The Into Film Festival: The world’s biggest free film and education event for schools

Written by: Sam Wilson | Published:
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Film Education: Pupils enjoying a screening at Into Film Festival 2015

Last November, 415,000 students and their teachers, across the UK, participated in the world’s largest free film and education event, the Into Film Festival. This year’s festival, taking place from 9th-25th November, is expected to be even bigger and better than ever before.

“The students spent the whole time discussing the Q&A, talking about the event and how much they enjoyed it. Having been teaching for over a quarter of a century, I can’t recall students responding to any event in such a way.”
Richard, Teacher – Into Film Festival 2015

The Festival programme


This unique festival has something for every student, teacher and school with over 160 different film choices for both primary and secondary schools. Teachers can choose to pick films that will enhance different areas of the curriculum or be part of an extra-curricular experience. This year’s strands encompass issues that will enrich areas of every school’s curriculum:

  • Culture Shock: allows students to explore themes of immigration, transition, new worlds and belonging through films such as Inside Out, The Jungle Book and Brooklyn.
  • Game Changers: this theme aims to raise awareness of people who have made a real difference throughout history, such as the Suffragettes, and inspirational people like Roald Dahl.
  • See it, Be it: Students can celebrate a number of diverse role models through films that explore themes relating to LGBT, BAME, gender and disability.
  • Black Star: designed to complement the British Film Institute’s own Black Star season, this strand celebrates the range, versatility and power of black actors through films such as Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom and Belle.
  • Weird and Wonderful: allows students to explore their imaginations with fantastic and magical films such as Alice Through the Looking Glass and The Martian.
  • Words Can Hurt: supported by the Anti-Bullying Alliance, this strand highlights the importance of treating everyone with respect through films like The Lego Movie, ET and Eddie the Eagle.

Curriculum links

There are lots of films that fit with every area of the curriculum, from Maths, to MFL to English. Learners can be inspired in subjects not traditionally linked to film, such as titles like Boom, Bust, Boom or The Man Who Knew Infinity to support numeracy. Language teachers can take students to see Belle & Sebastian: The Adventure Continues to help teach French, or El Cid: La Leyenda to support Spanish. Gnomeo and Juliet will aid learners’ understanding of Shakespeare, or if English teachers are using Divergent as a text, book a screening for Allegiant.

If your school needs ideas for personal, health or economic education or discussion ideas for tutor time, then teachers bring your learners to see Finding Dory to discuss mental health, or body image with My Skinny Sister, and explore identity with Paper Planes. Join us at the exclusive preview screening of the highly anticipated novel adaptation A Monster Calls which will help learners understand anxiety and bereavement.

Special VIP talks

Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education: As well as screenings, there are a number of exciting talks that will inspire young learners’ wider thinking and will enrich your school’s social, moral, spiritual and cultural education. Talks from Oxfam, paired with screenings of The Crow’s Egg, will enhance young people’s understanding of globalisation and its impact on equality, literacy and children’s rights, while a screening of Africa United and Q&A with Director Debs Paterson will develop knowledge of the lives of children around the world.

Careers Education: Budding journalists will be inspired by the Film Journalism workshop with Chair of the Critic’s Circle; Anna Smith. A special event exploring blindness with filmmakers and the RNIB will help learners with visual needs discover career paths in film. We are also hosting a Q&A with award-winning costume designer Sandy Powell OBE and a screening and Q&A with The Danish Girl’s screenwriter; Lucinda Coxon.

With 3,000 events in over 560 venues nationwide, there is sure to be something exciting happening near your school.

Book your place now at the world’s biggest free film and education festival. Visit www.intofilm.org/festival

  • Sam Wilson is the festival director at Into Film.


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