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NEW: Portland Filmmaker: Sony Gives Into Tyranny of Internet Hackers

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

 

James Franco and Seth Rogen, the stars of The Interview

It’s the best press a film production company could ever hope for, according to one Portland film maker.

Sony’s decision to cancel its release of the controversial film “The Interview” comes after cancellations by both Regal Cinemas and AMC, following threats from hackers.

A Portland screening Dec. 18 was cancelled Wednesday.

The show, from comedy powerhouses Seth Rogen and James Franco, centers around a CIA plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Over a terrabyte worth of Sony emails (just under 80 iPhone 6’s worth of data) leaked by anonymous hackers generated buzz in the lead-up to screenings country wide.

“It’s a horrible precedent they’re setting,” said Portland Film Festival Executive Director Josh Leake. “Letting the tyranny of crazy internet hackers determine what we can watch.”

Leak emphasized the plot is a comedy, “not like somebody is trying to communicate their honest feelings.”

Although ultimately a business decision, the move brings the issue of free speech into question, Leake says.

“For us as movie makers its unfortunate that an anonymous person can halt the screening of a film,” he said.

He said a corporate entity should not view the threats as a real danger to the public.
“Personally if I was the producer of this film, I would stick it up on VOD (video on demand),” he said. Still, Leake is urging consumers not to bootleg the film.

Follow meetup.com/portlandfilm for updates on the launch.

Read Sony's full statement here: 

 

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