Proposed Service Will Connect Audiences with Films, Commission Original Work

Citing the success of festivals such as Hot Docs and the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) today announced an over-the-top subscription platform for "viewing and engaging with" documentary films on the web, connected TVs, and mobile devices.

NFB said content available on the new platform would be "curated," and would include bilingual and multilingual material as well as "new forms of interactive documentary." The rollout is expected to begin in 2014 in North America and Europe.

Tom Perlmutter, chair of the NFB, pointed to the organization's history in documentary filmmaking as well as its already developed online infrastructure for content distribution at as the basis for the new initiative. "We are acting as a catalyst," he said in a prepared statement. "We will be implementing and developing this service in cooperation with prestigious national and international partners." The service will not only serve to put existing documentary content in front of audiences, but also commission original films, Perlmutter said.

The NFB also said the service will feature subject experts to "guide viewers through the maze" of available docs, and will allow subscribers to create, annotate, and share playlists. The system will, presumably, draw on the NFB's own content library, which includes more than 13,000 productions, 10 of which are Oscar-winners. 

Watch the video, below, to see how NFB is promoting the new initiative with a montage of documentary footage. 

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