Filipinos can be very good organic viral marketers, especially for things that they are curious of and fond of. AlDub setting a new Twitter World Record easily comes to mind. This time. Pinoy netizens focused their attention on a controversial foreign film. They are talking or tweeting about the Spanish film “The Corpse of Anna Fritz.”
“The Corpse of Anna Fritz” is a Spanish thriller film directed by Hèctor Hernández Vicens and written by Hèctor Hernández Vicens and Isaac P. Creus. It stars Alba Ribas as “Anna Fritz”, Bernat Saumell, Albert Carbó, and Cristian Valencia. The film premiered at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Texas on March 2015.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz’ is about the death of a famous and beautiful (fictitious) actress, Anna Fritz whose body was defiled by three men in the morgue. Little do they know that Anna was not really dead. The film deals with dark themes like necrophilia and rape. Check out the official trailer for “The Corpse of Anna Fritz” that contains some disturbing images and is deemed Not Safe For Work.
You’d think that a film like this would be avoided like the plague and be considered ‘taboo’ for the usually conservative majority of Filipinos. On the contrary, the ‘The Corpse of Anna Fritz’ has trended on Twitter on February 2, 2016.
A quick search of the film showed that Filipino netizens have been talking about the film since January 31, 2016 which culminated on February 2, 2016.
The sudden surge of people talking about the film causing “The Corpse of Ana Fritz” trend on Twitter reached the attention of the film’s cast which both mystified and overwhelmed them.
Alba Ribas, Bernatt Saumell, and Albert Carbo shared their appreciation for the sudden attention on the film that they’ve worked last 2015 on their on Twitter accounts.
It is highly unlikely that “The Corpse of Anna Fritz” will be released in the Philippines. Nor has a home video been released in local stores.
What could have triggered the Twitter trend for an old foreign? Well, the cast of the film can thank various Filipino celebrities who watched the film and told followers about it. One of them is Johanna Kiray Celis who has over a million Twitter followers.
A Twitter search for ‘The Corpse of Anna Fritz’ also shows that not everyone was able to catch the film.
Not everyone is exposed to its theme, especially in mainstream Filipino cinemas. Just look at what the major film studious here in the Philippines have been constantly bombarding us with. The controversial film has been uploaded on social media (Facebook) and various online sources helped it reach a wider audience. .
We can say that there is no other way that Filipinos might be able to watch the controversial and “artistic” film locally; only through unconventional means. Does it justify piracy or patronizing piracy?
That is the blurred line that most are likely to cross. This is not the first time that a full version of the film has been made available online for everyone to watch. Do you guys still remember way back in February 2015 when Angelica Panganiban got tagged and various screenshots of a pirated copy of the hit movie “That Thing Called Tadhana” were shown. Angelica didn’t have the same reaction as the cast of ‘The Corpse of Anna Fritz’ did; she condemned it.
Almost everyone seems to want things for free. Filipinos are no different. Such idea, comes with a price and that is the widespread piracy; the same piracy that is killing the industry. We are all aware that film making requires money for a movie to be made and distributed. The only way producers can get it back is through ticket sales and residual sales (sales from DVD, Blu-ray; legal streaming sites like Hulu or Netflix; and local television networks screening the film). This helps them create more films and the cycle continues.
It is highly unlikely that the film production team will gain anything from the widespread popularity of their film online. We can also assume that the cast are somewhat aware of the circumstances as to how their film made its way to the Philippines and simply decided to go with it. The little consolation the cast of ‘The Corpse of Anna Fritz’ may gain from this entire buzz is simply international renown and exposure to their work. Who knows maybe more people talking about it may opt a re-release and officially distribute the film again, create a better version and ‘cleaner’ official home video format (Blu-ray or DVD), or a Hollywood adaptation of their controversial film?
If a local celebrity like Angelica Panganiban condemns patronizing an unofficial and illegally shared version of the film she has worked on online, then can the same be said for an international movie? Is the one year period from the film’s release enough for people and even fellow celebrities to patronize an online format wherein they have little or no gain? What do you think?