BFI Player – Curating Films from Oscar winners to Lost Gems

bfi player british film institute

BFI Player lets you See Something Different

A year on from the original launch, the British Film Instute are developing their BFI Player to become the place where you can access a wide range of movies that many people may be unable to see at their local cinema.

A year on from the launch of BFI Player, the ground-breaking video on demand service has received a dramatic make-over, making it even easier for UK audiences to enjoy a diverse range of films.

Following an in-depth consultation with 1,000 BFI Player users, the look, layout, curation of films and amount of new content has been significantly enhanced – with further improvements to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

As part of the BFI’s (British Film Institute) remit to support the UK film industry and grow audiences for independent and specialised film, the BFI Player has become a go-to destination to access a wide range of movies that many people may be unable to see at their local cinema.

Edward Humphrey, Director of Digital at the BFI said: “BFI Player is uniquely placed to join the dots of film, taking audiences on an expertly curated journey from the very earliest films to the very latest releases. Growing audiences for British independent and specialised films is core to everything the BFI does and we recognise that audiences are seldom offered a real diversity of choice in the on-demand market. The revamped BFI Player continues our path towards a richer, more rewarding digital film experience for UK audiences.”

Over 1,400 Uniquely Diverse Films

Hot on the heels of the biggest ever BFI London Film Festival, BFI Player presents a collection of festival hits and lesser-known festival discoveries. Some of the key collections include British Cinema Classics, New Chinese Cinema, Cannes Film Festival World Cinema Classics and a new destination for films Unavailable on DVD, as well as a wide range of rare archive films exploring life in the UK and around the world.

Further collections will be rolled out in the coming weeks and months. As part of a second wave of features, some of the best-known cinema-goers in the UK and beyond will be invited to programme guest collections drawing on their fandom and passion for film.

British Film Institute – Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder

Along with its new look, BFI Player now features more exciting content – a new catalogue of iconic movies from Universal Pictures is now available, from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to the Back To The Future film series, giving BFI Player users the chance to be part of the BFI’s major 2014 blockbuster season, Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder presented together with O2.

Throughout November BFI Player will be dedicated to some of the best Sci-Fi movies ever created. The collection includes well-known blockbusters such as Flash Gordon, to lesser-known but highly-regarded classics such as The Day The Earth Caught Fire. Sci-Fi on BFI Player is grouped into three themes that identify the unique characteristics and hallmarks of the genre, which run throughout the entire season – Tomorrow’s World, Altered States, and Contact!

Ostmodern, Ooyala and the BFI

Leading digital product design consultancy Ostmodern has worked closely with the BFI and Ooyala to create the new, responsive on-demand player destination that places curation and collections at the heart of the BFI’s content strategy.

With 70% of premium content captured in high definition, many of the movies and content on BFI Player have been lovingly restored by the BFI to return these classic stories to their former glory.

60% of the content will be available for free with premium content making up 40% of the catalogue. Prices for premium content range from just £1 for shorts with features starting at £2.50 and a range of titles released day-and-date with cinemas priced at up to £10. Viewers will have 30 days to watch their purchase and a 48-hour window to re-watch movies once they are first viewed. As well as a 15% discount on all rentals, BFI Members will have access to exclusive offers. The first of these is a hand-selected film which members can watch for free to celebrate the new BFI Player.

BFI Player Includes a Number of Features

Collections curated by the BFI

Leading film experts have created essential collections of movies to inspire new journeys in to film.

Film of the day

Every day the BFI team will highlight a film linked with a key topical event, celebration or anniversary.

Fresh, optimised UX and design

Drawing on a wide range of feedback from BFI Player customers and the general public, the user interface has been radically redesigned to make the rich content more discoverable and the experience more engaging.

Free content

A large volume of films will be free to enjoy. Revealed for the first time in decades, some of the finest films from the BFI National Archive will be available to watch – the majority of them for free.  From the first England football match ever recorded to the extraordinary 1914 collection, these films give a unique perspective on British life over the past 120 years.

Did you know

Facts, anecdotes and stories about the movies will be added by BFI experts enriching the experience for viewers each time they click on a new title.


The BFI is the lead organisation for film in the UK with the ambition to create a flourishing film environment in which innovation, opportunity and creativity.

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