Short Films for Primary

Full cinema of young people watching The Gruffalo's Child
Full cinema of young people watching The Gruffalo's Child

At Into Film we define a short film as anything between 1 to 40 minutes. A short film can be a great taster before a feature, a brilliant distraction if you only have 10 minutes to spare or a succinct and absorbing way to bring a literacy learning to life. Short film programmes can also be watched all in one go in replace of a feature film, providing lots of different stories and characters for young audiences to engage with or analyse in terms of chracter and story. This list brings together the strongest short films and collection of short films on our catalogue for Primary ages. In particular, our British Council Short Film programmes which showcase the best of short films made by British filmmakers for young people that year and are specially curated by the Into Film Programming Team for our catalogue. Similarly, the Encounters Short Film Festival collections are the result of annual film programming workshops that Into Film host with keen young programmers across the UK who over a day watch and select their favourite short films submitted to the festival. Including animation, live action, documentary and archive film this list is an introduction to the array of short film content available on the catalogue, whether it be for your club or in the classroom.

British Council Shorts 2016: Primary

CertUnclassified

Age group7–14

Duration68 mins

British Council Shorts 2016: Primary(2016)

The best of British short film in 2016 for primary ages curated by the Into Film Programming Team.

A brand new collection of short films made by young British filmmakers specially curated by the Into Film Programming Team for ages 7+.

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Encounters Short Film Festival - Children's Jury Programme 2013

CertUnclassified

Age group5–11

Duration58 mins

Encounters Short Film Festival - Children's Jury Programme 2013(2013)

Into Film and Encounters Short Film Festival teamed up to present a selection of short films suitable for children ages 7+, chosen by young people.

Encounters Short Film Festival is a Bristol-based annual festival dedicated to short film. In the lead up to it, Into Film host a series of film programming workshops with young people who get to select the festival’s best films for young people. This collection features eight short films from filmmakers around the world and is specifically aimed at audiences aged 7 to 11.

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British Council Shorts 2013: Primary

CertUnclassified

Age group5–11

Duration60 mins

British Council Shorts 2013: Primary(2013)

A programme of seven short films, including an exciting mix of animation, live action and documentary, tailored to suit Primary clubs.

This programme was curated by the Into Film Programming Team specifically for showcasing British filmmakers and the best short film content for young people made in 2013. These seven short films have proven very successful over the years due to their youth-focussed stories and the variety of filmmaking genres and techniques the collection presents.

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Encounters Short Film Festival - Children's Award Programme 2014

CertUnclassified

Age group5–11

Duration62 mins

Encounters Short Film Festival - Children's Award Programme 2014(2014)

A great selection of short films for young people, chosen by young people.

The 2014 programming workshop for Encounters Short Film Festival was one of the toughest. With so many great films to choose film our young programmers spent a challenging day watching and discussing exactly which ones were suitable for ages 7 to 11 years. The result is a fascinating mix of nine live action and animation short films by filmmakers from Europe to Australia.

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British Council Shorts 2014: Primary

CertUnclassified

Age group5–11

Duration58 mins

British Council Shorts 2014: Primary(2014)

Ten great British made short films for Primary ages.

Following up on the success of the 2013 collection, in 2014 we set out to find a new batch of great short films for young people made by British filmmakers. Made up of ten films this is largely an animation collection featuring a range of styles from music videos, comedies, dramatic tales and even an award-winning youth-made short, plus one darkly funny live action.

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Encounters Short Film Festival 2015: Mini Marvels

CertUnclassified

Age group5–11

Duration61 mins

Encounters Short Film Festival 2015: Mini Marvels(2015)

An exciting mix of new short films from around the world suitable for ages 7+ put together by Into Film young programmers.

Our partnership with Encounters Short Film Festival provides our young programmers with great opportunities to see and select the freshest short film content from around the world every year. Titled ‘Mini Marvels’ by the young programmers, this is another strong collection of animation and live action films suitable for ages 7 to 11.

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Lost and Found

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration24 mins

Lost and Found(2008)

Charming animated tale about a young boy who finds a lost penguin on his doorstep and decides to row him home to the South Pole.

At 24 minutes this is a great example of modern British animation and a gentle introduction for younger audiences into watching fuller length films, or an enchanting watch in a limited period of time.

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Peter and the Wolf

CertU

Age group5–16

Duration32 mins

Peter and the Wolf(2006)

Oscar-winning animated version of the timeless folk tale, set to Sergei Prokofiev's classic orchestral composition.

An innovative twist on a well-known fable this is a very popular choice when teaching how music and image work together in a film due to its marriage of a compelling classical soundtrack and intriguing stop-motion animation.

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Lotte Reiniger: The Fairy Tale Films - Disc 1

CertPG

Age groupAll ages

Duration192 mins

Lotte Reiniger: The Fairy Tale Films - Disc 1(1961)

Collection of Lotte Reiniger's stunning depictions of popular fairy tales using her unique silhouette animation style.

Lotte Reiniger was a pioneer of animation filmmaking working in Germany at the beginning of the 20th Century. Celebrated for her innovative silhouette animation technique here is a collection of fairytale adaptations she made over the course of her career that includes many old favourites from Cinderella to Puss in Boots.

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Lotte Reiniger: The Fairy Tale Films - Disc 2

CertPG

Age groupAll ages

Duration192 mins

Lotte Reiniger: The Fairy Tale Films - Disc 2(1961)

Collection of Lotte Reiniger's stunning depictions of popular fairytales using her unique silhouette animation style.

If you enjoy Disc 1 here is a set of different fairytales brought to life through Lotte Reiniger’s pioneering silhouette animation all of which were made later in her career in the 1950s.

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London Tales

CertU

Age group7–14

Duration214 mins

London Tales(1958)

Three short, child-led adventures across post-war London.

In 1951 The Children’s Film Foundation was set up to produce content specifically for young people. The result was a series of short films from 30 to 50 minutes long featuring exciting children’s adventures with young actors in the lead. London Tales is a medley of three entertaining capers that give a child’s eye view of London in the 1950s to 1970s.

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The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)

CertU

Age group5–14

Duration34 mins

The Red Balloon (Le Ballon Rouge)(1956)

One of the greatest children's films of all time, this much-loved (mostly dialogue-free) French movie is about a young boy and his toy balloon.

A charming children's film following a boy and his red balloon as they explore the alleyways of Paris. At 34 minutes this is a lovely, easy watch for younger audiences that will be absorbed by the clever camera trickery that gives the balloon its own cheeky personality.

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Dr Seuss - The Best of Dr Seuss

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration57 mins

Dr Seuss - The Best of Dr Seuss(2000)

Three stories, Butter Battle Book, Daisy-Head Mayzie and Horton Hatches the Egg! from the genius Dr Seuss.

Delve into the weird and wonderful lyrical world of Dr Seuss in this programme of three animated stories. These can be watched individually or enjoyed all at once! Other short Dr Seuss tales can also be ordered from the catalogue including The Cat in the Hat (25 mins) and Horton Hears a Who! (26 mins).

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Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1

CertU

Age groupAll ages

Duration52 mins

Pixar Short Films Collection Volume 1(2007)

Fantastic, humorous collection of 13 shorts from Pixar, the US animation studio which revolutionised computer animation techniques.

From the animation company that made Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monster’s Inc and Up these short films feature Pixar’s trademark vivid colours, off-beat humour, simple yet clever and meaningful stories and likeable characters. This is a great collection to dip into for members with shorter attention spans which can be enjoyed as one, or broken up and watched in segments.

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Laurel And Hardy - Pardon Us And Related Shorts

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration56 mins

Laurel And Hardy - Pardon Us And Related Shorts(1931)

Slapstick caper from the famed comedy duo, who here are arrested for breaking Prohibition and wind up in jail.

Short black and white films, in particular slapstick comedies, are a great way to introduce members to early Hollywood cinema. These Laurel and Hardy shorts are a big hit with our members as they feature the duo’s trademark silliness and physical comedy.

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Jemima + Johnny

CertUnclassified

Age group7+

Duration30 mins

Jemima + Johnny(1966)

A short British film exploring race relations in post-riots Notting Hill in the 1960s through the friendship of a little girl and boy.

At 30 minutes long this is both a simple and effecting story about young children making friends as well as an important snapshot of racial tensions in London in the 1960s that is accessible and easy to follow for young audiences.

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The Gruffalo

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration27 mins

The Gruffalo(2009)

Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter, this is a slick and charismatic animation of a classic tale with a remarkable cast of voices.

The animated adaptations of writer Julia Donaldson's celebrated children’s books are always popular with our members. Including The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom they are great little tales of adventure, friendship and bravery each around 26 minutes long that are all available on our catalogue.

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Starting Stories

CertUnclassified

Age group5–11

Duration29 mins

Starting Stories(2004)

Imaginative collection of five short animations designed to help the youngest film clubbers become fluent in the language of film.

Old favourites amongst Film Educators this is a very succinct collection of five short animations put together by the BFI that are great for film literacy learning.

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Story Shorts 2

CertUnclassified

Age group7–11

Duration78 mins

Story Shorts 2(2006)

Compilation of short films for primary schools produced by the BFI, combining animation, live action and documentary.

A follow up to the Starting Stories compilation this consists of five short animation, documentary and live action films specifically aimed at film literacy learning for primary ages.

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Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon)

CertU

Age group7+

Duration15 mins

Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon)(1902)

Fascinating early slice of science fiction and a founding stone of modern cinema.

One of the earliest fiction films ever made at 14 minutes long this is a brilliant introduction for young audiences to classic black and white silent cinema and pioneering uses of special effects.

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War Game

CertPG

Age group11+

Duration29 mins

War Game(2001)

This short animated feature is based on a children's novel about four football-loving friends who enlist in the army and to fight in World War One.

Engaging 30 minutes animated drama that allows young audiences to understand elements of what life was like for soldiers during World War One. It is good for ages 11+ but due to its length and historic context it can also be an accessible film for younger primary ages.

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The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films: Disc A

CertU

Age group7+

Duration180 mins

The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films: Disc A(1917)

Essential introduction to silent comedy giant Buster Keaton, full of unbelievable stunts and endless slapstick, featuring eight of his short films.

One of the great silent comedians alongside Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, this Buster Keaton collection consists of thirty-two short films made between 1917 to 1923 and are an entertaining way for young audiences to engage with film history and appreciate black and white cinema.

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Moomin Mania

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration115 mins

Moomin Mania(2005)

Collection of episodes from the 90s cartoon series based on the popular Finnish children's books.

Aimed at lower primary ages, this is a sweet collection of five different stories each approximately 20 minutes long that establish the Moomin family and their home in Moomin Valley.

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Electric Edwardians

CertE

Age group11+

Duration68 mins

Electric Edwardians(1900)

This black and white documentary collection from the start of the last century is a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in Edwardian Britain.

For an engaging peek into Edwardian era Britain this collection pulls together documentary film from that period into accessible topics like Sport and Industry.

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Shakespeare - The Animated Tales - Disc 1

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration100 mins

Shakespeare - The Animated Tales - Disc 1(1992)

Wonderful animated versions of Shakespeare's plays - the perfect way to get to know the work of Britain's greatest writers.

An affecting way to engage members with Shakespeare’s plays and language. There are three discs in this series that cover his most well-known works, with each one animated in a different style to suit the individual play’s themes and tones.

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Ray Harryhausen - The Early Years Collection (Disc 1)

CertU

Age groupAll ages

Duration106 mins

Ray Harryhausen - The Early Years Collection (Disc 1)(2005)

A collection of the early fairytale adaptations, demonstrations and interviews with the celebrated stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen.

A pioneer of stop-motion animation this collection includes early short fairytale films that Harryhausen used to hone his technique on, as well as behind-the-scene looks at how he worked.

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