Home Learning Films to Stream on BBC iPlayer and All4

04 Jan 2021 in Film Features

4 mins
A Fantastic Woman
A Fantastic Woman

With further lockdowns and school closures announced across all four UK nations at the start of January, we will continue to update our list of key titles which are available to watch on BBC iPlayer and All4 on a daily basis. Each title has associated learning materials attached, in the form of film guides, blogs, interviews and resources for further study.

These films are available to access for anyone learning from home, provided they have a TV licence. If you are an educator showing these films in a school or classroom, your school will also require a TV licence.  Into Film Club leaders can also order these films on DVD in the usual way. Parents or home learners seeking to access downloadable resources will need to sign up for a free account first - don't worry, it only takes a moment.

This list will be checked and updated on a daily basis with appropriate new titles added regularly throughout January and beyond, for as long as the national uncertainty remains, so do bookmark this page and check back for any changes. The films below are listed by which expires first - so if a film is at the top of the list, that means you don't have long to watch it!

Mr Peabody & Sherman

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Saturday 27 February (expires 1pm)

This zany animation is based on a 1960s cartoon and follows the adventures of a genius dog and his adopted human son. Together they travel across time and space to experience historical periods first-hand, from the French Revolution to Ancient Egypt to the Renaissance, meeting figures including Marie Antoinette and Leonardo da Vinci along the way.

Tomorrowland

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Saturday 27 February (expires 6pm)

From filmmaker Brad Bird - who directed the likes of The Incredibles and The Iron Giant - comes this sci-fi adventure about a futuristic secret world. After teenager Casey is briefly transported to Tomorrowland, she is desperate to return and embarks on a quest to find out more about the cityscape she glimpsed a look at.

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Saturday 27 February (expires 9.30pm)

A tragic tale of two boys separated by a fence during the height of World War Two, based on the acclaimed children's novel. Bruno is a young explorer who moves house with his Nazi family but is naïve to what is occurring in the outside world, not realising that the 'farm' nearby is actually a concentration camp. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas acknowledges the horrors of war and the Nazi regime while celebrating the power of friendship.

Isle of Dogs

All4 - Last Day to Watch: Saturday 27 February

Wes Anderson's stop-motion animation is set in a not-too-distant dystopian future, after an outbreak of canine flu has caused havoc in Japan. As a result, all dogs have been quarantined on a deserted island. When 12-year-old Atari's beloved pooch goes missing, he decides to head there in an attempt to locate his much-missed companion in this funny and suddenly pertinent story.

Cinderella (2015)

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Sunday 28 February

Live-action version of the classic fairy-tale with Lily James in the lead role as Ella, the downtrodden young woman who remains kind and courageous despite having to cope with her two unpleasant stepsisters. This version is bursting with colour, glamorous costumes and magical sets that truly bring the tale to life. 

Beautiful Boy

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Monday 1 March

Timothée Chalamet plays a drug-addictedyoung man whose father desperately tries to help him, based on memoirs from Davidand Nic Sheff. This melodramatic interpretation of events highlights thedifficulties for all involved in such challenging circumstances, with strong performances conveying the protagonist's plight.

Shakespeare in Love

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Saturday 6 March

There have been many adaptations of Shakespeare's works over the years, but this romantic comedy-drama takes a different approach. It instead tells the story of an actress who dresses up as a boy so that she's allowed to perform, auditioning for Shakespeare himself before the two embark on a romance that they know cannot end well.

Nightcrawler

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Saturday 6 March

This pitch-black satire of the news media follows an ambitious sociopath who will do whatever it takes to be first to the story. Lou Bloom sets up his own company after some initial success in the field, but soon begins to cross journalistic ethical lines in order to impress those around him.

The Little Stranger

All4 - Last Day to Watch: Sunday 14 March

Adapted from Sarah Waters' 2009 novel of the same name, The Little Stranger is set in 1948 and focuses on the life of the family at Hundreds Hall, a grand country estate which is slowly falling into ruin. When a doctor visits to examine a patient, he finds that all is not quite right. As one member of the family suggests that spirits are haunting the rural mansion, it becomes clear that each member of the household is hiding demons of their own.

Lady Macbeth

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Sunday 14 March

This taut and tense period drama follows a young woman who decides to take her future into her own hands after being forced into a loveless marriage. With a breakout performance from Florence Pugh, this British independent film explores themes around gender equality, class, power, and romance.

Sunset Song

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Monday 15 March

From filmmaker Terence Davies comes this evocative adaptation of a classic Scottish novel. It tells the story of a young girl who comes of age at the beginning of the 20th century on their poor, isolated land, and under the violent rule of their father. With gorgeous cinematography and a strong female character at its centre, Sunset Song is ultimately a hopeful tale of resilience through adversity.

A Fantastic Woman

All4 - Last Day to Watch: Tuesday 16 March

This Chilean drama won Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Academy Awards for its portrayal of a transgender woman who is subjected to awful behaviour after the sudden death of her boyfriend. After the unexpected tragedy, Marina finds herself treated with hostility by both her lover's family and by institutions because of her gender status as she attempts to grieve. Despite this, she fights against this bigotry to become a character defined by defiance and courage in this landmark piece of trans representation.

Paddington 2

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Wednesday 17 March

The oh-so-loveable marmalade-eating bear returns for a sequel which somehow surpasses the first film. Full of entertaining scenes and characters - from Hugh Grant's villain to the entire prison sequence - as well as genuinely heartwarming moments, exploring themes including family and identity, Paddington 2 is a winner for children of all ages.

A Monster Calls

BBC iPlayer - Last Day to Watch: Monday 22 March

This raw and very moving adaptation of Patrick Ness' young adult fantasy novel is a story about attempting to navigate grief as a teenager. 13-year-old Conor is struggling to deal with the fact that his mother is very ill, and this is affecting other areas of his life. When he is visited by an enormous tree monster who enjoys telling stories, Conor must prepare himself for the cruel truth.

The Eagle Huntress

BBC iPlayer - Available until August

An evergreen Into Film favourite which has wowed audiences at Into Film Clubs and Festival screenings alike, The Eagle Huntress is an eye-opening documentary that can introduce younger students to a whole new culture. It also allows viewers to explore concepts such as gender equality from a young age, and to question what they want to do with their own lives. 

Note: Presented on BBC iPlayer as part of their Storyville strand of documentary films.

One Man and His Shoes

BBC iPlayer - Available until October

A recent hit at the predominantly online London Film Festival, One Man and His Shoes is quite simply an ideal documentary for secondary students interested in sport, business and/or the media. Not only does it tackle a fascinating topic that will no doubt appeal to these audiences, but is presented in a way that is stylish, accessible and entirely attuned to youth culture.

Stan & Ollie

BBC iPlayer - Available until 2022

In this affectionate biopic, silent film stars of the silver screen Laurel and Hardy are preparing for a comeback tour in 1953. With their celebrity status on the wane and the country still recovering from World War Two, the duo embark on a tour of the UK to help boost publicity for an upcoming project… but all does not go to plan.

I Am Greta

BBC iPlayer - Available until 2022

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has experienced an extraordinary rise to prominence in a short period of time after boycotting her education to get her message out to the masses. This intimate and personal documentary - only very recently released in cinemas - charts her ascension into the mainstream, as well as uncovering more about the person behind the crusade.

The Gruffalo

BBC iPlayer - Available until 2022

We don't make the rules, but we're pretty sure at least one of the screen adaptations of Julia Donaldson's much-loved children's books should be a festive essential. Donaldson's stories have been adapted frequently in recent years, but it was her initial big hit, The Gruffalo, which first received the screen treatment back in 2009. With an all-star British voice cast including Helena Bonham Carter, James Corden, John Hurt and Robbie Coltrane (as The Gruffalo), this is a lovely introduction to the author's stories.

Room on the Broom

BBC iPlayer - Available until 2022

The Gruffalo was written in 1999, with Room on the Broom following just a year later. This one made its way to the screen in 2012 and features the voice talents of Simon Pegg, Timothy Spall, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams and more, as a ragtag group of animals come together to fight off a dragon so that they can all ride on the witch's broom in safety.

Stick Man

BBC iPlayer - Available until 2022

The most recent of our three recommended Julia Donaldson adaptations was filmed in 2015, and even has a festive theme, following as it does the adventures of the title character as he attempts to navigate the dangers of his winter environment and make it home in time for Christmas. Martin Freeman voices Stick Man and is joined by the likes of Hugh Bonneville, Russell Tovey, Jennifer Saunders and Rob Brydon (who appears in all three of these stories). 

Suggestion: Each of these Donaldson adaptations are short films that clock in at just under 30 minutes each, so why not watch them back-to-back in a feature length triple bill?

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