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May 17, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file sharing software regarded by movie studios as the principal weapon of pirates, is being employed by a group of Australian filmmakers to finance a movie and perhaps even make a profit with it. Their movie, The Tunnel, a horror flick set in abandoned underground tunnels in Sydney, will be available for free beginning on Wednesday as part of BitTorrent’s Artist Spotlight program. Shahi Ghanem, chief strategist at BitTorrent, told the Cannes Market News, being published during the Cannes Film Festival, that the makers of the film have financed the production by selling individual frames for $1.00 a frame and hope to earn additional revenue from sales of DVDs. But, in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Enzo Tedeschi, the movie’s co-producer/writer, indicated that finding DVD distributors for a movie that is available for free on the Internet is a tough task. “It’s been a hard sell because most sales agents who have looked at the film and really like it can’t see a way to sell it to their clients, with this ‘free online release’ sort of hampering their strategy,” Tedeschi said. “For them it’s hampering; to us it’s not.” He observed that BitTorrent claims that 100 million people have downloaded its software and that his movie can become profitable if only a tiny percentage of them buy frames from the movie or buy the DVD.