With FilmStruck shutting down later this month, the biggest loss to the film community will be the considerable streaming library of The Criterion Collection – the famed boutique arthouse film label.
Now, in an official press release, the Criterion Channel has announced that it is coming back online in Spring 2019, and this time it’s not partnering up with another app like Hulu or FilmStruck, this time it’s going it alone and will be running the show. Criterion has announced ‘The Criterion Channel’, a free-standing streaming service which aims to be:
“A movie lover’s dream streaming service, with smart thematic programming, where the history of cinema can live and breathe, where a new generation of filmmakers and film lovers can explore the classics or revel in rarities, where adventurous cinephiles can champion films that have never gotten their due, and newcomers can easily find guidance from major filmmakers, top scholars, curators, and other experts from all walks of life .
In fact, the service will go beyond the Criterion Collection and, in a special arrangement with WarnerMedia, will include films from WarnerMedia’s deep and extensive library in a rich and curated experience. Effectively this will be FilmStruck 2.0 but this time the Criterion people will be in charge as opposed to Warners:
The Criterion Channel will be picking up where FilmStruck left off, with thematic programming, regular filmmaker spotlights, and actor retrospectives, featuring major classics and hard-to-find discoveries from Hollywood and around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage and original documentaries.”
As part of the deal between Criterion and WarnerMedia, the company will continue to produce its guest programmer series ‘Adventures in Moviegoing’ along with ‘Observations on Film Art’ and ‘Short + Feature’. It’s expected this ‘Criterion Channel’ will also be added to the streaming package deal that WarnerMedia is launching in the fourth quarter of 2019.