BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by the BFI and the films on them.

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MichaelB
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BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#1 Post by MichaelB » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:41 am

Since the BFI Blu-ray catalogue has really started to grow in earnest, I thought you might find this region guide useful.

Region-free

L'Age d'or
Alice
All the Right Noises
Anti-Clock
A Bigger Splash
The Bill Douglas Trilogy
The Black Panther
Bronco Bullfrog
Captured
Comrades
The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume 1: The First Days
The Complete Humphrey Jennings Volume 2: Fires Were Started
The Crowded Day/Song of Paris
A Day in the Life (John Krish compilation)
Deep End
Duffer/The Moon Over the Alley
The Edge of the World
The Epic of Everest
Faces
GAZWRX - The Films of Jeff Keen
The Great White Silence
Herostratus
Her Private Hell
Institute Benjamenta
Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary/My Wife's Lodger
Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs
London in the Raw
Loving Memory
Lunch Hour
Magick Lantern Cycle (Kenneth Anger)
Man of Violence/The Big Switch (aka Strip Poker)
More
Nightbirds
Nighthawks
The Other Side of the Underneath
The Party's Over
Penny Points to Paradise/Let's Go Crazy
Permissive
The Pleasure Girls
Primitive London
Private Road
Requiem for a Village
Separation
Shadows
That Kind of Girl
Turksib
Underground
The Valley (Obscured by Clouds)
Voice Over
Winstanley
You're Human Like the Rest of Them*
A Zed and Two Noughts

(*Although the BD of You're Human Like the Rest of Them is region-free, the accompanying DVD is Region 2, as it contains BBC material)

Region B

Arabian Nights
An Autumn Afternoon
Battleship Potemkin/Drifters
The Bed-Sitting Room
Before the Revolution
The Belly of an Architect
The Canterbury Tales
Chronicle of a Summer
Cría Cuervos
The Decameron
Early Summer
Equinox Flower
French Cancan
Gaslight
Good Morning
Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush
The Innocents
Joanna
Jour de Fête
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
Late Autumn
Late Spring
The Leopard
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner
Maîtresse
Medea
Mon Oncle
Opening Night
Playtime
Privilege
Red Desert
Revolution
Salo - The 120 Days of Sodom
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Schalcken the Painter
Stromboli
Tess
Theorem
Tokyo Story
Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot
A Woman Under the Influence

If the mods make this sticky, I'll update whenever I get direct confirmation from BFI DVD Publishing. As a general rule of thumb, if it's licensed from a major, it's probably region-locked, and if it's sourced from an independent or produced/owned outright by the BFI it's probably region-free - but please don't pre-order on that basis, as there are bound to be exceptions in both categories!

I can also confirm that all the Yasujiro Ozu Blu-rays released in 2010-12 will be Region B, but the Adelphi Collection will be region-free across the board.
Last edited by MichaelB on Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:08 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#2 Post by ouatitw » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:47 pm

I'm wishing now I would have got the bluray edition of GAZWRX, thanks for the information, this will be useful in the future.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#3 Post by MichaelB » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:45 am

Note that American PS3s with firmware versions 2.70 to 2.80 inclusive have apparently been unable to play The Other Side of the Underneath, although this is definitely a region-free title.

Apparently the latest firmware (3.0) corrects this glitch, and I'm just waiting for confirmation that this is indeed the case.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#4 Post by cdnchris » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:21 pm

I got the latest firmware for my PS3 and double check my Other Side of the Underneath disc and it now plays back.

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Re: Amazon

#5 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 2:50 pm

I know that MoC Blu-Rays are region free, is BFI the same deal? Or are they Region B?

EDIT: Oops, found this. A shame Salo is Region B - is there any reason why some are and some aren't? I mean, I hated Salo, but I feel odd not having it in my collection - it's been following me around ever since I saw it.

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Re: Amazon

#6 Post by Matt » Mon Sep 21, 2009 8:46 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:A shame Salo is Region B - is there any reason why some are and some aren't?
MichaelB explains it briefly in his post above: "As a general rule of thumb, if it's licensed from a major, it's probably region-locked, and if it's sourced from an independent or produced/owned outright by the BFI it's probably region-free."

Films are generally licensed for individual territories (US, Canada, UK, France, etc.) Rights owners want to be able to wring as much money from each territorial license as they can, so they write region coding and other restrictions into the licensing agreement. This ground is pretty well covered in various places around the forum, mostly in the MoC and BFI threads.

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Re: Amazon

#7 Post by James » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:14 am

In other words, by "major", Matt means something along the lines of: it will probably be on Blu-ray in the region that works for your player eventually!

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#8 Post by Matt » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:21 am

With any luck, yes. But that's not really turning out the be the case.

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Re: Amazon

#9 Post by MichaelB » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:59 am

mfunk9786 wrote:I know that MoC Blu-Rays are region free, is BFI the same deal? Or are they Region B?
See above! (I'm assuming your post was originally somewhere else?)

Incidentally, MoC Blu-rays are not invariably region-free - For All Mankind is coded for Region B. Which I'm actually quite pleased about, because I was getting thoroughly sick of this myth that MoC are somehow negotiating wizards who can persuade any rightsholder to let them go region-free and the BFI have this evil "policy" (a word I see far too often in this argument) to go in the other direction - the fact is, if MoC licensed and released those titles, they'd have to region-code too.
EDIT: Oops, found this. A shame Salo is Region B - is there any reason why some are and some aren't?
BFI policy is to go region-free whenever possible. Unfortunately, Hollywood studios and their agents almost invariably insist on region-coding their titles, and make it a contractual condition - in other words, if the BFI ignores this and releases the disc region-free, the repercussions could be severe, affecting far more than just the BFI's Blu-ray catalogue. (It's no exaggeration to say that the BFI's entire business plan across the full range of its activities is massively reliant on maintaining good relationships with rightsholders - without those, loads of BFI projects from South Bank seasons to online projects like Screenonline and the Mediatheque to archive restorations just wouldn't be possible).

So far, the Region B titles have all come from the United Artists back catalogue, though upcoming releases like Privilege (Universal), The Leopard and The Innocents (both Fox) will also definitely be Region B, and for the same reason. The situation with For All Mankind suggests that it's also highly likely that if the BFI collaborates with Criterion on a Blu-ray release that Criterion will insist on region-coding - they region-code all their own discs to region A, and will expect their partners to do the equivalent for their territory.

Of course, you could take a stand and refuse to licence anything that's going to be compulsorily region-coded - but in doing so, you'd shut off a vast range of titles, many (if not most) of which will be amongst the most lucrative ones in the catalogue. The Leopard was a huge hit on DVD, and hopefully the Blu-ray will be similar - which means that it'll effectively subsidise the riskier releases.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#10 Post by peerpee » Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:11 am

Michael, we are negotiating wizards though.

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Re: Amazon

#11 Post by peerpee » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:45 pm

MichaelB wrote:The situation with For All Mankind suggests that it's also highly likely that if the BFI collaborates with Criterion on a Blu-ray release that Criterion will insist on region-coding - they region-code all their own discs to region A, and will expect their partners to do the equivalent for their territory.
I wouldn't assume that to be the case. Try and talk to them about it as soon as you can. I believe we could have worked something out if we'd approached them sooner.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#12 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:35 pm

Is there a good site out there to find region unlock codes for players that are currently region locked? Quite a few of the DVD players I've had over the years could, with a clever combination of buttons on the remote, be region/PAL unlocked - I wonder if it's the same way with my crappy Insignia NS-BRDVD player.

And yes, MichaelB, my post was elsewhere (in the Bargains forum), because I leapt before I looked with my questions. Thanks for all the information, though. :)

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#14 Post by Cash Flagg » Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:20 pm

Michael, will The Party's Over and Pleasure Girls be region-free?

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#15 Post by MichaelB » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:11 pm

They will indeed - I've just updated the list.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#16 Post by michaelgsmith » Wed May 12, 2010 1:17 pm

Does anyone know if the BFI DVD of Tokyo Story (included in the dual edition with the Blu-Ray) will be Region free? (I'd like the film on blu for home viewing but I need a DVD that will play on Region 1 players for a class I teach.)
Thanks in advance,
M

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#17 Post by MichaelB » Wed May 12, 2010 4:12 pm

Given that the Ozu Blu-rays are Region B at the insistence of the rightsholder, I'd be astounded if the DVDs were region-free. I'll check, but I really wouldn't get your hopes up - sorry!

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#18 Post by michaelgsmith » Wed May 12, 2010 7:21 pm

Thanks for the advice. I won't sell my Criterion just yet. I would still appreciate hearing back with the definitive answer when you get it.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#19 Post by MichaelB » Fri May 14, 2010 6:35 am

The definitive answer is that the Ozu Blu-rays are Region B and the DVDs are Region 2.

Sorry - contractual obligation laid down by Shochiku: there's nothing anyone outside that company can do.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#20 Post by ccfixx » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:55 am

Michael,
Any chance you, or someone else, would want to separate the titles listed above into BFI's main line releases and their Flipside titles?

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#21 Post by MichaelB » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:05 am

ccfixx wrote:Michael,
Any chance you, or someone else, would want to separate the titles listed above into BFI's main line releases and their Flipside titles?
A separate Flipside index, complete with region-code information, can be found here.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#22 Post by lennyj » Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:24 am

Hi,

I'm new to all this 'region locking' business and have been researching the topic. On of the things I've been trying to get my head around is the term 'region free' as applies to bluray players. My understanding of this is that if your player is region free (as some are advertised as), then you should be able to watch any bluray dvd regardless of whether it's region blocked!

Have I understood this correctly or am I missing something?

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#23 Post by knives » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:05 pm

Yes if you have a Bluray player that is bluray region free than you should be able to play anything (with some number punching).

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#24 Post by MichaelB » Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:07 pm

knives wrote:Yes if you have a Bluray player that is bluray region free than you should be able to play anything (with some number punching).
It might be worth checking for 50Hz compatibility, though - I think any European player will be fine, but US players often struggle to handle 1080i/50 material.

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Re: BFI Blu-ray Region Guide

#25 Post by lennyj » Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:33 pm

Cool! Thanks for the quick replies!

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