• Introducing FilmStruck

    By Peter Becker

    Wings_of_desire_large

    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.

    Sometimes it feels like Criterion lives at a crossroads of classic and contemporary cinema. New filmmakers we admire are passing through our offices all the time, mostly drawn by their respect for the classic filmmakers whose work we are privileged to attend to. One of the most exciting things about the Criterion Channel is that it will give us a chance to capture that energy for our audience, to champion and show more films by filmmakers working today, not just the few we have rights to publish on disc. We’ll bring you carefully selected contemporary films that you might not find anywhere else, including streaming premieres, and we’ll invite those filmmakers to champion the classics they love, as they have been doing on our top-ten lists for years—but now the movies will be available for subscribers to watch right on our channel.

    The Criterion offering on Hulu will still be available into the month of November, but after that, FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel will be our exclusive streaming home. Feel free to let us know in the comments what you most want from our new streaming service, and be sure to visit FilmStruck.com to sign up for updates and a free trial offer as soon as the the service launches. It’s going to be an exciting new adventure for Criterion, and we hope you’ll make the journey with us.

231 comments

  • By Ian
    November 03, 2016
    03:20 PM

    Please keep the collection available on Hulu as well. I started Hulu for the Criterion films, but I am not willing to leave now or add another expensive service just to keep the Criterion films. Exclusive access is *not* a feature, it's frustrating and it's bad business. This is the math I am doing as a consumer: 1. Stay with Hulu and lose the criterion films = sad 2. Lose all Hulu content and spend more money to keep only the Criterion collection = no way
    Reply
  • By Dionysus
    November 06, 2016
    12:08 PM

    Please use Criterion Release [DVD & BluRay] Cover Images for the Thumbnails in FilmStruck. Thanks!
    Reply
  • By Lawrence R.
    November 11, 2016
    02:10 PM

    Please, Roku capable. I cannot subscribe until that is done. Also, the search function for Hulu on Roku was not very good, I had to first search on my MacBook and then type it in. I hope it's better on this new service. Thanks!
    Reply
  • By JChapman
    November 11, 2016
    06:59 PM

    I add my name to the list: ROKU PLEASE!
    Reply
  • By Cleophus
    November 11, 2016
    10:08 PM

    Please make FilmStruck available on my Panasonic "Viera Cast" blu-ray player. I'd subscribe if it were available that way; but not if I had to buy new hardware in order to watch on my TV.
    Reply
  • By Ghostdog
    November 12, 2016
    04:23 PM

    I have a Samsung Blu-Ray DVD Player and a separate Roku device - I hope you cover both of these.....maybe/finally I'll get to see Le Crabbe Tambour again.
    Reply
  • By Criterion F.
    November 12, 2016
    09:55 PM

    Terribly disappointed that Criterion was removed from Hulu without a replacement. The so-called "FilmStruck" does not allow people to play films on a computer (requires Flash malware to play), on Roku, via Chromecast, or a whole list of other standard modern technologies. Closed captioning was not available for any of the films I sampled. Even on an otherwise "compatible" tablet, the video would not scale to full screen. I was so happy with the Hulu offering, and able to watch nearly 100 films there. To have Criterion take its catalogue offline is a bitter pill to swallow.
    Reply
  • By Criterion F.
    November 12, 2016
    09:58 PM

    Just want to add, I was so excited when I saw the initial e-mail about FilmStruck, and was happy to be able to pay money directly to Criterion. I will not, however, pay money for NOT being able to watch films. It is just too perverse, and I can't wrap my head around that.
    Reply
  • By 27Bstroke6
    November 14, 2016
    11:43 AM

    I signed up for the 14 day trial of Filmstruck but the playback has been very herky-jerky so far. I don't think it's my connection or anything related to that. Possibly an issue with Flash? I am not too tech savvy. Anway, dissapointed at the moment as I too subscribed to Hulu soley for the Critierion films and I never had a problem with it.
    Reply
  • By NewFan
    November 17, 2016
    10:36 AM

    I never watched black and white movies before I discovered CC on Hulu. I actually had stopped using Hulu all together and tried CC because they had no commercials! I then kept watching them when they asked for the monthly fee to keep watching CC and I still loved it. I don't like change since it couldn't really get any better from my consumer point of view. I don't have a TV, only my work laptop (which is really the best way to me.) I'll try it, but I'm worried it won't be the same. Thanks CC for working hard for making these great movies accessible!
    Reply
  • By Matthew R Turner
    November 17, 2016
    03:50 PM

    I can be added to the list of people how will gladly sign-up when Apps are made. The services should not have left Hulu to move to a service that has NO apps yet. Streaming services thrive from well made apps that allow viewers to enjoy their media without hassle. Filmstruck could be a fantastic service, but until the minimal Apple TV, Smart TV, Roku, Amazon Fire apps are made and in working order the service will suffer severely. Many questionable content and pricing problems can be overlooked if there is a well made app that makes a service convenient.
    Reply
  • By P_A
    November 19, 2016
    12:57 PM

    Humbly request an app for Playstation (3 and 4). I use that device to stream and watch Blu-rays.
    Reply
  • By Eduardo_Lira
    November 19, 2016
    11:14 PM

    I agree with some of the users. Please make an app for Playstation 3 and 4. Also make the app available for people outside of the United States.
    Reply
  • By Eduardo_Lira
    November 19, 2016
    11:20 PM

    Please make it available in Mexico!
    Reply
  • By Wes M.
    December 08, 2016
    06:58 PM

    Dear Criterion Collection, You are getting greedy!! Dear TCM, Think twice before you start trying to charge for seeing your library on demand. Note to both: Check out HBO or Netflix if you'd like to understand happy customers and happy investors. This is not the way.
    Reply
    • By Camp1999
      December 09, 2016
      03:42 PM

      why is everyone so mixed here?
  • By Camp1999
    December 09, 2016
    03:46 PM

    opinions may vary from "Y u do dis?" to "OMG EVERY1 IZ GREEDEE, WI SHOLD AL BEE CUMUNISTZ"
    Reply
  • By Judy Cohen
    December 09, 2016
    08:51 PM

    I signed up for a year immediately; thrilled with the product (films and special features). So far, not thrilled with the implementation or the customer service. FS basic needs: 1) Inform members when films on our queue are being pulled; or post a pull-date at the film itself. It’s very disappointing to go watch something that’s been on your queue for weeks and suddenly it’s vanished. 2) Ability for viewer to scroll through movie and see the frame you’re at so that you can locate what you're looking for. 3) 10 second rewind and forward. 4) A better search engine (e.g., “Les Diaboliques” does not appear at all; “Diabolique” does.) All of these features can be found on other film streaming platforms; I feel that FS did not do its homework before launch. Very disappointed in the spottiness of customer service, which sometimes doesn’t respond at all. However: I am very pleased with the offerings. Thank You!
    Reply
  • By Jared Wignall
    December 12, 2016
    04:51 PM

    Please have it available for Playstation (3 & 4) as some have requested. Those would be really good for streaming.
    Reply
  • By Laura Gingrich
    December 21, 2016
    06:30 PM

    Another humble request for a Playstation 3 & 4 app. When we want to watch television, we pull out a laptop. But if we want to watch film, we'll turn on the entertainment system. With all due respect, most home entertainment systems stream through a smart Blu-ray player, an X-box or a Playstation. Looking forward to subscribing if an app is possible!
    Reply
  • By Lawrence B.
    December 21, 2016
    10:43 PM

    WTH Criterion? I'm sitting here, all ready to sign up. Ready to give you money. I head on over to FilmStruck to check it out. No Sony devices app! WTH Criterion!?! Why did you launch if you weren't ready????
    Reply