Samsung and the BFI (British Film Institute) have put the art in Smart TV with the launch of the new BFI App.
Bringing a huge array of digitised archive content to viewers screens, the BFI App is a real window to the past. Some of the footage, films from Sagar Mitchell and James Kenyon’s collection hasn’t been seen for over a century.
Films from as early as 1901, providing snapshots of British Edwardian life can be streamed alongside more modern titles in Film of the Week, like Peter Greenaway’s A Zed and Two Noughts. Most smart TV platforms will let you catch-up on missed programme from the last seven days – how about the last 100 years?
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Other highlights available from the BFI App include Audrey Hepburn’s screen test, thought to be the earliest footage of the Hollywood icon, and early short films by Ken Russell, Derek Jarman and Ridley Scott.
As well as plumbing the archives, the BFI App will stream footage from this year’s BFI London Film Festival, including the opening and closing nights. Viewers unable to attend the in demand event in October will be able to get a slice of Southbank from the comfort of their sofa.
The BFI App first arrived on Samsung Smart TVs last year providing a similar service. Today, the app relaunches with a revamped stock of films and interviews.
Other sections of the app include interviews with the likes of Michael Caine, Julie Walters, Danny Boyle and Yoko Ono, BFI documentaries on Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren and Eva Marie Saint and a ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ section, serving up some of the odder relics from the vaults. There’s a short film of a juggling fly, a trippy, impressionistic film with a soundtrack provided by prog band the Soft Machine, plus an early Technicolour animation featuring a chorus of singing germs.
The BFI’s digital director Edward Humphrey said: ‘‘It’s thrilling to take the riches of film culture and especially British film into so many homes with Samsung. This new app gets Samsung’s customers closer to the BFI’s rich and varied world of film.”
At the BFI App’s public unveiling at BFI Southbank we were able to catch up with Humphrey, director of and Lali Parikh, strategic content manager for Smart TV Samsung UK, who took us through the app in the video below.
Humphrey told us that while the BFI App for smart TVs will be exclusive to Samsung, there are plans to launch separate BFI streaming services for desktop PCs and mobile platforms.
BFI App for Samsung Smart TV is available to download now for free from Samsung Apps.