The Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) have shaken up the world of online movie viewing by teaming to launch a new streaming service in the fall called FilmStruck. The service will provide a mix of contemporary, classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films as well as be the exclusive home to the Criterion Collection (with a channel curated by the Criterion team that will house the entire Criterion library — with each film streamed along with all the extras Criterion fans have come to know and love. The current Criterion channel on Hulu will go bye-bye this November). In addition to Criterion titles, FilmStruck will include movies from Janus Films, Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone, and Zeitgeist, and select Hollywood studios including Warner Bros. Subscription prices and official launch date for the service have not yet been worked out.
Here’s part of the statement made this morning by Criterion president Peter Becker:
“Night after night, for more than twenty years, the programming team at Turner Classic Movies has been exploring the world of film in a smart, adventurous way. They have stuck to their mission, consistently shining a light on the classics, delighting us with their themes, surprising us with their discoveries, and earning our trust. So when they asked us to team up with them to launch FilmStruck, a new subscription streaming service designed for people who love independent, art-house, and international cinema, we were honored and thrilled. Combining Turner’s programming experience with Criterion’s library of films and supplemental content made all the sense in the world.
FilmStruck will be launching this fall on desktop and mobile devices, and internet-connected television platforms. A service built from the start with nothing but movies in mind, it will feature films from many major studios and independent distributors alongside a broad and constantly rotating selection of Criterion films, complete with the commentaries and rich supplemental content that Criterion viewers have come to expect. Carefully curated and always changing, it should be a cinema lover’s dream.
FilmStruck subscribers will also be eligible to sign up for the Criterion Channel, a premium service that will be all Criterion’s own. Once we’re up and running, the Criterion Channel will not only offer continual access to our library of more than 1,100 films, along with their special features, it will also give us the chance to approach the Criterion mission in a whole new way. After thirty years of focusing exclusively on one film or cycle of films at a time, we will now be able to feature a steady stream of original content that runs across filmographies, genres, time periods, and themes. We’ll reach outside our library to include films from major studios and independent rights holders. We’ll tap into our community of filmmakers and experts to act as guest curators and highlight archival discoveries not available on disc or anywhere else. It won’t replace our Blu-rays, but it will definitely add a new dimension to the Criterion experience.”