Stream German Movies for Free(ish)

Maybe it can help you with your German.

Berlin’s libraries this month began offering an online movie and TV streaming service that is exclusively auf deutsch but offers a broad back catalog of arthouse European movies and traditional German TV fare.

The portal, filmfriend.de, offers a total 500 movies and series episodes and is included with the €10 annual fee for a Berlin library card, according to Tagesspiegel.

“Currently, about 3,000 people use Filmfriend,” Moritz Mutter, head of the service for the Association of Public Berlin Libraries (Verbund öffentlicher Bibliotheken Berlin, or VÖBB) told the paper. “It’s been met with surprise with our visitors. We’re getting a lot of queries by e-mail because of the site and numerous positive responses.”

The portal was developed together with Potsdam rights management company filmwerte GmbH and is in response to waning interest in traditional media such as CDs, DVDs and Blurays, according to the paper. In 2015, members checked out 4.7 million DVDs and Blurays but last year just 4.4 million, Berlin library spokesperson Anna Jacobi told Tagesspiegel.

At the same time, interest in e-books is skyrocketing.

Filmfriend will be expanded to 1,200 titles by the end of the year and is available to other German libraries, though none have yet to offer the service to their members.

What’s available? Kids titles like Bibi Blocksberg and Benjamin Blümchen and a number of other German productions you’ve probably never heard of, which is the point.

“European films are what set us apart (from the competition),” filmwerte’s Silvia Loinjak was quoted by the paper.

 

 

 

 

 

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