Telescope Launches Search Engine for Foreign Films in U.S.

February 9, 2019 1:30AM PT

New search-engine website Telescope launches in Berlin this week with the mission of helping American audiences find online the kind of foreign titles pitched at the Berlin Film Festival and its related European Film Market.

“In the U.S., American films receive a lot more attention than international films – we want to help change that,” said co-founder and CEO Justine Barda, who is a senior programmer with the Seattle International Film Festival. “Telescope offers something that doesn’t currently exist: a film discovery site specifically for international content, featuring cross-platform search, curation, a customizable user experience, and an engaged community of fans.”

Among its features, Telescope provides one-click access to all major streaming services in the U.S. That could be significant with third-party consumer research cited by the company showing that U.S. households on average subscribe to three on-demand video services.

The company says it will pay its way through professional services and advertising. “The site is free to users in order to minimize barriers to viewership. We provide marketing services to clients who want to reach an American audience, we participate in affiliate marketing programs, and we offer a targeted advertising platform,” Barda told Variety.

The site begins operating in beta format from Feb. 11. A launch event will be held in Berlin the same day.