The new BFI Player delivers a deeper cinematic experience

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The innovative new BFI Player is a responsive on-demand product that places user experience, curation and collections at the heart of the BFI’s content strategy.

After the launch of the 1st generation BFI Player in 2013, Ostmodern were appointed in 2014 to create the 2nd generation player product, from strategy, UX and design through to build.

Using data gathered from an in-depth consultation with 1,000 BFI Player users, every aspect of the product and user journey was reconsidered, from technical architecture and operational procedure to curatorial workflow and content discovery. The UX and UI has been optimised to showcase the range and quality of the 1400 films within the service and present them in the most engaging and accessible way, and the amount of new content has been significantly enhanced – with further enhanced features to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

The result is a new strategic direction that aligns the BFI’s unique cultural and commercial priorities, with a rich and rewarding user experience. The new service is available at and apps for tablet and mobile viewing can be downloaded free from Android and Apple apps stores.

Edward Humphrey, Director of Digital at the BFI said: “BFI Player is uniquely placed to join the dots of film, taking audiences on an expertly curated journey from the very earliest films to the very latest releases. Growing audiences for British independent and specialised films is core to everything the BFI does and we recognise that audiences are seldom offered a real diversity of choice in the on-demand market. The revamped BFI Player continues our path towards a richer, more rewarding digital film experience for UK audiences."

Tom Williams, UX Director, Ostmodern said “We’ve put UX and curation at the heart of the product, equipping the BFI’s amazing team with flexible and sophisticated editing tools that make the most of their passion and unique heritage and new film content. This enables them to curate groups and collections that dovetail with genres, interests, special events, seasons and festivals throughout the year”.

As part of the remit to support the UK film industry and grow audiences for independent and specialised film, the service includes a mix of free and transactional HD video on demand content that will continue to grow over time, and the BFI have worked alongside both Ostmodern and with Ooyala’s digital rights management system.

Built using Skylark, Ostmodern’s innovative technical backend framework product, the new BFI Player achieves a creative solution without compromise, that meets the BFI’s current and future needs.

Throughout November BFI Player will be dedicated to some of the best Sci-Fi movies ever created including a new catalogue of iconic movies from Universal Pictures. The collection, Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder presented together with O2, gives BFI Player users, for the first time, a chance to experience a BFI blockbuster season online.

BFI Player key features:

Collections curated by the BFI: leading film experts have created essential collections of movies to inspire new journeys in to film

Film of the day: every day the BFI team will highlight a film linked with a key topical event, celebration or anniversary

Free content: a large volume of films will be free to enjoy. Revealed for the first time in decades, some of the finest films from the BFI National Archive will be available to watch – the majority of them for free. From the first England football match ever recorded to the extraordinary 1914 collection, these films give a unique perspective on British life over the past 120 years.

Did you know: facts, anecdotes and stories about the movies will be added by BFI experts enriching the experience for viewers each time they click on a new title.

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