The BFI, the UK’s lead organisation for film, announces that BFI Player Classics, an expertly curated new SVOD collection of the best quintessentially British films from Brighton Rock to The Man Who Fell to Earth, is now available to audiences all over the United States on The Roku Channel. BFI Player has been a huge success with UK audiences and this is the first streaming service from the BFI to launch internationally. US audiences are already enthusiastic consumers of BFI film content via bfi.org.uk, the BFI’s distinctive DVD and Blu-ray releases and the BFI’s Sight & Sound magazine, one of the world’s oldest and most respected film periodicals.
Distinct from BFI Player’s UK offering, BFI Player Classics launches with a collection of approximately 140 British or British co-production films, picked by BFI experts. Among the prestige filmmakers are Alfred Hitchcock, John Schlesinger, Ken Russell, Lindsay Anderson, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Nicolas Roeg, Ridley Scott, Sally Potter and Terence Davies.
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The launch programme includes films from distributors BFI, Lionsgate and Studiocanal. BFI Player Classics includes landmark films by legendary names, the widely loved and the rarely seen. Brighton Rock (John Boulting, 1948) and The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949), staples of British cinema history, are available alongside British cult classics The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973), The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg, 1976) and hard-to-find rarities such as Friendship’s Death (Peter Wollen, 1987) and Burning an Illusion (Menelik Shabazz, 1981).
The Roku Channel is a single destination that gives users access to 10,000+ free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes as well as premium subscription services.
New customers will have access to a 7-day free trial to familiarise themselves with the service, after which it will automatically turn into a paid subscription for $5.99/month unless cancelled before the trial ends.
Edward Humphrey, Director of Digital at the BFI said: “We’re very excited to bring BFI Player Classics to audiences in the US. The BFI brand is already well-known to discerning American film lovers through our home entertainment releases, Sight & Sound magazine and web publishing. With the launch of BFI Player Classics, those brand values of expert curation, high quality programming and rich contextualisation can now be enjoyed through a distinctively British streaming service.”
Launched in October 2013 as part of the BFI’s remit to support the UK film industry and grow audiences for independent and specialised film, BFI Player has become a go-to destination to access a wide range of films that many people may be unable to see at their local cinema.
After the initial launch phase, the BFI will look to work with more US platforms in the future.