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 and at 14 minutes this is a brilliant introduction to the beginnings of black and white silent cinema, the development of fictional narratives and pioneering uses of special effects.Read more
Bright, Bad and British!(2015)
A collection of extraordinary footage from the BFI National Archive capturing the suffragette movement in the early 20th century.
From newsreels to silent slapstick this is an important and stimulating collection of films documenting the Suffragette movement in Britain that can be watched in segments or enjoyed in one go.Read more
Age groupAll ages
Britain on Film(2015)
An extraordinary digital archive of British life across the last 120 years, from home movies to feature films.
An easy to explore free-to-access online catalogue of British archive film, divided into lots of different topics from the obvious to the weird and wonderful can be found here: http://player.bfi.org.uk/britain-on-film/Read more
Nanook of the North(1922)
Pioneering documentary from 1922 which reveals the life of an Inuit man called Nanook.
Director Robert J Flaherty is celebrated as the pioneer of documentary filmmaking and this film about Intuits living in the Canadian Artic, consisting of natural observation and staged scenes, is deemed one of the very first feature-length documentary films.Read more
An incredibly successful fusion of music, sound and voice, you can almost feel the rhythmic clatter of metal upon metal.
Scottish filmmaker John Grierson, inspired by the work of American filmmaker Robert J Flaherty, coined the term ‘documentary’ and became the leading documentary filmmaker for Britain and Canada. This is one of his most ground-breaking films made during his time at the GPO Film Unit.Read more
This black and white documentary collection from the start of the last century is a fascinating glimpse into everyday life in Edwardian Britain.
Mitchell & Kenyon was an Edwardian Film Company based in Blackburn best known for its non-fiction ‘actuality’ films that captured the day-to-day lives of the British working classes. This is a fun, eclectic collection of films focusing on themes of Sport and Industry.Read more
The GPO Film Unit Collection, Volume One - Addressing The Nation(1933)
British postal service shorts from the 1930s, made by young British filmmakers encouraged to record the world around them in an innovative style.
Set up in the 1930s to document the work of the General Post Office, the film unit was headed up by pioneering documentary filmmaker James Grierson and made up of key British directors who produced a series of innovative black and white films documenting the GPO’s activities.Read more
Age groupAll ages
Into Film Youth Made Shorts - Archive(2015)
A collection of short films that incorporate archive film or audio footage to tell stories.
Bringing archive to life, this collection of youth made documentary films reveals how accessible and fun it is to young people as they use archive film clips to explore stories local to their communities.Read more
Age groupAll ages
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 pioneering animator 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 favourites from Cinderella to Puss in Boots.Read more
This classic and much-imitated take on Bram Stoker's Dracula is one of the most famous of all silent films.
The first ever screen representation of the well-known vampire Dracula is full of dark shadows, exaggerated movements and gothic settings that make this an exciting, if a little eerie, introduction to black and white silent cinema and an early film movement called German Expressionism.Read more
The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films(1917)
Essential introduction to silent comedy giant Buster Keaton, full of unbelievable stunts and endless slapstick.
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 defining films and performances of the black and white silent slapstick genre.Read more
Doctor Jekyll And Mr Hyde (1920)
Silent, spooky version of the classic Robert Louis Stevenson story, about a doctor who creates a potion which splits his personality into two sides.
Like Nosferatu (1922) this classic silent black and white film’s reliance on dramatic lighting and lack of dialogue are a perfect way to bring an unusual yet familiar story that thrives on its creepy atmosphere to life and is easy to understand for younger ages.Read more
Secrets Of Nature(1922)
From beautifully unfurling blossoms to killer vines and aphid attacks, this pioneering collection is a window onto a golden age of nature documentary.
An example of one of the first ever nature documentaries, this features – for its time - state-of-the-art uses of time-lapse, microscopic and underwater photography and is co-directed by one of the leading British female documentary filmmakers of the early 20th century.Read more
A collection of some of the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons, including his first appearance in 'Steamboat Willie'.
Delve into the Walt Disney archive and see how the world’s most famous animator developed his signature character Mickey Mouse – a key collection for those that want to understand the history of animation.Read more
Age groupAll ages
The Art Of Harold Lloyd(2006)
Handy introduction to silent comedy heavyweight Harold Lloyd, an equal to Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, in a series of hilarious slapstick shorts.
A series of eight films made between 1918 to 1922 that see the development of the comedian’s bespectacled character Harold, providing a fun introduction to younger ages to the thrills of black and white silent slapstick.Read more
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