Although some people would like to blame P2P traffic for Internet piracy, that’s not a completely accurate assessment. Case in point, the release today of the Australian horror film The Tunnel. The movie is being released simultaneously on TV, DVD, and yes BitTorrent – the first film to have this sort of global distribution on release day. The movie was recently screened at the Cannes Film Festival, and will be on the big screen in Sydney in June.

Although as we reported yesterday, Netflix now surpasses P2P Internet traffic – in North America at least – but this doesn’t mean that this isn’t a popular avenue by which many people access movie entertainment. Rather than fighting BitTorrent, the makers of The Tunnel are embracing it.

The film may be unique for its P2P distribution strategy, but it’s also taken a different tactic in financing as well. The filmmakers Julian Harvey and Enzo Tedeschi crowdfunded the production, selling supporters individual frames of the film. DVDs are also on sale, but the BitTorrent of the film is available for free with the filmmakers’ full permission.

The plot of The Tunnel, according to the film’s website:

In 2007 the New South Wales government suddenly scrapped a plan to utilise the water in the disused underground train tunnels beneath Sydney’s St James Train Station.

In 2008, chasing rumours of a government coverup and urban legends surrounding the sudden backflip, investigative journalist Natasha Warner led a crew of four into the underground labyrinth.

They went down into the tunnels looking for a story – until the story found them.

This is the film of their harrowing ordeal. With unprecedented access to the recently declassified tapes they shot in the claustrophobic subway tunnels, as well as a series of candid interviews with the survivors, we come face to face with the terrifying truth.

This never before seen footage takes us deep inside the tunnels bringing the darkness to life and capturing the raw fear that threatens to tear the crew apart, leaving each one of them fighting for their lives.


You can download the official torrent or find the film in the BitTorrent’s new App Studio.