Let's watch a film!
08 April 2020

In an attempt to keep people occupied at home, many film studios have opted to make both old and new films available online. William Murray provides a selection of free and legal international film databases this short article for 

This year promises to be difficult for all sectors, but as people are being told to stay inside, the cinema and theatre industries are likely to be hit especially hard.  While some films, such as the upcoming James Bond, have opted to postpone release until later in the year [1]; other studios, such as Universal, have decided to fast-track many of their current and upcoming films to on-demand streaming services [2]. Alongside Hollywood releases, many smaller indie and international film houses have made their databases available to the public during this difficult time. Whilst it isn’t sensible to spend too much time front of the television, this period of obligatory isolation does provide a great opportunity to seek-out films from other countries and cultures that you may not usually experience.

 Please find below a selection of studios and institutes from around the world that have decided to publish their work online for free to help us through this difficult period:

        In Georgia, Parachute Films have put together a free online database of Georgian films. This is being updated every day at the request of various filmmakers. These range from very short films such as Guram Geguchadze’s 90-second-long ‘DeAD’; to feature-length movies, like Giga Liklikadze’s ‘Pig’.

        In Latvia, The National film Centre has made 44 Latvian films, usually available in school libraries, free to the public through their Filmas database.

        The Beirut-based Aflamunu, an initiative launched by Arab filmmakers and film institutions, has made a selection of award-winning Arab films available for free on their website.

        Every 3 days, Abbout Productions are sharing one of their films for free on their facebook page. Abbout describes its productions as ‘feature films and documentaries with a distinctly Arab voice, expressing the identity of the region’.

        The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has created a database of over 800 international documentaries that can be watched online. Whilst 300 of these are free to watch, there are a further 500 projects available for a small fee, which goes directly towards the filmmaker, distributor, or other rights holder of each film.

        Films of Norway currently provides a 7-day free subscription to their database of Norwegian films and TV series 

These are just a few, and of course, there are many other services popping up each day to make staying at home more bearable for all of us. If you find other interesting international databases or services, please do share them with us on twitter

Featured references:

[1] BBC – ‘Release of James Bond film No Time To Die delayed amid coronavirus fears’: 

[2] Vanity Fair ­– ‘Universal Is the First Studio to Make New Movies Available On-Demand During Cororonavirus Outbreak’:

source: William Murray for