With cinemas closed, and continued self-isolation, now more than ever we need ways to escape with some new and classic cinema.
As we are all impacted by these uncertain times in different ways, we’ve put together a list of sites where you can watch films, both to rent and for free.
The BFI’s streaming service offers a diverse and unique selection of films, from documentaries through to world cinema, featured in a variety of collections including animation, archive films and musicals.
Browse the ‘free’ collection:
The free streaming service from Film4 / Channel 4 features a great range of films available for a limited time.
An absolute treasure chest of films – including Wild-West horror Bone Tomahawk, Kenyan love story Rafiki, social thriller Sweet Country, coming-of-age tale Skate Kitchen and Oscar-winning drama A Fantastic Woman.
Recently added films include the John Carpenter inspired Bacurau, with films from acclaimed Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda (including Oscar-nominated social drama Shoplifters) coming soon.
New Films from New Voices
A major season of outstanding British films premiering every week on BBC Two. Fresh from cinemas, New Film from New Voices is a partnership from BBC Films and BFI.
Featuring many standout films, including Monsoon – a rich and poignant reflection on the struggle for identity in a place where the past weighs heavily on the present, in a touching and thoughtful film reflecting on displacement and cultural alienation.
Details of all films in the season can be found >here<.
All films are available on the BBC iPlayer following their premiere on BBC Two:
Creating an account (free) is required before viewing content on the BBC iPlayer.
The opening film from this year’s BFI Film Festival, ‘Mangrove‘ from Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave, Widows, Shame) is the true story of the Mangrove 9, a group of Black activists who were arrested for leading a protest that changed British history in taking a stand against racial discrimination.
The Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill doubled as a community centre for Black Londoners, as police brutality and harassment intensified, the Mangrove also became a site of resistance, leading to a historic protest against police harassment.
Mangrove is one of five Small Axe films by Steve McQueen, premiering on BBC One from Sunday November 15th.
Minding The Gap (BBC iPlayer)
The Oscar-nominated documentary from first-time filmmaker Bing Liu, Minding the Gap is the coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their hometown, hit hard by decades of recession.
In his quest to understand why he and his friends ran away from home as teenagers, Bing tracks 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a young dad and 17-year-old Keire as he lands his first job.
As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend and Keire’s inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father.
This critically acclaimed film also won the Audience Award at Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018.
Mogul Mowgli (BFI Player)
Director Bassam Tariq’s debut fiction feature, stars Riz Ahmed (Nightcrawler, Star Wars: Rogue One), drawing from his own musical background and British-Pakistani roots, to deliver a personal performance in a film about a fierce MC on the cusp of a major tour and commercial success, whose dreams of global fame are cut-down by an autoimmune disease.
A sharp examination of cultural heritage, identity politics, family and the impact of physical illness, Mogul Mowgli is an honest evocation of the British-Asian experience.
Available to rent now on BFI Player:
Leeds International Film Festival
The new online streaming platform from the Leeds International Film Festival, features much of the line-up from this year’s scheduled event.
From horror to animation, documentary and drama, all available through to November 30th:
Celebrating Ennio Morricone: The Secrets Behind His Genius
Ennio Morricone provided the soundtrack to cinema itself, his iconic and genre defining work influenced countless filmmakers and musicians.
Sadly passing away in 2020, to commemorate what would have been the 92nd birthday of one of the greatest film score composers of all time, some of his closest collaborators reunited for the first time in years at his studio in Rome.
Presented by Decca Records and Cam Sugar Music, watch this tribute film on YouTube: