UK's 'Google for Film' service launches

Ian McEwan's novel Atonement might never have made it to the big screen had it not been for the UK Film Council

The British Film Industry has always been something of a lovable oddity, especially when compared with the sleek corporate behemoth that is Hollywood. Need an example? Well, how about the latest news that the UK Film Council has launched a 'Google for film' service called FindAnyFilm.

Any seasoned internet user will immediately think, "so it's IMDb?" But further investigation reveals that the £1m FindAnyFilm project offers British movie fans quite a lot more than they can get from Amazon's mighty movie database.

FindAnyFilm offers cinema and TV listings; DVD, Blu-ray and download options for 34,000 films; listings for multiple formats; links to retail sites and legal download services.

Breaking the Hollywood hegemony

The Film Council's, Peter Buckingham, told The Guardian: "We'd like to get people to watch a wide range of films and not be dominated by Hollywood," noting that the site also indexes films in French, Cantonese, Hindi, Arabic and Japanese.

"Secondly, we want to make sure the film industry doesn't suffer the same problems the music industry had getting value in the digital world, specifically dealing with downloads. There's nothing out there doing exactly what we're doing."

"The idea came as part of an osmosis from the other stuff that's out there... Consumers can be confused by the [release] windows for films and it can be hard to find out when films are being released, so that's a big driver for the whole site."

The Film Council plans to develop iPhone and Facebook applications for the service and may also develop services to suggest film recommendations, offer reviews and provide options for user feedback.