Following successful trials, the library has now subscribed to two new audiovisual resources; Film Platform and Kanopy. Both provide access to rare documentary films that might otherwise never be seen beyond the festival circuit, whilst Kanopy also provides access to arthouse film as well. Both platforms are well used by US universities but Goldsmiths is one of the very few UK universities using either, let alone both.
Film Platform works with leading filmmakers to provide educational access to international documentaries that introduce new concepts, expose students to fresh perspectives and enhance classroom discussions. They work with distributors, such as Cats & Docs, First Hand Films and The National Film Board of Canada. Films are accompanied by study guides, including press kits, articles and interviews with both filmmakers and their subjects.
Film Platform works with academic advisory boards to ensure the films in their collection are suited to universities and their students. Chris Berry, formerly of the Media and Communications department at Goldsmiths, now at King’s College, is a board member.
You can search by film titles or browse by collections, and there are two ways of doing this:
- Curated collections (curated by academic staff, researchers, festival directors), including collections on Perfomative Documentaries and Media/Activism
- Subject collections, including Human Rights, International, Social and Political Affairs and Gender Studies
Films can be shared via social media/email and clips/playlists can be easily created. Academic notes and information about the film’s festival appearances and awards are also available.
To access Film Platform and start streaming, just visit the E-Resources A-Z list, choose ‘F’ and click on the link to Film Platform. Alternatively, use this link, ensuring you sign-in with the usual username and password.
Kanopy works with over 3,000 universities worldwide, distributing documentaries, indies and foreign films, classics and the odd blockbuster movie too! They work with distributors such as California Newsreel, Criterion, Documentary Educational Resources and Kino Lorber.
There are over 26,000 films in the Kanopy collection. You can search for titles (and Kanopy starts predicting results once you enter words) or browse by a range of subjects, including:
- Film and Popular (including documentaries, early film, foreign language film)
- Global Studies and Languages (including African studies, Asian studies, Latin American studies and more)
- The Arts (including design, literature, music, performance art, photography, visual art)
Much like Netflix, results can be arranged by theme, e.g. race and class studies, gender studies, etc. Or when you search by topic, e.g. Russian film, there are numerous filters you can use to further narrow your search, e.g. suppliers, filmmakers, year of production, etc.
Each film has a transcript and you can click to any point in this transcript to skip the film along to this part. It can be shared via social media/email and also embedded into websites/VLEs. You can also create clips if you only need to stream a certain part of the film, and you can also add to playlists.
Help on using Kanopy is available here.