More than Netflix: Stream movies through the SFU Library

Some of the Criterion Collection's selections courtesy of

By: Kelly Chia, Staff Writer

The SFU Library database has a huge media database that can be accessed easily through its website. While some resources are definitely helpful for research, such as Literature Online, featuring over 350,000 literary works, there are also many sites students can access for recreational purposes. I have compiled brief introductions to a few of the resources the library has available for your summertime viewing.

Criterion on Demand

Criterion lets students browse and watch feature films. It’s a film platform with access to over 15,000 selections targeted toward post-secondary students. It prides itself on its diverse selection of films, including recent action features like Deadpool 2, and titles that have been taken off of Netflix like Book of Life. Additionally, the website provides both English and French movies, as well as closed captioning for select films.

Films on Demand

Films on Demand features thought-provoking documentaries, exploring topics like how English has integrated itself into different languages (Many Tongues Called English, One World Language) and the economics of coffee from the farmer to the barista (Cappuccino Trail: The Global Economy in a Cup). All these documentaries provide closed captioning.


Students also have access to films from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). Founded in 1939, the NFB intended to create a National Canadian film style and catalogue and the database features many short cinematic pieces of history. These films range from animated films to interactive works, allowing students to browse a catalogue ranging from 1944 to modern releases.

Accessing these resources off campus

Students may have issues accessing this content off campus. However, the library provides a tutorial to route students’ computers through the library by making a ‘Bookmarklet,’ with various instructions depending on the browser. For most browsers, the library instructs users to bookmark the link. Then, click the link and log in with SFU credentials. So long as they keep the browser window open, this should allow students to access the content they want.

The next time you can’t find something on Netflix or you get tired of browsing through the same shows, make sure to check these sites before you give up and decide to try the real world for a while.