While we all adjust to life in lockdown, the BFI will continue to champion new and classic films, helping audiences who love the movies navigate their way through UK and global cinema on demand using the BFI’s expertly curated VOD service BFI Player. Some of the best new releases are available to rent including the BAFTA-winning BAIT (Mark Jenkin, 2019) and Oscar-nominated HARRIET (Kasi Lemmons, 2019) and there’s a 2 week free trial to the subscription service, which includes film classics and collections personally curated by Tilda Swinton and Mark Kermode. Oscar-winning PARASITE director Bong Joon-ho also curates a selection of films by emerging directors whose work he believes will be pivotal to the next 20 years, available to rent now. Thousands of free films are also waiting to be discovered from the UK’s national and regional archives, including an extensive collection dedicated to our heroic NHS, and the Britain on Film map, which has been viewed by more than 75 million users since its launch in 2015 and provides hours of discoveries about people and places all over the UK.
Current highlights of the Subscription collections (£4.99 a month) include:
- Coinciding with her recent BFI Southbank season and BFI Fellowship, we asked filmmaker and performer Tilda Swinton to select some of her favourite films currently on BFI Player. TILDA SWINTON SELECTS includes titles such as LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE (Jean Cocteau, 1946), TOKYO STORY (Yasujirō Ozu, 1953) and STRANGER BY THE LAKE (Alain Guiraudie, 2013).
- MARK KERMODE INTRODUCES features exclusive filmed introductions from one of the best-loved film critics in the UK. Highlights of the collection include: BAIT (Mark Jenkin, 2019), TOMBOY (Céline Sciamma, 2011), SUSPIRIA (Dario Argento, 1977), NAPOLÉON (Abel Gance, 1927) and many more.
- WOMAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA celebrates the female filmmakers behind inspirational and diverse works of great cinema, including DAISIES (Věra Chytilová, 1966), MY BROTHER THE DEVIL (Sally El Hosaini, 2012) and UNRELATED (Joanna Hogg, 2007).
- The SIGHT & SOUND POLL collection is drawn from Sight & Sound magazine’s once a decade poll to find the greatest films of all time (last conducted in 2012) and includes beloved films such as BICYCLE THIEVES (Vittorio De Sica, 1948), THE SEVENTH SEAL (Ingmar Bergman, 1957), THE GENERAL (Buster Keaton, 1926), DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES (Terence Davies, 1988) and METROPOLIS (Fritz Lang, 1927).
Current highlights of the Rental collections (pay per view) include:
- BONG JOON HO’S DIRECTORS TO WATCH, in which the Oscar-winning director of PARASITE selects emerging directors whose work he believes will be pivotal to the next 20 years including Ryusuke Hamaguchi (HAPPY HOUR), Francis Lee (GOD’S OWN COUNTRY) and Alice Rohrwacher (HAPPY AS LAZZARO).
- MUSICALS! is the perfect antidote to our troubled times, featuring films such as SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1951), CABIN IN THE SKY (Vincente Minnelli, 1943) and LA LA LAND (Damien Chazelle, 2016).
- BFI Player’s FAMILY collection features nostalgic films of the Children’s Film Foundation (SAMMY’S SUPER T-SHIRT), cult classics of the 1980s (FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR) and pioneering work from Aardman Animation (CHICKEN RUN).
Current highlights of the free collections include:
- The chance to explore free films from across the UK with our BRITAIN ON FILM map, featuring thousands of titles from the BFI National Archive and regional partner archives.
- A filmic love letter to our #NHSHeroes, the NHS ON FILM collection, takes the pulse of the nation with a unique collection of 70 rare films from the BFI National Archive and The National Archives.
- Stop! Look! Listen! For decades PUBLIC INFORMATION FILMS have been educating, persuading and above all warning us of hidden dangers.
- COMMERCIAL BREAK: BRITISH ADVERTISING ON SCREEN features over 300 adverts that trace the history, overarching themes and development of British screen advertising.
- Celebrate side-splitting film and TV, from slapstick legends to today’s anarchic voices, in our COMEDY GENIUS collection.
BFI Player is divided into three distinct sections: subscription (£4.99 a month), rentals (which are pay per view), and free. New customers are offered a 14-day free trial for the Subscription service to familiarise themselves with BFI Player, after which it will automatically turn into a paid subscription for £4.99 per month unless cancelled before the trial ends. BFI Members are entitled to discounts and an additional month to trial the subscription service.
BFI Player is home to collections which have been expertly curated by BFI programmers and special guests, offering audiences a different type of streaming experience. New collections and collaborations with special guest programmers and partners are being developed and will be announced soon. Further press information about BFI Player and the collections mentioned above can be found in a detailed press pack on the BFI website.
As well as being accessible to UK audiences through the BFI’s own website, BFI Player is also available through a range of video platforms, including Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV and to viewers in the USA on the Roku Channel.