MyFrenchFilmFestival discuss their fight against piracy

Piracy of films poses a global threat and is damaging the industry. We hear from Quentin Deleau Latournerie, co-manager of MyFrenchFilmFestival about their fight against piracy.

Piracy can be reduced by increasing the legal access points to the festival, through multiple VOD partner platforms which are available across the globe.

MyFrenchFilmFestival (MyFFF), now in its ninth year, is the first ever online French speaking film festival. In 2019 it received over 10 million views across more than 200 territories. Each year, 10 shorts, and 10 feature length films compete for a variety of prizes, whilst several non-competing shorts and feature length films are also shown during the event. Each film is subtitled in 11 languages, increasing its appeal to an international audience, whilst their fight against piracy becomes evermore challenging.

Short films are available free of charge worldwide, whilst feature length films are available on demand (€1.99 per-film, or €5.99 per-pack). In Africa, Latin America, South Korea, Poland, Romania, Russia in the CIS the festival is available free of charge. In addition to the platform, more than 50 partner platforms relayed the festival, including iTunes, MUBI, Amazon Instant Video and Google Play.

What is MyFrenchFilmFestival all about, and what’s the main objective of the event?

MyFFF strives to bring the best of young French-speaking films to those who have limited access to cinemas, or to this type of production. Viewers can enjoy films that are otherwise unavailable elsewhere! The film selection reflects the diversity of French cinema, promoting genres such as: drama, romance, comedy, animation and much more…  attracting a global audience.

How can distribution companies benefit from participating in the festival?

They can benefit from the worldwide visibility of their films due to the large network of video on demand (VOD) partner platforms but also, thanks to the Directors’ Jury, the press coverage, and our strong social networks (almost 400,000 Facebook fans).

Some films generate more views through MyFFF than through French theaters!

What level of exposure can the winning movies expect to receive?

There’s a total of three awards which are; The Directors Jury Award, The International Press Award, and The Lacoste Audience Award.  Award-winning films receive extended fame in the press, across social media and on our partner platforms. But that’s not all, they’re also shown onboard the flights of our partner Air France, where travelers can continue to enjoy the MyFFF experience long after the festival ends.

What impact do you believe piracy has on small distribution companies and their movies?

Small distribution companies often rely heavily on film festivals. They can represent the only viable avenue to attract a truly global audience. Piracy can have devastating effect on films if they’re made available online prior, or during their premier at film festivals.

A key objective of MyFFF is to provide world-wide visibility to a young generation of French film makers, but how can we fight against piracy?

Piracy can be reduced by increasing the legal access points to the festival, through multiple VOD partner platforms which are available across the globe. By providing top-quality, HD content, subtitled by professionals (like Titrafilm) helps to differentiate against the often-poorer quality copies available through piracy. Creating a unique experience which can only be fully lived through the festivals official network can also help to reduce the demand for these illegal copies.

After monitoring and protecting some of the films that participate at the festival, we discovered that search engines and social media channels contained the most pirate content. Why do you think it’s important to protect the audiovisual content that participate at film festivals?

SEO is vital for VOD, and digital distribution matters. Showing festival goers that the best way to enjoy these films is through the official platforms. Preventing (or limiting) them from clicking on illegal streaming sites is key.

What have you learned from the fight against piracy and its illegal distribution with Smart Media Protection at this year’s MyFFF?

We were delighted to see that none of the film material from MyFFF was hacked. But one thing we noticed was that, due to the great visibility that the festival generates for these films, several pirate links (from existing copies) re-emerged on social media and search engines. Monitoring and eliminating these links were key to prevent festival goers from consuming poor-quality pirate content, when they could watch the films online, subtitled in their native language, using their preferred device (computer, smartphone or tablet), from the comfort of their own home!

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