Australian and New Zealand indie distributor Umbrella Entertainment will launch Brollie, a free of charge, ad-supported streaming service later this month. It will lean on Umbrella’s library of classic content and claims to be the first free streaming platform specializing in Australian film and TV content.
Brollie will launch on Nov. 23 with over 300 titles including: “Babadook” (dir. Jennifer Kent, 2014); “Two Hands” (dir. Gregor Jordan, 1999); cult classics “Sweat” (creator John Rapsey, 1996); “Erskineville Kings” (dir. Alan White, 1999); and “Cut” (dir. Kimble Rendall, 2000) starring Kylie Minogue.
Brollie will also have a section for Indigenous Australia, including a collection of films starring Aboriginal screen legend David Gulpilil. These include “Walkabout” (dir. Nicolas Roeg, 1971); “Storm Boy” (dir. Henri Safran, 1976); and “The Last Wave” (dir. Peter Weir, 1977).
A documentary slate includes “Servant or Slave” (dir. Steven McGregor, 2016) and “Ablaze” (dir. Alec Morgan, Tiriki Onus, 2021).
Subscribers will be invited to be part of the Brollie Film Club, where Brollie’s in-house team handpicks the best of the catalogue twice a month. Members can terrify themselves with the ‘Australian Nightmares’ collection exploring the best of Aussie horror or delve into the ‘All Out Ozploitation’ collection showcasing genre films from the 1970s and 1980s.
Special features, usually confined to DVD extras, will also be available to watch with these collections, giving die-hard film aficionados a rare glimpse behind the scenes with Australian legends like Hugh Jackman, Heath Ledger, Nicole Kidman and Minogue.
“The Brollie catalogue is full of Australian cult classics, many of which aren’t available on other streaming platforms. We know these iconic films and TV shows can find new and old audiences instead of gathering dust on the shelf. Brollie is about helping Aussies to access this world-class storytelling easily and, most importantly, for free,” said Ari Harrison, GM and head of sales and acquisitions at Umbrella.
Simultaneously, Brollie will also launch a new podcast called “Sunburnt Screens: The Australian Cinema Odyssey,” hosted by pop culture and film authority Alexei Toliopoulos. Episodes will include conversations with some of Australia’s most celebrated filmmakers such as Rolf de Heer, Gillian Armstrong, The Spierig Brothers and Natalie Erika James.
Viewers will be able to access Brollie through the Apple and Google Play Store, through Apple TV, Google TV and Android TV, through Chromecast with Google TV and on the web.