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Jia Zhangke's 'A Touch of Sin' leaked on Internet

2014-03-03 10:25 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Although film director Jia Zhangke's movie A Touch of Sin is still being held up by China's film review board, an early version of the movie has been leaked online.

On Friday night torrent files for downloading the movie appeared and soon spread throughout the Internet. Some Web users who watched the film posted comments on social media sites stating that in order to understand the movie, which currently lacks subtitles, audiences would need to understand four different local Chinese dialects.

While Jia stated that the movie had already passed review when it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival last May, the film has yet to receive the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television's seal of approval. Jia said in an interview last year that he was staying in touch with film authorities and working with them to release the film.

While the film has yet to be released in China, it has already been released on a small-scale overseas. For instance the film premiered in the US in October. Jia worries that once the international DVD is released this will have severe consequences for the film at home.

Jia wrote on his Sina Weibo: "I talked with the authorities yesterday afternoon to discuss the release of the movie. That very night the leaked torrent was spread online. I apologize to my investment partners for losing the Chinese mainland market. My own company will bear the financial responsibility. We decide to stop building and investing in art cinemas, keeping the funds to make up the loss to our partners."

A Weibo account called Zhongguo duli yingxiangzhan (lit. China Independent Film Festival) posted a proposal on Saturday night calling for people who have already watched the leaked movie to pay Jia the price of a movie ticket.

Internet piracy can be fatal for film companies trying to make ends meet. While the leak makes release more difficult, Jia has not given up.

"I have been working hard to send the movie to the theaters. It is something worth doing, and I won't stop trying," wrote Jia.

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