Into Film Festival 2017 Bookings Now Open Into Film Festival 2017 Bookings Now Open
Bookings open today for the Into Film Festival 2017 – the world’s biggest free, youth film festival, which takes place from November 8th to... Into Film Festival 2017 Bookings Now Open

Bookings open today for the Into Film Festival 2017 – the world’s biggest free, youth film festival, which takes place from November 8th to 24th with 3000 free screenings and events for 5-19 year-olds, many linked to subjects in the curriculum.   Open to schools, colleges, youth leaders and home educators the Festival uses the magic of film– from exclusive preview screenings  of new blockbusters to popular classics to engage young minds in a broad range of topics.  For programme details and to book free tickets visit

Building on the success of last year, which saw over 478,000 people attend,  this year’s Festival seeks to actively involve 500,000 young people and educators from all backgrounds and corners of the UK in watching, reviewing and making films, some attending a cinema for the first time.   With support from all the major UK cinema chains and a vast range of venues ranging from the British Library, the V&A, BFI Southbank and Pinewood Studios to a secret bunker in Scotland, a farm in Wales, an aquarium in Plymouth and an Ark and a castle in Northern Ireland, the Festival provides access to the big screen at its best, including IMAX screens and the 3D and 4D experience.  Over 130 films are confirmed to be screened in 600 venues across the UK, from foreign language films, documentaries, animation,  classics and hidden gems from the archive, all mapped against curricula from across the four nations and regions.

The  packed and varied programme will open with a pupil premiere of the star-studded, Paddington 2.  The Festival has been curated with six themes in mind which  address diversity, and topical issues such as bullying, immigration, war and the environment:

Firstly, as 2017 is proving to be a year of major change and political debate, the first strand Activate: Effecting Change will include An Inconvenient Sequel; A Beautiful Planet 3D; environmental documentary Chasing Coral to be screened at Plymouth’s Aquarium and a nationwide programme of Matilda Scratch and Sniff screening.

The Festival’s Let’s Play! strand is aimed predominantly at primary school audiences and celebrates play and creativity whether it be through music, art, games or exploration. Highlights in this section include Revolting Ryhmes in English and Scottish Gaelic for Scottish audiences; the award-winning musical, Landfill Harmonic and Shakespeare with a difference, the acclaimed African Macbeth, Makibefo and A Carribean Dream based on A Midsummer Nights Dream.

Watch the festival trailer here.

The films programmed in the third strand, No Borders, No Boundaries, explore the issues around immigration, broadening the horizons of world culture and aims to push the limits of social and ethical expectation, particularly around gender, discrimination and inequality. Highlights include Sonita about a young Afghani, female rapper; Get Out to be played alongside Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner; The Eagle Huntress; Dhanak about a blind Indian boy; A Syrian Love Story and Welsh title, Y Mabinogi.

The secondary school strand, Generation Z, for those born after 1995, focuses on well-being and aims to open up discussions around young people and mental health and ties in with Anti-Bullying Week. Titles include the pupil premieres of the highly anticipated The Florida Project, Credible and Likeable Superstar; My Life As a Courgette; A Monster Calls; Wallay and coming-of-age comedy drama The Edge of Seventeen to name a few.

The History in Action strand revisits key moments in history from epic new releases to archive and heritage film. Titles in this strand include Victoria and Abdul; Hunger; Whisky Galore in Scottish Gaelic and Land of Mine as well as titles that mark the partition of India 70 years ago, the Independence of Botswana in 1966, the role of Women in WW2, and a programme of archive film from the BFI’s Black Britain on Film collection which uncovers the herirage of black Britain.

The final strand, Thriller, compliments the BFI’s Thriller season this autumn and is  curated by regional programming groups from the BFI’s Young Film Audience Network and Into Film’s own Youth Advisory Council. The young programmers aged between 8-21 were asked to investigate seven key aspects of the Thriller genre, nominating their twofavourite films from each category. The  thriller strand features favourites chosen by Into Film’s Youth Advisory Council and key thriller titles identified by the festival’s curation team.

The annual celebration of film and education is made possible by support from the BFI- with National Lottery funding, Cinema First, a wide collaboration with UK cinema industry partners and delivery partners National Schools Partnership.

Q&A’s with filmmakers including big names from across the industry, and talks by notable speakers on themes ranging from animation and reviewing to copyright, film classification and careers in the film industry, will offer further personal development opportunities for all 5–19 year olds. Special screenings will be on offer to support calendar events such as Anti-Bullying Week and Parliament Week, taking place during the Festival’s duration.

Accessibility and inclusivity are key aims of the Festival with over half of the programme offered as audio-described, subtitled or autism-friendly.

In a survey of teachers who attended last year, 94% of teachers said the Festival activities were useful in helping to deliver the curriculum, 94% of teachers felt the Festival activities were valuable in terms of the broader education of young people and 82% of teachers said that the Festival has made them more likely to use cinema visits to support the delivery of the curriculum.

“There is such a buzz around school with all the cinema trips going on at the moment, we’ve been able to offer trips for every Key Stage with so many different learning objectives supported by them, it’s been brilliant!”  Joseph Glover, William Ellis School

“We LOVE the Into Film Festival! Thank you for programming films my pupils would not normally see!” Sophie Bradford, Teacher

The Into Film Festival 2017 will take place from 8-24th November.  All events and screenings are free. For programme information, to book tickets and download resources visit

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Jon Dingle Editor

A film journalist, writer and a filmmaker in business for over 20 years. I am passionate about movies, television series, music and online games.