The petition to save FilmStruck from ending has united the film community over the last week. The online petition entitled, “Keep FilmStruck Alive,” originally launched with the goal of attaining 7,500 signatures, but in just over a week it has rocketed to earn over 23,000 signatures, with its new goal of 25,000 signatures being an inevitable benchmark that will be hit sometime in the next day or two.
“FilmStruck has given cinephiles an indispensable resource for appreciating cinema, and provided so much joy to all those who thought that many of these movies would never see the light of a streaming platform,” petition leader Kevin Bahr wrote in a statement. “FilmStruck is not just a niche market, it is a massive archive dedicated to keeping art of the past alive.”
Rallying cinephiles over the last week has been Guillermo del Toro. The Oscar-winning filmmaker was one of the first major directors to mourn the loss of FilmStruck on social media, but he has since been encouraging followers and moviegoers across the country to sign the petition. Del Toro’s latest Tweet, published November 2, read, “Don’t mourn FilmStruck. DO something- sign the petition!”
Del Toro was joined this week by “Barry” Emmy winner and “Saturday Night Live” favorite Bill Hader. The actor was honored November 1 at the 2018 IndieWire Honors ceremony and used his acceptance speech to campaign for the FilmStruck petition. “I know there’s a lot of bigger fish to fry, but if we could save FilmStruck, that would be awesome,” Hader said, noting the streaming service is one of his favorite things.
FilmStruck launched October 19, 2016 and touted itself as “the largest streaming library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films.” The service was best known for being the exclusive streaming home of The Criterion Collection. Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks issued a joint statement October 29 announcing the end of FilmStruck. The companies said FilmStruck “remains largely a niche service” and they would “take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space.”
In addition to the petition, cinephiles have been using social media to share the FilmStruck titles people should watch before the service comes to end. FilmStruck is set to end November 29.
Bill Hader implores everyone to sign the petition to save @FilmStruck: “I know there’s a lot of bigger fish to fry, but if we could save FilmStruck, that would be awesome.” https://t.co/25k1AoUY6h #IWHonors pic.twitter.com/lNvq3i9njH
— IndieWire (@IndieWire) November 2, 2018
Don’t “mourn” Filmstruck. DO something- sign the petition! Now over 16,000 people have signed (myself included). https://t.co/ml3VaZtEbw
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) November 3, 2018