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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Translation for Film4's relaunch
Bill Murray in Lost In Translation
Lost in Translation won an Oscar for best screenplay in 2004
Channel 4's film channel, Film4, will relaunch as a free service on 23 July with a premiere of the Oscar-winning comedy Lost in Translation.

In the process it will become the UK's largest free film channel, available to 18m homes, the broadcaster says.

Around one-quarter of the films shown on the channel will come from the UK, but they will be broken up with advertisements for the first time.

Launched in 1998, the service has around 300,000 subscribers.

Currently branded as FilmFour, it has only been available to cable and satellite viewers. Its new look will see it join the Freeview service.

The decision to make the channel free-to-air comes a year after Channel 4 made a similar move with E4, which resulted in a large increase in viewing figures.

The newly relaunched channel will screen six films a day, many of which will be produced by Channel 4's film division, FilmFour Productions.

These include the Ray Winstone film Sexy Beast and Che Guevara biopic The Motorcycle Diaries.

The production division, which scored successes with Trainspotting and Four Weddings and a Funeral, was closed as an independent company in 2002 after a series of high-profile flops.

However, Channel 4's director of TV, Kevin Lygo, said it is hoped that making Film4 more widely available "will help maintain and protect Channel 4's stake in British film".

The station will close briefly from 20-22 July as it prepares for the relaunch.


SEE ALSO
How FilmFour lost the plot
09 Jul 02 |  Entertainment
FilmFour in 'porn' accusation
17 Oct 00 |  Entertainment
'Banned' film gets TV première
10 Oct 00 |  Entertainment
Giving a damn about Scarlett
15 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
Bill Murray maps out acting success
11 Feb 04 |  Entertainment
DVD review: Lost in Translation
01 Jul 04 |  Entertainment

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