Film finder promises end to streaming search

Finding the right streaming service to watch that one film you’re really desperate to see is set to get much easier – provided the film was made in Europe.

Loving Vincent US Theatrical Poster

That’s because the European Commission is soon to launch a directory of European films – a portal designed to help people “find information about European films and their availability on-line in video-on-demand (VOD) services throughout the EU”.

“European cultural heritage is not just about monuments, literature, painting or traditions, but also includes the extraordinary wealth of our film heritage,” culture commissioner Tibor Navracsics said in a statement about the directory.

More than 18,000 films were made in Europe between 2007 and 2016, according to the Commission. And production is on the rise, it said, with 2,124 feature films made in Europe in 2016, compared with 1,444 in 2007.

A prototype of the directory was presented by digital commissioner Mariya Gabriel on 18 October at an event in Lyon. It included data on 35,000 films available from 115 streaming services.

“It is up to us to ensure that European works enjoy the audience that they deserve,” Gabriel said.

But you’ll have to carry on searching the various individual streaming services for the time being, as a beta version of the directory is not due to launch until spring 2019. A final version is then scheduled for the end of next year.

Words: Craig Nicholson

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