International Women's Day Films and Resources

03 Mar 2022 in Using Film to Teach...

5 mins
Queen of Katwe
Queen of Katwe

International Women's Day takes place in March every year and is a celebration of strides made in women's rights as well as an acknowledgement of issues that still need to be addressed. 

This year lands on 8 March and is around the theme of #BreakTheBias; whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn't enough, action is needed to level the playing field.

Below, we delve into a number of films on our streaming service, Into Film+ as well as additional titles on our film lists and a selection of youth-made shorts. These can all be used to spark discussion on key moments in women's rights history or to reflect on how bias, sexism and oppressive rules play a role in everyday life and what can be done to challenge and empower ourselves and others.

Films on Into Film+

Our free* streaming platform for schools, Into Film+, hosts a huge amount of films that can be explored on International Women's Day with both primary and secondary students. For ease of use, they have been split into those age categories and are all accompanied by film guides that take a closer look at each film's key themes. They also contain both pre and post-film questions, as well as extension activities and suggestions of titles to watch next.



Film Lists

Apart from Into Film+, a valuable place to begin is by looking through the various titles in the International Women's Day film list. This list contains cinematic takes on real-life events that advanced women's rights as well as a range of relatable stories - varying from comedies to political dramas - which feature characters that defy what is expected of them due to their gender and who unite with others to overcome hurdles placed on them. The films in this list are suitable for a range of ages and are accessible entry points into discussing the meaning of patriarchy, sexism and the meanings of feminism. 

Our Female Filmmakers film list also includes more diverse viewing material that can also be used to discuss the role of women filmmakers behind the camera.

Youth Made Films

We're always looking to spotlight more of the youth made films that feature in our filmmaking competitions, most significantly Film of the Month (FOTM), which accepts any type of film at any time of the year from 5-19 year-olds. The brilliant and eclectic range of short films below explore important themes related to International Women's Day, such as breaking new ground, accepting yourself and dealing with sexual harassment.

Dreams of Mars - This FOTM winner for November 2020 is an inspiring stop-motion short that sees a young woman fulfil her dreams of travelling to Mars with an all-women astronaut crew.

The Search - FOTM winner in September 2018, this brilliant all-female homage to the silent films of Buster Keaton was created to celebrate the centenary of women gaining the right to vote and was extensively covered by us in a follow-up profile.

Stolen Skin (Please note: this film contains themes more appropriate for older audiences) - A FOTM winner in March 2020, the film is a collage of visuals and narration that tells multiple stories of sexual harassment.

Lady in Red - A runner-up for FOTM in July 2020, Lady in Red addresses an issue that many young women deal with - accepting yourself the way you are.

In the Deep End - Another runner-up in the same month, this documentary follows the story of a young swimmer Evelyn Davis and how she copes with external pressures.

Strike (Please note: This film has a domestic abuse theme, and contains repeated scenes of emotional and physical domestic abuse) - A final runner-up from what was clearly a uniquely strong month in July, Strike follows seven-year old Emily who is greatly affected by the unhealthy relationship between her parents and goes about her day-to-day life remembering the physical and emotional abuse that happens in her home. Emily feels trapped but will her mother find the courage to escape?

*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.

This Article is part of: Using Film to Teach...

A series of articles that highlight how the medium of film can be used to teach a wide variety of subjects and themes.

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