Discover free films for watching, discussing and exploring filmmaking.
The Into Film Festival got off to a flying start this week with young people all over the UK enjoying free cinema screenings and the chance to engage in talks and workshops with film industry professionals.
In London we kicked off with a cuddly gathering at the Empire Cineworld in Leicester Square, where hundreds of pupils - including several dressed up as Paddington Bear - were treated to an exclusive pupil premiere of Paddington 2. The star-studded Studio Canal sequel was an instant hit, and our young attendees were greeted by the calypso band from the film upon arrival, and got to hear from writer Simon Farnaby, director Paul King, and actors Madelaine Harris and Samuel Joslin... not to mention Paddington himself! Check out highlights in the video above.
Elsewhere in the capital our young audiences embraced the chance to quiz Agatha Christie's great grandson, James Prichard, after watching Sir Kenneth Branagh's new adaptation of her famous crime novel Murder on the Orient Express. We also talked to A Moving Image director Shola Amoo, whose docu-drama about the gentrification of Brixton threw up interesting discussion points.
To open the Festival in Scotland, SFX company Artem treated aspiring filmmakers to a special effects workshop in Falkirk, while in Wales students enjoyed a futuristic filmic experience with a special screening of Blade Runner 2049 at the iconic Penarth Pier Pavilion Cinema. In Northern Ireland our opener was a screening of the popular Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at Belfast Queens Theatre - a cinema not far from where our Northern Ireland Ambassador Sir Kenneth Branagh grew up. Sir Kenneth lent his support to the Festival, saying "Using film as an educational tool makes a real difference to young people's personal development and continues to be very close to my heart."
The first three days of the Festival saw many further highlights, including 3D films, interactive scratch-and-sniff screenings, and autism-friendly showings to help make the magic of cinema accessible to the widest possible audience. Secondary pupils attended a showing of LGBT football drama The Pass, and then participated in a lively discussion hosted by representatives of Stonewall and BlackOutUK, a digital platform by and for black gay men.
Equally stimulating were a screening of provocative British drama I, Daniel Blake followed by a Q&A with actor Dave Johns, and a great demonstration of how sound effects are made with Foley Artist Pete Burgis down at Shepperton Studios. At Folly Farm Zoo in Pembrokeshire - surrounded by lions, parrots and alpacas - we welcomed Magic Light Pictures to talk about the animation process alongside a screening of Roald Dahl-inspired animation Revolting Rhymes, while in Birmingham the visually stunning A Beautiful Planet in 3D was introduced by UK Space Agency, explaining the importance of human spaceflight and Earth observation.
For the next two weeks, cinemas from Kilmarnock to Cornwall will be buzzing with teachers and students enjoying the big-screen experience at its best. We'll also be visiting home of the British Film Industry, Pinewood Studios, learning about careers in film from the people behind the Oscars®, finding out about film reviewing, costume design and censorship, and lots more. Watch this space for more Festival highlights and check out the programme now as some events still have places available!
We look at how Paddington 2 honours the spirit of the character and introduces a new villain in his second big screen adventure.
Reading time 6 mins
Develop pupils' creative, active citizenship and problem solving skills through our new Paddington 2 design & technology resource.
With the Into Film Festival just around the corner, we've picked out some highlights from out extensive UK-wide programme of free films and events.
Reading time 8 mins
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