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The start of the cinematic year is traditionally known as "Awards Season", when many of the titles in consideration for film's big prizes are released to the public for their viewing pleasure and February is certainly delivering in that tradition. However, there are also family-friendly animations and unique ScreenLife thrillers making their way onto screens too. And you never know, maybe Puss in Boots himself will win an Oscar® one day!
For a cat like Puss in Boots, the legendary feline swordfighter of fairytale fame, death is nothing to be feared after all, cats have nine lives. But his swashbuckling antics mean he now only has one precious life left. Just as he decides to play it safe as a domestic pet, he is once again catapulted into a dangerous adventure by a hooded wolf and the criminal gang Goldilocks and the Three Bears, whom he fights alongside his one-time fiancée Kitty Softpaws and a poorly disguised dog named Perrito. Together, they set out to find the mythical Wishing Star, the only thing that can return Puss to a full set of nine lives. With all the action, excitement, and enchantment we've come to know and love from the Shrek franchise, this subversive tale is as much about humility as it is about taking risks.
We've also published a fantastic teaching resource alongside this cinema release which you can download for free below.
The fearless Puss in Boots is down the last of his nine lives, but just as he prepares to hang up his sword, he has one last adventure.
Age group5–11 years
This timely and evocative drama conveys the difficulties faced by queer people in Thatcherite Britain and has been made by a predominantly female cast and crew, giving it a fresh and contemporary feel.
Set in Newcastle in 1988, it follows Jean, a woman who lives a double life. By day she is a closeted PE teacher unable to even consider coming out to colleagues and students because of societal stigma. This is compounded by the introduction of Section 28 bill by Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, laws which forbid the "promotion of homosexuality" within schools and other public places. By night, Jean visits lesbian bars where she feels able to be herself with a close circle of friends, including her lover, Viv. When a new student named Lois joins her class and they bump into each other on a night out in a gay club, Jean fears that her two worlds are set to collide.
Set to be one of the oddest but endearing films of the year, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is a surprisingly poignant, persistently adorable live-action/animation hybrid built around themes of family, friendship and identity. Upon temporarily moving into an Airbnb, Dean, a documentary filmmaker, is surprised to discover Marcel amongst all the clutter. Marcel is a 1-inch tall shell who lives alone with his elderly grandma (also a shell) after being separated from the rest of his family years previously during an unknown event. Upon learning about this, Dean begins to film a documentary in the hopes that Marcel, with his sweet nature and offbeat philosophies on life, can go viral and be reunited with his family.
An LGBTQ+ film from Pakistan is a rarity in cinema and 'Joyland' gives an insight into how queer people not only survive but thrive in a conservative society which threatens their right to exist and to love.
Haider is the scrappy youngest son of a hard-working, argumentative but close-knit Pakistani family in Lahore. Handsome and charming, he has yet to find his calling in life and aims to avoid disappointing his conservative father. Wanting to become the breadwinner in his relatively new marriage, he takes up an unconventional job as a backup dancer for Biba, a trans performer at a local gay nightclub, and soon finds himself intensely drawn to her. Lying to his family about his role at the club and with his relationship with Biba continuing to blossom, Haider is launched into a journey of self-discovery and intimacy that becomes increasingly difficult to balance with his family life.
Women Talking - in cinemas 10 February
A group of women in an isolated religious colony must make the most important decision of their lives when they discover a shocking secret about the colony's men.
Epic Tails - in cinemas 10 February
An adventurous mouse sets off to battle dangerous creatures in Ancient Greece, including Poseidon.
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania - in cinemas 17 February
The latest installment in the MCU sees fan-favourite Ant-Man head into the Quantum realm to battle a new threat in Kang the Conqueror.
The Inspection - in cinemas 17 February
A young, gay Black man with few options for his future decides to join the Marines, willing to do whatever it takes to prove himself to his estranged mother.
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