With complaints that Australian films rarely stay in cinemas for very long, and too often sadly sink without a trace, a new streaming service devoted entirely to Australian film is set to launch in 2016. It’s called Ozflix, and it aims to provide a platform for people to rediscover Australian classics (with films ranging from the 1900s through to the latest releases) and also launch independent new voices.
Co-director Alan Finney says: “The timing could not be better. The technology is right for it. We’re going to take advantage of that developing technology and make these films accessible.”
Director Ron Brown continues by stating that Ozflix’s ambitious intent is “to aggregate all Australian films, making Ozflix a one-stop destination.”
Ozflix will operate on a TVOD model (pay-per-view), providing digital film rentals to audiences at competitive prices. There will also be the option to buy curated “bundles” of films based on a theme, or celebrating the work of a particular director.
This curation will be one of Ozflix’s most significant differences when it comes to competing streaming services. In addition to these film bundles, industry heavyweights like George Miller, Fred Schepisi, Stephan Elliot, Rolf de Heer, Deborah Mailman and Sigrid Thornton will curate and introduce lists of their favourite films; while mini-festivals will celebrate the contributions of individual artists to the industry.
Behind-the-scenes content will also be available.
In the words of director/producer George Miller, and Ozflix supporter, the new streaming service will be “an art gallery of Australian cinema.”
The Directors of Ozflix are aware of the large number of Australian films that are currently unavailable on digital formats due to the costs of digitising from older formats. In response, they have created the Australian Film Future Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation which will provide filmmakers with grants to digitise their films.