Infobox TV channel
name = Film4
logosize = 80px
logofile = Film4.svg
logoalt = Logo of Film4
1 November 1998
share = 1.0% (0.2% for +1)
share as of = July 2008
share source = [http://www.barb.co.uk/viewingsummary/monthreports.cfm?report=monthgmulti]
slogan = "Great films for free"
owner = Channel 4 Television Corporation
country = flagicon|UK
former names = FilmFour
19 July 2006)
sister names =
Channel4, E4, More4, 4Music
web = [http://www.channel4.com/film Channel 4 - Film4]
terr serv 1 = Freeview Multiplex D
terr chan 1 = Channel 32 not nationwide
sat serv 1 =
sat chan 1 = Channel 300
Channel 301 (+1)
sat serv 2 = Sky Digital
sat chan 2 = Channel 315
Channel 316 (+1)
sat serv 3 =
sat chan 3 = 10729V 22000 5/6
cable serv 1 =
cable chan 1 = Channel 444
Channel 445 (+1)
cable serv 2 =
cable chan 2 = Channel 323
Channel 324 (+1)
adsl serv 1 =
adsl chan 1 = Channel 230
adsl chan 2 = Channel 231 ('Film4 on Demand')
Film4 is a free digital
television channelin the United Kingdomand Republic of Ireland, owned and operated by Channel 4, that screens films.
20 August 2007, in addition to the main channel, Film4 also operated a one-hour-timeshifted variant, Film4+1, on satellite, cable and Freeview. This channel was dropped on Freeview to make way for Channel 4+1 yet continues to be broadcast on Sky, Virgin and Freesat services [cite web |url=http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/story/0,,2119529,00.html |publisher=Media Guardian |date=2007-07-05 |accessdate=2007-07-05 | title=Channel 4 launches '+1' timeshift service |author=Chris Tryhorn] . Tiscali TVoffers the non time-shifted channel along with a Video on demandservice, "Film4 on Demand".
Film4 broadcasts from 1:00 pm to about 3:30 am. Unlike its rivals, Film4 does not focus on broadcasting blockbusters. Instead, it aims for a more niche and highbrow market by showing a mixture of old and new independent, arthouse, British, foreign language and specialist cinema, along with some critically-acclaimed Hollywood films. The channel frequently has themed nights or seasons in which a number of films centred around one genre, director or
actorare shown. As Channel 4 also owns a film production company, Film4 Productions, it shows many of its products.
Occasional non-film (but film-related) programmes are also shown.
Wherever possible, films are shown unedited and in widescreen, and many films appear in their correct
aspect ratio. No digital on-screen graphics are superimposed.
Film4 was originally known as "FilmFour" and became Channel 4's second channel (after Channel 4 itself) when it launched on
1 November 1998. It was a subscription-only service available on satellite televisionvia the Sky Digital platform, Digital terrestrialvia ITV Digital(until the platform went into administration in 2002), and most UK cable services. It cost £5.99 or £6.00 a month (depending on platform), eventually rising to up to £7. The launch night, which was also broadcast on Channel 4, was hosted by Johnny Vaughanand the first film to be shown was " What's Eating Gilbert Grape".
Later, additional channels were added, FilmFour World and FilmFour Extreme which operated on a timeshare and the time-shift channel FilmFour +1. FilmFour World and Extreme were discontinued in 2003 and replaced by FilmFour Weekly, which screened four films across the week at the same time each day to make it easier to catch a film at least once [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/entertainment/film/2902801.stm FilmFour moves mainstream] , BBC,
21 March 2003] . FilmFour Weekly ceased broadcasting on 19 July 2006when the subscription service ended.
The subscription service ended on
19 July 2006and the channel re-launched (under the slightly modified name of Film4) as a free-to-airservice a few days later on 23 July. When the channel became free, it also returned to digital terrestrial as part of the Freeview brand, and became completely free-to-air on satellite television. Due to the change, the channel's availability increased from 300,000 (subscribers) to 18 million households. It also changed its broadcasting hours to 3:00 pm - 3:00 am, and commercial breaks were included during films for the first time. The first film broadcast under the new format was the British non-subscription television premiere of "Lost in Translation". It remains the only free film channel available on digital terrestrialtelevision.
Relaunch advertising campaign
To alert the public to it going free-to-air, Film4 launched a massive campaign directed by
Kevin Spaceyfeaturing major celebrities advertising Film4 in odd ways. The slogan of the campaign was "FILMS FOR FREE". Examples include:
Judi Denchin a lobster costume, operatically singing the words "Film Four!"
Lucy Liuin a banner plane, insulting Ray Winstoneand Christian Slaterwho have incorrectly erected a 'Film4 is free' sign, whilst her own banner is displayed upside-down.
Ewan McGregorin a tomato costume, talking to Judi Denchabout whether he is a fruit or a vegetable.
Gael Garcia Bernalputting leaflets, advertising Film4, onto cars and setting off their alarms. To which he then throws the remaining leaflets in the air.
Willem Dafoesaying to one of the advertising campaigners (played by Mackenzie Crook), "First day? It'll get better."
Rhys Ifansadvertising the channel door-to-door, but often having a door slammed in his face.
Sky Movies, has countered this with a new advertisement. Sky's advert shows a shot of a tomato and a lobster sitting next to a small sign with the words "FILMS AD FREE" appearing on it, a sly play on the words of Film4's own slogan. The ad then shows clips from films starring the above celebrities, all of which are available on Sky Movies. Unlike Film4, Sky Movies does not broadcast adverts during films (although it does show adverts between films). However, Sky Movies can only be viewed as part of a subscription package with a minimum cost of £34 per month. Sky Movies had also been advertising its World Cinema strand, which competes with Film4's speciality of independent and foreign films.Fact|date=October 2008
This season showed the best of
Hayao Miyazaki's Japanese animestudio Studio Ghibli[The first run of films was dubbed in English the second in the original Japanese with subtitles.] . The films were introduced by Paul Kaye.
Castle of Cagliostro
Kiki's Delivery Service
My Neighbour Totoro
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
This season showed some the best of South Korean thrillers.
* A Tale of Two Sisters
Tell Me Something
High School Comedy
ci-Fi Season (2007)
The Day After Tomorrow
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
ci-Fi Season (2008)
This season showed triple bills of Sci-Fi films for two weeks, taking up the 7PM, 9PM, and 11PM slot.
* 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Beneath the Planet of the Apes
The Fifth Element
Star Trek Nemesis
* Fantastic Four
Memoirs of an Invisible Man
* The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Big Trouble in Little China
* Alien vs. Predator
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
* I, Robot
Thunderbirds Are Go
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes
* Resident Evil
* The Fly
This season saw an anti-hero film every night after the 9PM film for a fortnight.
* Fight Club
From Dusk 'til Dawn
* L.A. Confidential
The 51st State
Big Trouble in Little China
* Six Degrees of Separation
The Fifth Element
* The Watcher
My Cousin Vinny
The Deer Hunter
* The Libertine
School Of Rock
50 Films to See Before You Die
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