“Star Leaf” has become one of the top pirated indie movies on a popular torrent site. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, Australia director Richard Cranor talked about piracy and the success of his movie.

When Cranor first heard that his movie was one of the top 10 most downloaded movies on a torrent site, he could not believe it and had to check for himself to confirm. “ I was doing a Skype interview with the Conspiracy Channel’s Rob Davenport when he mentioned seeing ‘Star Leaf’ on the Kick--s Torrents top 10 downloads page. I was like…really? They are the biggest torrent site on the planet next to the Pirate Bay,” Cranor said.

The movie has since moved down the list on the torrent site, but the director revealed that it still remains popular in many of the popular torrent sites. “ We’re currently in the ballpark of 200,000 downloads/streams and counting,” Cranor said.

When asked to give his views about piracy in general, Cranor said that he’s “supposed to say it’s terrible” and conceded that “it would be nice” if those 200,000 downloads had translated into some money for the movie. “But the biggest issue these days with any indie film is exposure, so at least that is going well. Most indie films, especially those shot on our budget, rarely ever get any traction and just disappear off the face of the earth.”

The director hopes that the popularity of “Star Leaf” in torrent sites today will lead to some revenue in the future. “All we can hope for is to establish ourselves and hope that people will buy the film later to help support us should they find it entertaining,” he said.

Talking about the success of the movie, Cranor said that many people consider his movie to be the next “Cheech N Chong.” “That’s a high honour, especially for a film that isn’t really supposed to be a comedy. And no, we’re not Tommy Wiseau’s ‘The Room’ either. We’re an odd duck for sure, a combination of things that shouldn’t go together at all – PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder], aliens, weed, Asian porn fairies. But somehow it all works to create something new and unexpected and despite some of the film’s low-budget weaknesses, it all adds up to a pretty entertaining ride,” he said.

The director explained that what makes his movie unique is that it doesn’t “shy away from the dichotomy of how horror and comedy go together in ways that might make most people uncomfortable.”

“Everyone knows the best comedians on the planet are the ones with the darkest pasts. Go on YouTube sometime and watch videos of Marines in Afghanistan laughing while undergoing RPG attacks – it doesn’t make sense at first. But eventually you start to realise the sense of humour we all have is really our spirit deep down fighting to keep going despite all of life’s constant challenges. It’s an amazing thing. It’s how you fight back when you have nothing else left to fight with,” he said.

Cranor said that the movie was his best attempt to make an honest portrayal of people with PTSD. “The film basically combines humour with the harsh reality of war without making a judgment about either,” the director said.

The movie has also partnered with RocketStar to promote a space launch at NASA’s Cape Canaveral. “Well, being the film about ‘extra-terrestrial marijuana,’ we couldn’t turn down a chance to be part of a space program where potentially we could blast some cannabis into space,” Cranor said.

The RocketStar project envisions allowing ordinary people becoming capable of launching small satellites into space in the future, Cranor revealed. “If anything, we’re happy to help RocketStar reach its goal and be part of a citizen space race. The first test launch takes place in January and we’re keeping everyone informed via our FB and Twitter pages,” the director said.

Contact the writer at feedback@ibtimes.com.au, or let us know what you think below.