproduce and distribute the film illegally,” she said. 

“MMFF and Upstream are tripling their efforts to catch acts of piracy and the consequences are very, very real. You wouldn’t want to spend the new year in jail. If you any links or torrents circulating, please help us report them. Message @black_sheepph.” 

Avelino shared his sentiment on the Facebook account of Black Sheep, an affiliate of ABS-CBN Star Cinema, saying: “Hayaan niyo namang bumili ng tiket ang mga tao, hindi iyong ipagmamalaki niyo meron kayong picture o video ng movie. Huwag kayong pabida, hindi kayo ang bida, ang pelikula.”

 

Upstream’s affiliate, Globe Telecom, has also advocated for the protection of content and its creators’ intellectual property rights through its #PlayItRight campaign.

Upstream has also cited the wide public patronage in the new normal of watching MMFF movies. 

All 10 entries have done well in sales, with “Fan Girl”, “Mang Kepweng”, “The Missing” and “Pak Boys” said to be leading the pack.