BFI chair Greg Dyke hails “defining moment” at launch of video on demand platform BFI Player.

The player will include seven HD channels comprising contemporary and archive films, behind-the-scenes festival footage and the full 28 hours of Edwardian film footage from filmmakers Mitchell and Kenyon. 

The platform will offer a mix of free (approximately 60%) and pay-per-view (40%) content including hundreds of features in the launch period with prices ranging from £2.50 to £10.

Among available films will be Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, which will launch on the Player simultaneously with its UK theatrical release, and the BFI restoration of The Epic Of Everest (1924), which will be available on the same day as its premiere at the London Film Festival. According to a BFI spokesperson The Selfish Giant is likely to be priced at £10.

A deal between ITV Studios and the BFI means that a number of the films in the Rank and ITC film libraries will also be available. In the Player’s Gothic strand will be titles including The Mummy (1959) and The Mistletoe Bough (1913).

The player is due to be available from October 9 to coincide with the London Film Festival.

Additional partners will be announced in early 2014.

Dyke said: “The launch of the BFI Player is a defining moment in the BFI’s 80 year history – it will unlock the past, present and future of British film and, most importantly, offers a new deal for UK audiences by ensuring that as many people as possible across the UK get access to great films. I’m really excited about the BFI Player’s potential. The BFI is pivotal to identifying great films and nurturing and giving a voice to great filmmakers in the UK and now offers a platform to take these stories out to whole new audiences.”