A new year has already begun, and if you are like me, you’ve probably come up with a long list of resolutions to accomplish in 2022. To be honest, the phrase “New Year, New Me” is a bit ambitious and unrealistic for my taste so, in light of having set *attainable* goals this year - fingers crossed! - I have decided to change this motto to “New Year, Improved Me”. We all have areas that can use a little improvement in our lives, whether it be personal or professional, and the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to self-reflect and take action.
If you have "taking up a new hobby" or “trying new things” in your list of resolutions but don’t really know where to start, SPI’s documentary and lifestyle channels can help ignite that spark of inspiration.
One of my resolutions for the new year is to try an adrenaline-filled sports activity. In fact, my exact words were, “I want to do something where I can feel the wind in my hair.” What better way to feel the wind in my hair than to take up skiing? Before I put on my ski boots and hop onto the snow for real, I have decided to virtually travel to Andorra, Austria and Switzerland to witness the thrilling world of professional skiers and snowboarders with Freeride World Tour on Fast&FunBox this month.
If you are an adrenaline seeker but skiing is not your cup of tea, Fast&FunBox can lead you to your next big adventure with hundreds of hours of programming dedicated to an impressive array of disciplines such as racing, motocross, boating, sailing, skateboarding, skydiving, rock climbing, and more. Take your pick.
Sometimes the best way to learn about a country is to eat your way around it. As an impatient Sagittarius with the travel bug running laps in my system, I love exploring new cultures through their local delicacies and cuisines. That’s why food and travel series such as Max Foodie on FunBox UHD are my favorites as they allow the viewers to discover the places they have never been by providing a glimpse into the lives of their people and their culinary culture.
Maximum Foodie is a food and travel series in search of stories and experiences on the cutting edge of the culinary world. It showcases the best chefs in different countries, tackles the most interesting culinary topics that thrill, fascinate and intrigue food lovers worldwide. It's a series full of hands-on exploration, spanning across all the continents and proving that food is the common thread that unites us all. Maybe this show will inspire you to book your next trip to somewhere you haven’t even heard of yet. The possibilities are endless!
In Buddhism, the human mind is described as a drunken monkey running wildly within six windows - five of which represent our sensory impressions and the sixth that stands for our mental state, including our thoughts and memories. The monkey is all over the place and with meditation practice the meditator can learn to tame the monkey and elevate his concentration. If you are curious about the concrete effects of meditation on the brain, check out Mind in Motion on DocuBox this month, a documentary series that takes the viewer on a journey into the depths of the brain and to the very sources of consciousness.
Mind in Motion proposes scientific answers to some of the most enigmatic questions about our brain, our mental mechanisms and the connection between body and mind, such as: How can we decide whether a person in a coma is likely to return to consciousness? How can a person see with the tongue? Why do amputees experience phantom sensations in missing limbs? What do we have in common with the fruit fly?
If you are like me, you tend to complain from time to time about “having no clothes to wear” which obviously translates to “I actually do own quite a substantial amount of clothing. I just don’t want to wear any of them right now because I want something new.” Since buying something new everyday is practically impossible without breaking the bank, why not jazz up what you already have with a little bit of creativity? Social Fabric on FunBox UHD might help you on this quest.
Social Fabric is a documentary/lifestyle series led by millennial designer Kyle Ng who travels the world to find out what certain garments, fabrics and clothing mean, its cultural significance, origins and its future.
***Check your listings to see if Fast&FunBox, DocuBox and FunBox UHD are available through your TV provider or contact your operator to learn more.
**Fast&FunBox and DocuBox are available on-demand via FilmBox+ app or filmbox.com in select territories.
SPI’s streaming service FILMBOX+ which boasts a catalog of over five thousand titles and multiple linear channels was the go-to address for watching #GoodMovies this month for many viewers across the globe. Here’s a look at what’s popular in some of our key territories in December 2021.
ENDLESS LOVE - ROMANIA
The first Turkish scripted series to win an International Emmy Award Endless Love (Kara Sevda) has amassed a pretty large global audience over the years largely due to its riveting storyline and the amazing on-screen chemistry between the leads, Burak Özçivit and Neslihan Atagül Doğulu. The series is exceptionally popular in Romania making it the most-watched content on FilmBox+ in the region this month.
The series revolves around Kemal, a mining engineering student, and son to lower-middle-class parents, and Nihan, the precious daughter of a wealthy family, who fall deeply in love despite their different backgrounds. Kemal and Nihan manage to stay together until Kemal has to leave Istanbul to work in a mine in Zonguldak. When a series of unexpected events start to unfold, Nihan ends up marrying the wealthy businessman Emir Kozcuoğlu who has been in love with her since childhood. 5 years later, Kemal comes back to Istanbul to confront Nihan, Emir, and everything else that made him leave it all behind.
SOURCE CODE - CZECHIA
Czech FilmBox+ subscribers opted for more action and Hollywood grandeur this month. Source Code, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, made it to FilmBox+’s most-watched list in the region this month. The movie directed by Duncan Jones, tells the story of a soldier who wakes up in someone else’s body to discover that he’s part of an experimental government program that aims to find the bomber of a commuter train within 8 minutes. The movie received a Metascore of 74, garnering stellar reviews from critics. In fact, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn calls the movie “a lower-key younger brother to Inception” with its “complex infrastructure of top-tier science fiction cinema”.
EQUILIBRIUM - HUNGARY
Similar to Czechia, an action, sci-fi title topped the charts in Hungary this month. Equilibrium features an all-star cast, including Taye Diggs, Sean Bean, Emily Watson, and Academy Award-winning Christian Bale. The dystopian movie takes place in an oppressive future where all forms of feeling are illegal and a man in charge of enforcing the law rises to overthrow the system and state. Fun Fact: The movie was nominated for an American Choreography Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fight Choreography!
YOUR MOVE - POLAND
The movie of choice for Polish FilmBox+ subscribers this month was the crime thriller Your Move, starring Robert Davi, Patricia De Leon, and Luke Goss. This is the directorial debut of Goss, who has also written and stars in the neo-noir film which tells the story of a man who goes to extreme lengths to discover what happened to his kidnapped wife and daughter. When talking about the movie Goss says, “I wanted to direct a movie that was my taste and if for some reason people kind of liked it, then I know that all I have to do is make a movie that I like making again and there’d be a couple of people out there that want to watch it.”
FilmBox+ combines the “lean-back” and on-demand viewing experiences by providing instant access to an extensive VOD catalog and live channels on any internet-connected device. FilmBox+’s well-curated selection of content from major global distributors features Hollywood blockbusters with world-famous stars, independent world cinema gems, TV series, documentaries, lifestyle programming, and much more. In addition to its vast VOD library, FilmBox+ also offers a variety of channels covering movies and thematic content that cater to all kinds of tastes to help viewers avoid the hassle of choosing what to watch. www.filmbox.com
**Content and channel selection on FilmBox+ may vary depending on the region.
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The most wonderful time of the year is upon us and FILMSTREAM’s slate of critically-acclaimed world cinema classics and arthouse movies is here to bring the holiday cheer right to your living room! Here’s a list of some of our favorites that you can enjoy with your family this month.
1. BEYOND CHRISTMAS (1940)
Beyond Christmas, also known as Beyond Tomorrow, is an American fantasy film directed by A. Edward Sutherland and produced by renowned cinematographer Lee Garmes. The movie centers on three rich but lonely industrialists - Melton, Chadwick, and O’Brien - who die in an airplane crash and return to Earth to help reunite a young couple they initially brought together. Will true love prevail as the ultimate Christmas miracle?
2. MIRACLE IN MILAN (1951)
From Academy Award-nominated director Vittorio De Sica comes Miracle in Milan, which distinguishes itself from De Sica’s other movies with its relatively more positive depiction of everyday events. The movie centers on an open-hearted, unrelentingly energetic orphan who struggles to make the best of his life on the streets of Milan.
DID YOU KNOW?: This is one of actor Danny DeVito’s favorite movies!
3. A YOUNG POET (2014)
Set in the hot, picturesque city of Sète in Southern France, Damien Manivel’s feature debut A Young Poet (Un jeune poète) is guaranteed to make those who are longing for summer feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Rémi Taffanel gives a stellar performance as Rémi, a young man who is in need of inspiration to write his first poem. Screen Daily’s Mark Adams raves the actor’s “gangly and engaging” performance and calls it “what gives the film its modest heart”.
4. MY MAN GODFREY (1936)
The 6 Academy Award-nominated classic My Man Godfrey stars William Powell, as the vagrant family butler Godfrey who the scatterbrained socialite Irene (played by Carole Lombard) hires. She soon realizes that there’s more to Godfrey than meets the eye.
DID YOU KNOW?: The chemistry between the two leads in this entertaining romantic comedy is so tangible because it is not purely fictional. William Powell and Carole Lombard used to be married but had been divorced for three years by the time the movie was made. In fact, William Powell was the one who suggested to director Gregory La Cava that his ex-wife Lombard should play Irene, as he thought that their real-life romance was reminiscent that of their on-screen characters’ relationship.
5. BENEATH THE 12-MILE REEF (1953)
The third feature ever to be shot in CinemaScope, the anamorphic lense used for shooting widescreen films, Beneath the 12-Mile Reef takes the viewer on an underwater journey that earned Edward Cronjager an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography and the director Robert D. Webb a Grand Prize nomination at the Cannes Film Festival in 1954. The movie revolves around a Greek-American family that is forced to fish in the dangerous 12-mile reef area off the western coast of Florida due to fierce competition among sponge fishermen.
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1) Which movie could you watch on-repeat and never get bored?
- Hard to answer that but I think The Pianist is the one. Biographies and movies that are inspired by or based on true stories always captivate me. I'm more interested in real-life stories as opposed to fiction in terms of the cinematic universe. The Pianist tells a powerful story and showcases superb performances.
2) What is your favorite SPI/FilmBox brand and why?
- My favorite brand is Filmbox+. We are operating our flagship streaming service globally. It has everything from world cinema gems to blockbusters, from documentaries to live channels. There's always good content to watch for viewers with different tastes.
3) What are your personal and professional goals for the new year?
- Personally, I'm willing to keep myself healthy, both mentally and physically, during the ongoing pandemic. My professional goals are a bit more layered