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SBS World Movies channel

SBS is launching an international movie channel.

The new channel – SBS World Movies – will be on air from 1 July.

At least half the content will be in languages other than English (LOTE) and that may increase over time.

The channel will broadcast in HD.

Save Our SBS President, Steve Aujard, said, “The World Movies channel comes about after the SBS Board of Directors considered a submission from Save Our SBS proposing a languages other than English TV channel. Our submission was discussed at the Board’s April meeting.

“In our submission, we referred to studies that showed that the two most desired program types in peak viewing are foreign language movies (subtitled) scoring 77%, and foreign language TV series (subtitled) scoring 58%. Clearly SBS have focused on the international movie aspect in their new channel.

“Years ago SBS was known for its movies in a variety of languages. Audiences loved that. It dominated primetime viewing and separated SBS from other media.” 

SBS Managing Director, James Taylor, said, “International cinema 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.”

Steve Aujard added, “The whole point of our submission to the SBS Board asking for SBS to create a channel with foreign language content was to see a truly charter focused SBS channel and build on social cohesion.”

There are over 300 languages spoken in Australian homes.

Content in other languages will be subtitled in English on the World Movies channel.

Steve Aujard continued, “We know of older immigrants who say they learnt English due to SBS’s subtitled programs many years ago.

“In our submission we said that the mere act of screening TV content in various languages 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.

“Of course we asked for much more than just a foreign language movie channel. But due to its very high foreign language content, the World Movies channel will enable SBS and all of us to build understanding within Australia’s polyglot society. Surely this will help to increase social cohesion.”

Mary Patetsos, Chairperson of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council of Australia, said, “The dedicated 24-hour channel will help Australia’s migrant communities stay connected with their culture, heritage and language.”

The SBS World Movies channel will feature European art-house films, the best of Bollywood cinema, romantic comedies to anime, award-winning favourites, acclaimed new releases, and more.  

The channel will broadcast more than 700 films each year, with international titles including recent award winning and critically acclaimed films such as Amanda (France), The 12th Man (Norway), Just A Breath Away (France), Ash is the Purest White (China), Aligarh (India), Girl (Belgium), Killing of a Sacred Deer (UK), and many more.

The channel 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-bills, as well as Festival Favourites and a showcase of films from countries with emerging film industries. 

“This is a fine example of SBS reconnecting with its audience, celebrating cultural diversity, and recognising we speak a multitude of languages,” said Steve Aujard.

Save Our SBS had recommended that the new channel be commercially less intrusive than existing SBS channels. However, SBS have decided that the commercial format on SBS World Movies will be no different to other SBS channels. “We will work to see that change,” concluded Steve Aujard.



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