Film Four

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Film Four

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Film4 is a free digital television channel in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, owned and operated by Channel 4, that screens films.

Prior to 20 August 2007, in addition to the main channel, Film4 also operated a one-hour-timeshifted variant, Film4+1, on satellite, cable and Freeview. This channel was dropped on Freeview to make way for Channel 4+1 yet continues to be broadcast on Sky, Virgin and Freesat services[1]. Tiscali TV offers the non time-shifted channel along with a Video on demand service, Film4 on Demand.

To alert the public to it going free-to-air, Film4 launched a massive campaign directed by Kevin Spacey featuring major celebrities advertising Film4 in odd ways. The slogan of the campaign was "FILMS FOR FREE". Examples include:

* Judi Dench in a lobster costume, operatically singing the words "Film Four!"
* Lucy Liu in a banner plane, insulting Ray Winstone and Christian Slater who have incorrectly erected a 'Film4 is free' sign, whilst her own banner is displayed upside-down.
* Ewan McGregor in a tomato costume, talking to Judi Dench about whether he is a fruit or a vegetable.
* Gael Garcia Bernal putting leaflets, advertising Film4, onto cars and setting off their alarms. To which he then throws the remaining leaflets in the air.
* Willem Dafoe saying to one of the advertising campaigners (played by Mackenzie Crook), "First day? It'll get better."
* Rhys Ifans advertising the channel door-to-door, but often having a door slammed in his face.

Film4's rival, Sky Movies, has countered this with a new advertisement. Sky's advert shows a shot of a tomato and a lobster sitting next to a small sign with the words "FILMS AD FREE" appearing on it, a sly play on the words of Film4's own slogan. The ad then shows clips from films starring the above celebrities, all of which are available on Sky Movies. Unlike Film4, Sky Movies does not broadcast adverts during films (although it does show adverts between films). However, Sky Movies can only be viewed as part of a subscription package with a minimum cost of £34 per month. Sky Movies had also been advertising its World Cinema strand, which competes with Film4's speciality of independent and foreign films.


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