There are a lot of resources available to support teaching and learning about film and filmmaking.

Online resources :

include introductory guides to teaching film and filmmaking; downloadable study guides on individual themes or topics; films to view or edit online, and films to download and edit yourselves.

DVD resources :

include selections of short films addressing specific ages, topics or curriculum requirements, as well as resources including clips to edit.

A wide range of resources on film education and filmmaking are available to buy online from the BFI Filmstore.

Introducing film education

Several sites offer ‘how-to’ information on using film in the classroom, covering both film and filmmaking. They include MediaEd, the Scottish site Moving Image Education and Films for Learning.

BFI Education also produces two substantial, downloadable PDF guides to using film across the curriculum: Look Again for Primary schools, and Moving Images in the Classroom for Secondary schools.  The FilmStreet website includes separate sections for children and teachers.

Using film in specific subjects

BFI Education produces several free downloadable resources, including teaching notes to accompany their Mitchell and Kenyon archive film DVD; The World in the Movies, a guide to using film to explore citizenship; and an online guide to using their Disabling Imagery DVD which explores representations of disability in the movies .

Film Education provides a wide range of free resources on specific topics, including Local History and Sound (Primary) and Shakespeare on Film, The Holocaust and Documentary (Secondary). They also sell two DVDs on film interpretations of Shakespeare: Shakespeare on Screen and Romeo and Juliet.

FILMCLUB’s site includes ‘themes’ which group films which can be used to address specific topics, eg Colonialism, Childhood.

SBBFC the British Board of Film Classification’s student site, has useful resources and case studies exploring issues of censorship and classification (eg for Citizenship). CBBFC is their site for Primary school children.

Using individual films

Free resources
Several sites offer free downloadable study guides and teachers’ notes.

Film Education offers resources based on contemporary film and recent releases, with material available across the curriculum and for Primary and Secondary level.

Cornerhouse focuses mainly on Modern Foreign Languages at Secondary level, covering films in Spanish, French, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin and Urdu.

Films to view online or download

BFI Screenonline provides access to a large range of British short films, and clips from feature films, from the 1890s to the present day. The films on the site can only be accessed in schools, colleges, universities and libraries, and you have to register.

Moving Image Education also has a small number of short films and clips available to view or download.

The Yorkshire Film Archive has a large number of archive film clips organised by theme, decade and area. You have to register to access the films.

Internationally, the Internet Archive has a huge range of films, many of which are downloadable in a variety of formats.

There are many other sites where you can view or download films (not all of which will be suitable for education). There’s a useful summary on the BBC Film Network site.

Collections of films to buy

BFI Education produces several useful selections of short films with supporting material, which are specially selected for each Key Stage – Starting Stories and Story Shorts for Primary schools, and Screening Shorts, Moving Shorts and Real Shorts for Secondary schools.

The English and Media Centre publishes the DVD Double Take and other stories, containing 90 minutes of short films and supporting materials aimed at 11-16 year olds.

Filmmaking and editing

Online or downloadable films to edit

There are several sources of online film clips which you can incorporate into your own films. The Creative Archive Licence provides free access to clips on a range of themes, for nonprofit, non-promotional, ‘share-alike’ use in the UK. Films are available from two major sources – the Open University and the British Film Institute.

The Wellcome Foundation has over 100 hours of Creative Commons films on healthcare and medicine in the 20th Century.

Many schools in the UK have free access to the British Pathe archive under agreements with Regional Broadband Consortia or local authorities. You can also search for public domain films on the Internet Archive. Scotland on Screen has over 200 films which can be downloaded for use in Scottish schools.

National Archives Focus on Film includes clips organised into themes, which you can download and edit.

BFI Screenonline includes the Cutting Room, an online editing tool where you can practise editing with clips from archive film or rushes from modern films.

Wevee is an online editing tool which enables you to edit archive film clips and contemporary music tracks together and share the results online.

Editing resources to buy

Film Education produces two interactive CD-ROMs, MoPix and The Red Shoes, in each of which students edit their own versions of a film sequence using the built-in editing tool.

The English and Media Centre publishes MoviePower, a set of moving image sequences and activities with a built-in editor.

Media Education Wales produces Editsense, a set of film sequences to be edited using standard editing software on Macs or PCs.

Films made by children and young people

Several sites allow you to view films made by children and young people. , a site run by teachers, allows you to search for films by curriculum area. Planet Scicast features short science films, and has a useful ‘how-to’ guide.

You can view films made on First Light projects. MediaBox films are made by disadvantaged 13-19 year olds.

The English and Media Centre sells Mediamagazine Student Films, a compilation of films made by sixth-form students .


There are a number of sources of funding for filmmaking activities at both UK-wide and regional/national level. Many of these require a proportion of match funding, so you should look to ‘join up’ funding streams early in the project planning process.

The major UK-wide funding for filmmaking is provided by First Light. This supports filmmaking by children and young people but is only available for activities which are not related to the curriculum.

Some Screen Agencies (see above) provide funding for education projects.

Other funding streams which you could consider for supporting film education and filmmaking (depending on your location) include

  • Gifted and Talented
  • Extended Schools
  • Creative Partnerships
  • 14-19 Diploma delivery
  • Widening participation
  • Local charitable trusts
  • Pupil Premium
  • Communities First (in Wales)
  • Disadvantage subsidy
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