The British Film Institute has launched SVOD service BFI Player Classics in the U.S. on Roku. Streaming device maker Roku added SVOD to its Roku Channel service earlier this year with the likes of Showtime and Starz among the first to roll out paid-for content.
The BFI will now join that roster. It said the BFI Player Classics will feature quintessentially British films from “Brighton Rock” to “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” The U.S. launch marks the first time the BFI has launched a streaming service internationally.
BFI Player Classics launches with about 140 British or British co-produced films, picked by BFI experts. Among the filmmakers featured are Alfred Hitchcock, John Schlesinger, Ken Russell, Lindsay Anderson, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Nicolas Roeg, Ridley Scott, Sally Potter and Terence Davies.
As is the norm with streaming services, there will be a one-month trial period. After that a $5.99 per-month fee kicks in. The BFI plans to work with other platform operators to extend the reach of the Classics service after it has bedded in over an unspecified launch period.
“The BFI brand is already well-known to discerning American film lovers through our home entertainment releases, Sight & Sound magazine and web publishing,” said Edward Humphrey, director of digital at the BFI. “With the launch of BFI Player Classics, those brand values of expert curation, high quality programming and rich contextualization can now be enjoyed through a distinctively British streaming service.”