Closed regional cinemas to curate film collections for BFI Player

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Regional cinemas around the UK are giving film fans the chance to access a wide variety of British and global content through the British Film Institute’s streaming service while their venues are closed to the public.

BFI Player has teamed up with regional cinemas including Broadway Cinema in Nottingham, the Glasgow Film Theatre, Home Manchester, the Queen’s Film Theatre in Belfast, Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle and Watershed in Bristol to offer their audiences curated programmes.

The partnership will give regional audiences a four-week free trial of BFI Player’s subscription service, with a collection recommended especially for them by their local cinema.

Ben Luxford, head of UK Audiences at the BFI, said: “Everyone is feeling the impact of this crisis and we wanted to find a way to ensure audiences across the UK could still feel connected to their venues, and continue to discover a brilliant selection of films.

“BFI Player is fantastic, so an exclusive extended free trial is always great news, but what makes this offer to audiences really special, is their local venue programmers expertly creating collections of features and archive content especially for them.”

The free trial, which can be up to six weeks if users combine the Player’s standard 14-day trial plus an additional four weeks through these new partnerships, gives audiences full access to the BFI’s subscription streaming service collection of new releases and classics.

It also includes collections curated by industry figures such as actress Tilda Swinton and critic Mark Kermode.

Jason Wood, Creative Director of film and culture at Home in Manchester, said: “The Home film team were able to curate a short selection which was an almost impossible task given the breadth and diversity of the titles available through the Player.

“I can vouch for the fact that our audiences have really appreciated being able to maintain access to a wider and deeper cinema culture.

“Partnerships keep the cinema flame alive and help to ensure that it is still burning in what will hopefully soon be a post-Covid-19 landscape.”