Vol.23 No.87

Tuesday 13 June 2006    

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Arts/Culture Review
Tsotsi director reveals anti-pirate moves

MONKAGEDI GAOTLHOBOGWE
Correspondent

6/13/2006 5:57:08 PM (GMT +2)

Moonyeen Lee is one of South Africa's leading film gurus. Today she boasts of overseeing over 15 movie productions as casting director. Perhaps the best of all her efforts has been the 2005 hit movie, Tsotsi, which won an Academy Award for best foreign film this year. The movie is about a gangster and shows compassion.


The popularity of the works saw one of the editors of the film releasing it illegally on DVD. He was eventually caught and brought to book, but the bootleg DVDs did not stop flowing into the lucrative market where the news of the success of Tsotsi at the Academy Awards created waves. The result was mass production of Tsotsi, by other DVD thieves who flooded the whole of southern African market, including Botswana. The pirated copies hit the market even before the real DVD was officially released. Lee is filled with pain. She feels especially for the actors, who have now been denied their rewards because the money for the hit movie is now going into wrong hands. "The whole cast is not benefiting at all from the rampant piracy. It is really sad." The movie has already made R8 million in South Africa alone. It recently opened in some parts of the USA, where two stars of the film, Presley Chweneyagae and Terry Pheto flew to promote it. It is also opening in France this month, after the actors went there to create some excitement among cinemagoers. They have also been to Switzerland, and a number of European countries have been lined up in an effort to raise sales for the movie worldwide. In Botswana, there has been unprecedented advertising of the movie in the local press. Lee hopes that substantial profits would be reaped following the global promotions. However, after the devastating effect of piracy, she says they have decided to give priority to DVD releases in future and not cinemas. She says they have realised that a majority of the people in Africa and the rest of the world do not go to cinemas. She is currently working on movies to be released on DVD with no priority given to cinema. She told Showbiz that the Tsotsi DVD will also be released by the end of June, for South Africa. "It will have all the three endings, the one in the cinema, the one in the pirated copies, and the third ending that no one knows." The DVD will also come with Lee's short film, as well as behind the scene lips, such as interviews with the cast, and the making of a Tsotsi documentary. "We hope people will respond positively and buy our DVD because it will be well packaged. The DVD copies that are in the market have a very poor sound quality. Let me say, everything about them is very poor, people should go for the real thing," said Lee, who also manages all the Tsotsi actors. Send us your comments about Mmegi newspaper Search For Old Newspaper Editions To advertise contact us through email

 
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