Although Scatzy is not technically the world’s first expatriate movie theatre (English and German theatres have been popular for decades) it is the first online platform planning to allow expats from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa to rent newly released movies, music, books and television shows via the internet, making content available wherever and whenever they are.
For expats in New Zealand, this type of content distribution system couldn’t come soon enough.
Since instituting the 3-strike system, New Zealand isn’t kidding around when it comes to copyright, making downloading content a risky business. Unfortunately for frustrated South Africans moving to New Zealand (or evening relocating to New Zealand temporarily) this means waiting up to a year to legally purchase content that friends and family have already seen, or missing the chance to see it completely.
Not the first country to introduce this type of law, in the UK illegal downloaders will face a similar 4-strike system while in Canada, the maximum penalty for illegal downloads has been set at $5000. Naturally, with the threat of a fine or jail time overhead, these laws have made it next to impossible for expatriates of any origin to access current content legally after international removals to New Zealand.
Factoring the added cost of shipping to New Zealand for expats who are willing to wait for reproduction publications, online rentals actually makes a lot of sense- after all, why pay more for less? Although a quick peek at the Scatzy website reveals that much of the promised content is still in the works – with no word on release dates moving forward – the currently showcased film Strikdas (available for $6.23) illustrates the potential of this powerful platform.
The film, directed by Stefan Nieuwoudt and starring Leandie du Randt, Gys de Villiers, Elsabe Daneel and Robin Smith, is the story of Don ‘Vossie’ Vorster, a university student trying to do the right thing, meet the right woman, and eventually learn what it means to be his own man.
Strangely, despite the convenience of in-home viewing, Strikdas is not available for rent or download in Africa or any of its adjacent islands (despite being shown in local theatres) but, for South Africans bedding down in New Zealand at least, the story of Vossie and his symbolic transition to manhood is just a click and a credit-card away.