Explore Black History and Experiences on Into Film+

06 Sep 2022

12 mins
Spider-man: Into the Spider
Spider-man: Into the Spider

There is a serious lack of Black history across the UK curriculum. The exploration of Black history and experiences should be embedded in the education system throughout the academic year, rather than only saved for Black History Month every October.

While Black History Month can help encourage schools to prioritise this area of British and world history, more needs to be done in allowing young people to understand how it shapes the world they live in today, and how this impacts them individually. In light of that, we are proud to introduce a new educational programme of films and resources on our streaming service, Into Film+ under the banner ‘Black History and Experiences', which will continue to grow throughout the year.

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Film is a vital tool for learning, as it can elevate stories from under-represented cultures and groups, providing a space for their voices and perspectives to be heard. As an inspiring and far-reaching medium, film has the power to amplify historical and current events that are often overlooked. In this programme, we want to celebrate a wide variety of past and present Black stories, as well as Black figures from all walks of life who act as inspirational change-makers for future generations. While many films focus on the deep injustices and trauma experienced by generations of Black people, we're also keen to showcase films that demonstrate Black experiences of joy, celebration, success and love. These facets of the Black experience are just as important to acknowledge and can transform our ways of educating and learning.

Our Into Film+ programme of films, educational resources, film guides and exclusive contributions from key Black figures and organisations will support teachers in both primary and secondary schools across the UK. As well as a range of feature-length films, we also have a whole host of short films, documentaries and additional material that celebrate Black history and experiences. Download our free film guides and teaching resources, designed to support you to guide your students into new ways of thinking.

As part of the programme and our commitment to their mantra of 'Teach Black History 365' (#TBH365), we are excited to be partnering with social enterprise The Black Curriculum on a range of activities, from collaborative resources to screening programmes. To kick things off, we interviewed Founder and CEO Lavinya Stennett on their mission and how schools can get involved.

Into Film+ is our new, free* and rights-compliant film streaming service for UK schools, created in partnership with Filmbankmedia. We have hundreds of films with a whole host of exclusive interviews and educational bonus content from film stars, directors and industry experts. Most films are accompanied by a film guide, to help you and your class explore the different topics within the films.

Feature-Length Films: Primary

Soul (PG)

A beautiful animation from Pixar that explores what it means to find your purpose. It is accompanied by a bonus video from the filmmakers and composer on the representation of Black culture on screen.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PG)

A visually dazzling, highly creative spin on the superhero's story and the many subsequent worlds of his comic book origins. Accompanied by a star interview with Spider-Man voice actor Shameik Moore.

Queen of Katwe (PG)

Phiona is a young girl born and raised in Katwe, a slum in the capital city of Uganda. This is an uplifting film about aiming high and never giving up and is accompanied by star interviews from the main cast and director.

Supa Modo (PG)

Nine-year-old Jo is an imaginative Kenyan girl diagnosed with a terminal illness, and her sister and community support Jo by allowing her to save the day and be a superhero. The film is accompanied by our Supa Modo: Search for the Superhero resource to support filmmaking for ages 11-16.

The Princess and the Frog (U)

Tiana is a feisty young woman with big dreams in Disney's New Orleans-set re-telling of the classic fairy tale. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores its key themes and topics through informal discussion.

Zarafa (PG)

A stunning animation about a young Sudanese boy's escape from slave traders, and his incredible and perilous journey to Paris with a orphaned giraffe. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores its key themes and topics through informal discussion.

Feature-Length Films: Secondary

Girlhood (15)

A spirited coming-of-age story that follows Marieme, a teenager growing up in a housing estate on the outskirts of Paris. Despite some difficult subjects, this film also captures some of the exuberance of youth. It is accompanied by our Girlhood: The Soundtrack of Youth resource, which explores healthy relationships.

Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom (12)

This film recalls a time when Nelson Mandela was labelled a dangerous terrorist and jailed for sabotage, and follows his incredible, inspirational story from then to his triumphant release. It is accompanied by a filmed Q&A between young Into Film reporters and star Idris Elba.

A United Kingdom (12)

Highlighting a painful period in British history, this film explores issues around tolerance, cultural diversity and unity with a powerful contemporary relevance, ultimately proving that love can triumph over forces of oppression. It is accompanied by star interviews and the United Kingdom: The Power of Unity resource.

Hidden Figures (PG)

Inspirational and uplifting, the film shines a light on a lesser known yet culturally important story about diversity during a key moment in America's history. It is accompanied by the Hidden Figures: Pretty Curious resource focusing on diversity and careers in STEM subjects.

The Hate U Give (12)

This a powerful film that encourages self-expression and introduces young audiences to current topics on racism and oppression, and how they manifest in society in both stark and subtle ways. It is accompanied by an interview between director Angie Thomas and a young Into Film reporter.

12 Years A Slave (15)

The extraordinary true story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was abducted from New York and sold into slavery into slavery in 1841. This powerful, shocking landmark drama is accompanied by an introduction from director Steve McQueen as well as an interview between him and a young Into Film reporter.

Selma (12)

A powerful drama focusing on Martin Luther King's campaign to secure voting rights for Black Americans. It is accompanied by Civil Rights on Film - Selma Assembly, which uses stimulus from the film to explore the Civil Rights Movement.

Blue Story (15)

Two best friends are torn apart by gang culture and South London postcode wars in this thoughtful and hard-hitting drama. The film is accompanied by interviews with both director Rapman and the cast on the themes of gangs and street crime, advice for aspiring filmmakers, the challenges of a small budget and much more.

Black Panther (12)

In this inventive and thrilling instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, T'Challa returns to his home of Wakanda to inherit the throne but soon finds himself having to defend it from a solider with a mysterious past. The film is accompanied by a variety of additional material including interviews with the cast and stunt performers, and contributions from the Mama Youth Project.

Summer of Soul (12A)

At a time of huge social upheaval in America, the Harlem Cultural Festival celebrated Black pride and culture. This vibrant documentary uses spectacular archive footage to dive into the past and explore the impact that music and community can have during times of unrest. The film is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

Do The Right Thing (15)

Racial tensions run high in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year in Spike Lee's timeless exploration of gentrification, racism in American and inner-city communities. The film is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

White Riot (15)

A vibrant music documentary that tells the crucial story of the influential Rock Against Racism movement in the late 1970s. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

BlackKklansman (15)

In this outrageous but urgent true story that exposes racial dynamics while also poking fun at the current political climate, an African-American man manages to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. The film is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

Pariah (15)

In this trailblazing film from the perspective of a Black lesbian girl, 17-year-old Alike struggles with heartbreak and her family relationships, whilst on a journey to be her authentic self. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

Boyz N The Hood (15)

This brilliantly observed coming-of-age story follows three friends growing up in South Central LA surrounded by the social problems of poverty, crime, violence, drugs and alcohol. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

Get Out (15)

In this is all-at-once consistently comedic, razor-sharp satire about racial identity, and twisty, suspenseful horror, an African-American young man fears for his life upon meeting his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family for the first time. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

Short Films

Black Barbie (7-16)

In this vibrant short animation, a woman recounts her reaction when, as a child, she was given a Black Barbie doll by her mother. It is accompanied by the Celebrating Yourself: Body Image (11-16) resource, which uses the film to explore body image and mental wellbeing.

Being Black (14+)

Inspired by a series of tweets, this short film explores the daily struggles faced by Black young people in the UK. Despite its sometimes heavy subject matter, the film also celebrates Black experiences and identities through spoken word poetry.

Nuraiyah (7-14)

A hopeful documentary with beautiful cinematography, which follows a seven-year-old girl as she contemplates the wonders of being alive.

In A Room Full of Sisters (11-16)

This brilliant short film by photographer Ashrah Suudy celebrates the cultural pride that can be found in traditional clothes and in sisterhood.

Films and other material from the Educational Recording Agency

I Am Not Your Negro (12)

A searing documentary in which the the late writer James Baldwin looks back at his experiences through American history, most notably the Civil Rights Movement. It is accompanied by a film guide that explores it key topics and themes through informal discussion.

Small Axe: Mangrove (15)

Steve McQueen's 'Small Axe' series features five seperate stories of black resilience and triumph in London's West Indian community. The first is based on the true story of a West Indian community restaurant in London that was subject to relentless police raids in the 1970s, and is a powerful commentary on systemic and societal racism in the UK.

Small Axe: Lovers Rock (12A)

A sensory story of young love and freedom at the London house parties started by Black young people in the 1980s in response to racism in the streets and clubs.

Small Axe: Red, White and Blue (15)

A historical drama about Leroy Logan who joined the Met police in the hope of changing racist attitudes. It is a brutal yet very valuable retelling of an important era in British history

Small Axe: Alex Wheatle (15)

Based on the true story of writer Alex Wheatle's early childhood and imprisonment following the Brixton uprising of 1981, this drama offers a different take on the traditional biopic to explore themes of injustice, protest and identity. It is accompanied by an interview with star Sheyi Cole on the making of the film and the lessons he learnt on set from the real life Alex Wheatle.

Small Axe: Education (15)

A coming-of-age drama exploring institutional racism within the 1970s British education system. The final installment of the 'Small Axe' series is a highly personal one for Steve McQueen who partly based Education on his own experiences of discrimination at secondary school.

Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation (16+)

A harrowing but essential three part documentary on the racist murder of Black teenager Stephen Lawrence, which led to a landmark inquiry that exposed institutional racism within the police force. Be sure to also explore our Into Film Festival Q&A around a screening of the documentary and our most recent article on the annual Stephen Lawrence Day

Inside Cinema: Ryan Coogler (14+)Ava DuVernay (14+) and Jordan Peale (16+)

Three fascinating explorations of prominent Black directors and the common themes within their films.

How Do I Get Started?

To access Into Film+, all you'll need is an Into Film Account - it's completely free, and only takes a moment to set up. Into Film+ is free to use for all UK state schools that hold a valid Public Video Screening (PVS) Licence from Filmbankmedia.

Filmbankmedia PVS Licences are paid for on behalf of schools by all local authorities in England and by some local authorities in both Wales and Scotland. Into Film NI cover the license cost for some schools in Northern Ireland. For further information on licensing in your locality please see our FAQs.

If you don't have a PVS Licence, or aren't already covered, then a licence can easily be obtained from Filmbankmedia.



Filmbankmedia licenses and distributes film and TV entertainment to many groups and is the licensing authority we work with to ensure schools, libraries and youth groups have the permissions to screen films from our catalogue.

* Screenings for an entertainment or extra-curricular purpose require a PVS (Public Video Screening) Licence from Filmbankmedia. State-funded schools in England are covered by the PVS Licence.

Into Film and the Into Film+ streaming service is supported by the UK film industry through Cinema First and the BFI through National Lottery Funding, thanks to National Lottery players.

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