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What is BFI Player? The on-demand video service explained

There are loads of great streaming sites to choose from these days, but what if you’re looking for something a little more niche? That’s where BFI Player comes in. 

Unlike Netflix or Disney Plus, BFI Player doesn’t deal with the latest blockbusters or TV series. Instead the site focuses on compiling independent films dating from 2022 back to over a century ago. 

Here’s everything you need to know about BFI Player… 

What is BFI Player? 

BFI Player is an on-demand movie streaming service from the British Film Institute (BFI) where you can find “acclaimed, landmark and archive films” with a focus on British and European independent films, as well as international releases. 

Some movies are available on a subscription basis, while some need to be rented and others are completely free. 

How do I subscribe to BFI Player? 

Many of the new and classic films on BFI Player are exclusive to subscribers, meaning you’ll need to pay for a subscription to stream them on-demand. 

Luckily, the BFI offers a 14-day free trial, so you can try the service for two weeks before committing to a monthly or yearly subscription. After your 14 days are up, you’ll have the option to pay £4.99 a month or £49 a year. This means you’ll save around £10 a year by opting for the latter. 

The BFI is also currently offering an extending month-long trial with the code SUMMER22, so be sure to enter this before your trial begins to take advantage of the offer. 

You can find a list of everything available with a subscription on the BFI Player website. 

Rentals and free content

Many movies – including some available in cinemas right now – are available on a rental-basis only. That means they aren’t included with a BFI Player subscription (but do still require you to create a BFI Player account) 

Rentals start at £2.50 with some going up to £10, though most seem to cost around £3.50. 

You can also get a 15% discount on rentals with a BFI Membership, which is different to a BFI Player subscription and gives you access to special events, previews and screenings at the BFI Southbank and BFI festivals for £37 a year. 

You can view the site’s featured rentals here

Finally, there’s plenty of free content to stream on BFI Player. The collection includes shorts and features from the BFI, national and regional archives spanning 120 years.

You don’t even need to make an account to stream these films. All you need to do is select a title from the BFI Player website and hit “Watch for free”.

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