Although it is the first streaming service from the BFI to be made available internationally, US audiences are already consumers of BFI film content via bfi.org.uk, the BFI’s DVD and Blu-ray releases and the BFI Sight & Sound magazine.
BFI Player Classics is initially ofering around 140 British and British co-production films, picked by BFI experts.
The launch programme includes films from distributors BFI, Lionsgate and Studiocanal.
The Roku Channel gives users access to 10,000+ free ad-supported movies and TV episodes as well as premium subscription services.
New customers will have access to a 7-day free trial to familiarise themselves with the service, after which it will automatically turn into a paid subscription for $5.99/month unless cancelled before the trial ends.
Commenting on the launch, Edward Humphrey, director of digital at the BFI, said: “We’re very excited to bring BFI Player Classics to audiences in the US. The BFI brand is already well known to discerning American film lovers through our home entertainment releases, Sight & Sound magazine and web publishing. With the launch of BFI Player Classics, those brand values of expert curation, high quality programming and rich contextualisation can now be enjoyed through a distinctively British streaming service.”
After the initial launch phase, the BFI will look to work with more US platforms in the future.