First month of programming revealed for new FREE channel SBS WORLD MOVIES

Penélope Cruz in Loving Pablo
image - SBS

SBS is thrilled to reveal the first months line up for SBS World Movies, which will be available free-to-air and in HD from 1 July 2019. Loving Pablo (Spain), Rafiki (Kenya), various Studio Ghibli titles (Japan) and Just A Breath Away (France) are among the titles to headline the first month.

While the addition of the new channel will be a boom for movie fans, some viewers may be disappointed to learn the new service will not include Uncut versions of foreign titles.

The original World Movies on Foxtel secured a special “narrowcast licence” from the government, allowing the channel to broadcast R-rated films. 

This will not be allowed for the free-to-air version meaning a number of acclaimed foreign films will have to be edited to an MA15+ standard before broadcast.

SBS World Movies will broadcast in HD on free-to-air channel 32 making SBS the only broadcaster to provide 3 HD channels. The new channel will replace an existing SD version on Viceland. 

SBS has utilised Mpeg-4 compression for its channels including SBS HD, SBS Viceland, SBS Food and NITV. This compression allows the addition of more broadcast services on the available spectrum, but is also incompatible with some older Digital TV’s

SBS is promising the new 24-hour channel will be a celebration of the very best of world cinema – acclaimed arthouse, the best of Bollywood, nail-biting thrillers, romantic comedies, family favourites and anime classics. At least half of all titles will be in a language other than English, and the channel will broadcast over 700 films each year.

The first month of SBS World Movies is a unique mix of titles to help see audiences through winter. Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem unite in Spanish drama Loving Pablo to chronicle the volatile love affair between notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar and journalist Virginia Vallejo, throughout his reign of terror in Colombia.

Controversially banned in its home country of Kenya, Rafiki is the tender story of two women falling in love. Following critical acclaim at Cannes and around the world, filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu has taken on the Kenyan government to overturn their decision to ban the film.

All day, every single weekend in July, SBS World Movies will present cult classics from Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation film studio behind Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle and When Marnie Was There. From 6am – 7.30pm each Saturday and Sunday parents and children alike will be transported to distant, mystical worlds from the comfort of their own home. 

Tuesdays are dedicated to French heartthrob and lauded actor Romain Duris. He is known for his versatility, taking on gritty antiheroes, witty romantic interests and sombre dramas. Every Tuesday at 9.30pm, SBS World Movies will showcase his best films, including: Just A Breath Away, Odd Job, The New Girlfriend and Heartbreaker.

Women in film will be celebrated every Thursday, with films featuring strong female characters and creative teams airing back-to-back in prime time. Top picks include The Assassin, Into The Forest with Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood, Pin Cushion and Brick Lane.

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald said:

“SBS World Movies is a celebration of diversity – diversity of ideas, stories, talent and content. It’s a uniquely SBS channel that will bring the very best of world cinema to Australian audiences free of charge. What other network would showcase critically acclaimed international dramas alongside beloved anime from Studio Ghibli? We can’t wait to hear what audiences think of the channel.”

SBS World Movies will also feature curated seasons of special programming to mark cultural events, festivals and celebrations such as NAIDOC, Lunar New Year, International Women’s Day and Mardi Gras. From 6am to 6pm the channel will reprise the classics of cinema drawing on the best of the world’s movies over the decades and educating audiences about the art and history of cinema.