SBS will launch a new World Movies multichannel on Channel 32 on July 1st.
The new channel will feature more than 700 films. At least half the titles on the channel will be in a language other than English, and featuring everything from European arthouse films to the best of Bollywood cinema, romantic comedies to anime, award-winning favourites, acclaimed new releases, and more.
SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said: “Movies provide people with the opportunity to escape to worlds outside of our own, with stories that entertain and inspire us, make us think, laugh and even cry. International cinema does this in a truly unique way, and has been an important part of SBS’s offering for decades, giving Australians the opportunity to delve into cultures through cinematic masterpieces captivating audiences around the world.
“People come to SBS for content they don’t find anywhere else. SBS World Movies has a proud tradition of showcasing the best international films, reflecting the diversity of global cinema, and we’re excited to further evolve this offering and make it available to all Australians for free this July.”
Films will include Amanda (France), The 12th Man (Norway), Just A Breath Away (France), Ash is the Purest White (China), Aligarth (India), Girl (Belgium), Killing of a Sacred Deer (UK), and many more. Launch titles will be announced in the coming weeks.
SBS World Movies will also feature curated seasons of special programming to mark cultural events, festivals and celebrations such as Diwali, Lunar New Year, International Women’s Day and Mardi Gras.
Each week, the schedule will feature a Women in Film double-bill of female filmmakers and lead actors, as well as Festival Favourites and Emerging Territories, showcasing films from far-flung locations.
The new multichannel follows lobby group Save Our SBS making a submission to the SBS Board calling for a foreign language channel.
In its submission the group indicated the two most desired program types in peak viewing are foreign language movies (subtitled) scoring 77%, and foreign language TV series (subtitled) scoring 58% .
It called for predominately subtitled imported movies spoken in Language Other than English (LOTE) and subtitled imported television series spoken in LOTE.
“The mere act of screening TV content in LOTE from a range of countries will culturally connect those born in Australia with immigrants and their families, one to the other, with a rich and deep understanding of each other. This is the very essence of what leads to a sense of belonging and informs social cohesion. A free-to-air LOTE channel as described will enable SBS to build understanding, inclusion and cohesion within the Australian polyglot society,” it said in its submission.
SBS will be the only Free to Air broadcaster with 3 x HD channels. Channel 32 is currently home to SBS VICELAND in standard definition (Channel 31 has VICELAND in high definition). It will also be available on SBS On Demand.
World Movies previously operated as a Pay TV channel.