EXCLUSIVE: With Ex Libris, the 41st and latest documentary by Frederick Wiseman, making an Oscar run, the noted filmmaker’s entire catalog will start streaming in the coming months on Kanopy, a service that is free to library card holders. Outside of limited digital availability for some titles, it is the first time any of Wiseman’s work has been available for streaming.
Wiseman’s body of work is practically a film school unto itself. Some of his most celebrated works are At Berkeley, La Danse- Le Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, National Gallery, Central Park, Titicut Follies, Welfare, High School, Hospital, and Belfast, Maine. After airing on PBS, Ex Libris will be available on Kanopy later this year — the only logical destination for a film about the New York Public Library.
Wiseman, who turned 88 on Jan. 1, has averaged at least one feature per year through his shingle, Zipporah Films. He has received a shelf full of awards from film and cultural institutions, but never a competitive Oscar. Ex Libris has made the documentary shortlist.
“I am very pleased that my films are going to be more widely available to universities and public libraries as a result of the recent Zipporah Films-Kanopy partnership to distribute my 40 documentaries, “ said Wiseman. “Kanopy is a valuable educational resource that will bring my films to the attention of a new and expanded audience.”
“Frederick Wiseman is one of the world’s most important filmmakers and we are thrilled to be able to share his iconic collection with our audience,” said Olivia Humphrey, CEO of Kanopy.
Kanopy is available through more than 4,000 libraries around the world. Libraries in Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Columbus, Austin, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Philadelphia and Phoenix are all participants in Kanopy.
The service’s 5 million users can access more than 30,000 titles encompassing independent and classic film from around the world. Based in San Francisco, Kanopy was founded by Humphrey in 2008 as an educational tool for 3,000 colleges and universities, expanding to libraries in 2017.