For the film production company, see Film4 Productions.
Film4 logo.png
Film4 logo
Launched: November 1, 1998
Owned by: Channel 4 Television Corporation
Audience share: < 0.3% (as of July 2006) [1]
Broadcast aspect ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
On-screen logo? No
Freeview: Channel 31
Virgin Media: Channel 444
Sky: Channel 315
Other: NTL Ireland: Channel 111

Film4 is a British digital television channel, owned and operated by Channel 4, which screens generally less mainstream films.

Programming[edit | edit source]

Unlike its rivals, Film4 does not focus on broadcasting blockbusters. Instead, it focusses aims for a more niche and highbrow market by showing many 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 or where a number of films centred around one genre, director or actor are shown. As Channel 4 also owns a film production company, Film4 Productions, it often shows many of its products.

Wherever possible, films are always shown uncut and in widescreen, although films with aspect ratios larger than 1.78:1 are sometimes cropped.

History[edit | edit source]

Film4 was originally known as FilmFour and became Channel 4's second channel (after Channel 4 itself) when it launched on November 1, 1998. It was a subscription-only satellite and cable and cost £5.99 a month (which eventually rose to up to £7 a month). The launch night, which was also broadcast on Channel 4, was hosted by Johnny Vaughan and the first film to be shown was What's Eating Gilbert Grape?.

The subscription service ended on July 19, 2006 and the channel re-launched (under the slightly modified name of Film4) as a free service on July 23. When the channel became free, it also launched on Freeview for the first time. Due to the change, the channel's availability increased from 300,000 to 18 million households. It also changed its broadcasting hours from 1500-0300 and commercial breaks were included during films for the first time.

The first film to be shown under the new format was Lost in Translation. Upon its first broadcast (July 23, 2006, 9:00pm), the initial audience share was 735,000, and peaked at 875,000 with a 5.2% audience share.[2]

Past and present logos[edit | edit source]

Sister channels[edit | edit source]

In addition to the main channel, Film4 also operates a one-hour-timeshifted variant, Film4+1 on satellite, cable and Freeview.

Previously, two other FilmFour channels, FilmFour World and FilmFour Extreme, were broadcast alongside FilmFour. These were discontinued in 2003 and replaced by another channel, 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. FilmFour Weekly ceased broadcasting on July 19, 2006 when the subscription service ended.

Availability[edit | edit source]

Further to the availability shown above, Film4 and Film4+1 are available free-to-air on Astra 2D. That is in contrast with Channel 4, E4 and More4 which are free-to-view.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Film4. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with MOVIEPEDIA, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.