Strea­ming films free of char­ge and in the com­fort of your own home: film­fri­end makes it possible

Do you like movies? Are you a real film lover? Then you might be inte­res­ted in film­fri­end. Thanks to the strea­ming ser­vice from Pots­dam you can now watch films free of char­ge using your libra­ry card. That is, if your libra­ry has film­fri­end among its ran­ge of ser­vices. This is alre­a­dy the case in over 70 cities and almost 100 libra­ri­es throug­hout Ger­ma­ny. Then sim­ply regis­ter with your libra­ry card and your pass­word at www​.film​fri​end​.de . Your age will then be che­cked auto­ma­ti­cal­ly. That means the pro­tec­tion of minors is gua­ran­teed. film­fri­end does­n’t coll­ects user-rela­ted data, and adver­ti­sing fea­tured the­re, either.

film­fri­end is the first Ger­man strea­ming ser­vice offe­red by libra­ri­es. It was laun­ched in July 2017 - initi­al­ly at the libra­ri­es in Ber­lin. Short­ly after­wards, film­fri­end was award­ed the Ber­lin-Bran­den­burg Inno­va­ti­on Pri­ze, the spe­cial pri­ze for social innovation.

Apart from num­e­rous Euro­pean and inter­na­tio­nal art­house films, filmfriend’s line-up also includes main­stream films such as the very suc­cessful Inspec­tor Dupin series or fea­ture films like Ange­li­que or Bibi Blocks­berg, for child­ren. In total, more than 1,500 careful­ly sel­ec­ted films are available, with more on the way. Staff careful­ly cura­te the titles that are included in the fic­tion, docu­men­ta­ry, children’s and “Ger­man cine­ma film” sections.

The coope­ra­ti­on part­ners are the Inter­na­tio­nal Leip­zig Fes­ti­val for Docu­men­ta­ry and Ani­ma­ted Film (DOK­Leip­zig), whe­re an exci­ting com­pi­la­ti­on of films about the fall of the Ber­lin Wall and the peaceful revo­lu­ti­on in the GDR has been pre­pared (all of them DOK­Leip­zig award-win­ning films), and the Ger­man Cent­re for Children’s and Youth Films (KJF) which eva­lua­tes children’s and youth films and gives age ratings inva­luable for media edu­ca­ti­on that are regard­ed as being more accu­ra­te than tho­se issued by the FSK. At film­fri­end, FSK and KJF ratings are used in par­al­lel for children’s films. 

In order to make his­to­ri­cal film recor­dings of cities available, film­fri­end is also working clo­se­ly with city and fede­ral sta­te archi­ves. The first com­pi­la­ti­ons can now be found on film­fri­end. The­se have such names as Uns kann kee­ner and Mün­chen wie­der­ent­deckt - all of them films not available on strea­ming plat­forms like Net­flix or Ama­zon. Fur­ther coll­ec­tions are set to follow.

film­fri­end is a por­tal of film­wer­te GmbH in Pots­dam. The com­pa­ny also offers wwww​.alle​ski​no​.de. Andre­as Vogel is the mana­ging direc­tor and sole share­hol­der. He will be pre­sen­ting this ser­vice at the upco­ming Media­Tech Hub Con­fe­rence in Novem­ber and dis­cus­sing what makes VOD plat­forms suc­cessful with Weera­da Sucha­rit­kul, the co-foun­der of Film­Doo (UK), a VoD plat­form for inde­pen­dent and short films with over 900,000 visi­tors each month, and Dami­an Pel­lic­cio­ne (USA), CEO & co-foun­der of Revry​.tv, the first world­wi­de que­er VoD plat­form. By the way, the recent­ly published maga­zi­ne Unfold fea­tures an inter­view with Andre­as Vogel tal­king about how film­wer­te plans to use block­chain for film dis­tri­bu­ti­on. You can read the who­le artic­le online on page 114.

By Eva Werner

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The media technologies of the future are already being used today – not only in the entertainment sector, but also in a wide variety of industries. Christine Lentz meets up with tech enthusiasts, established companies and researchers for our monthly MediaTech Hub Potsdam blog to tell the stories behind the innovative business models.