Barbra Streisand and Guillermo del Toro have joined over 40,000 signatures on a petition to save classic and cult film treasure trove FilmStruck. The subscription-streaming service, which contained over 1,800 contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, and foreign films, announced its imminent closure on Oct. 26 much to the dismay of film junkies everywhere — and now, it seems, a handful of Hollywood stars.
“Please join me in signing this petition to #SaveFilmStruck!” Streisand tweeted Thursday, replying to Guillermo del Toro’s link to the petition.
Warner Media Group, owned by AT&T, plans to pull the plug on the streaming service as of Nov. 29 after just two years in business. Its reasoning is that, despite having “a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service,” said Turner and WB Digital Networks in a statement at the time of the announcement. The plan is to divert the money invested in FilmStruck “back into our collective portfolios,” though the media giants maintain that they are “incredibly proud of the creativity and innovations produced by the talented and dedicated teams who worked on FilmStruck over the past two years.”
Kevin Bahr, the creator of the petition to save FilmStruck, argues that killing the service would be to sacrifice “an indispensable resource for appreciating cinema” that provided access to many films that “would never see the light of a streaming platform.”
“FilmStruck is not just a niche market, it is a massive archive dedicated to keeping art of the past alive, much in the way a museum keeps artists from centuries ago alive,” Bahr wrote on the petition’s Charge.org page. “It deserves to live, not only to provide an outlet for film lovers of the past but also to create new fans through the next several generations, and perhaps open some more eyes along the way.”