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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

introducing arthouse streaming service OVID, an essential source for serious cinema lovers

OVID.tv streaming service

I am getting wonderfully lost in exploring the new streaming service OVID, which is an absolute treat for lovers of arthouse cinema. The collective effort of eight indie distributors — Bullfrog Films, dGenerate Films, Distrib Films US, First Run Features, Grasshopper Film, Icarus Films, KimStim, and Women Make Movies — OVID offers a curated selection of documentaries, indies, and international films, many of which are unavailable to stream elsewhere, and some of which are films you will never see outside a festival, because their runtimes are too short or their subject matter too esoteric for even mainstream arthouse audiences.

I’ve previously reviewed some films you’ll find on the service, and I can recommend them specifically:

Tatsumi [at OVID], an animated ode to legendary manga artist Yoshiro Tatsumi, and a lovely tribute to living a creative life

Maidentrip [at OVID], a remarkable doc about Laura Dekker, the youngest person ever to sail around the world solo (she was only 14 when she set out); this would make a fantastic double feature with Maiden, currently in limited release in the US

Welcome to Leith [at OVID], an uncomfortable documentary look at a North Dakota town that came under entirely legal siege from white supremacists

Bright Leaves [at OVID], legendary documentarian Ross McElwee’s freeform meditation on his family’s history in the tobacco industry and on his own addiction to filmmaking.

OVID.tv streaming service

I love that OVID has a strong focus on movies with real meaning, including social-justice documentaries, and has a whole section devoted to films by issue: Criminal Justice, Climate Change, Race & Racism, Immigration & Migration, even Sustainable Design & Urbanism (wow!), and more. The nations you’ll find otherwise difficult-to-see films from include China, Cuba, Russia, and South Africa.

What am I looking foward to checking out on OVID? Documentary Geek Girls, about nerdy women; climate-change doc Anthropocene, about the dramatic impact humans are having on our planet; and classics including Ross McElwee’s paradigm-shattering 1986 doc Sherman’s March, and the 1999 doc After Stonewall, recently added for Pride Month.

OVID, which launched in March and is adding more films every few weeks, is available in the US only for now (access for Canada is coming soon), for $6.99 per month, or $69.99 per year, after a free seven-day trial. You can explore the service’s catalogue in full even if you’re not a member (though, obviously, you won’t be able to watch the films).

You can encourage me to review more films like OVID’s offerings my joining my Patreon with a monthly $£$£ pledge!

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