The Movie Thieves is a 40-second advert about film piracy. Its message is presented in the form of a heist sequence where a gang of professional thieves break into a cinema to steal a rare film print. Directed by Irish filmmaker Gerard Lough, the ad’s anti piracy message was one he felt passionate about as not only was his first feature film Night People illegally uploaded online, he sees it as a still viable threat to cinemas and the industry as a whole. As the narrator (played by Michael Parle) in the ad says, “What seems like a harmless vice would close down every cinema tomorrow if everyone did it.”
Lough: “Its too idealistic to expect a commercial to change people’s minds but hopefully this one will seed the idea that if you truly love movies then you should resist a dodgy download that will hurt the very people who make and exhibit them.”
The ad also served as an opportunity for Lough to work with up and coming actors Aidan O’Sullivan, Bobby Calloway and Kaireht Yovera who will also be in his next feature film, a thriller called Spears. The location used was Century Cinemas in Letterkenny, Co Donegal. The ad is now online and will be shown at selected cinemas across the country.
Anti piracy organization The Federation Against Copyright Theft, say that, “Making quality films and TV programmes is an expensive business and it is vitally important that people pay for the legitimate product. Accessing illegal content, whether it’s free or for payment, means that the very heart of the film and TV industries is at risk. Future films will not get made leading to a very rapid downward spiral of a lack of content for film and TV fans, job losses, damage to the local and wider economy, and an increase in criminal activity.This is not scaremongering – it’s a fact.”