Celebrate International Women's Day with Into Film+

19 Feb 2024

8 mins
International Women's Day - Into Film+
International Women's Day - Into Film+

International Women's Day takes place on 8 March, and this year's theme is #InspireInclusion, which aims to forge a more inclusive world for women. It's a day of collective global activism and celebration that belongs to all those committed to forging women's equality. This collective activism is required not just by women, but every single person in society, and not only for one day, but year-round.

To celebrate this vital day, we've curated a list of some of the best and most relevant female-focused titles that are available to stream with Into Film+, including recent releases like Polite Society and She Said, and enduring favourites like The Color PurplePersepolis and Mean Girls. Meanwhile, our new series of careers-focused Industry Insider resources offers young people the perspectives of female filmmakers from across various screen industry roles.

Into Film+ is our free* streaming service for schools, and offers a host of curated educational films, exclusive additional content and teaching resources and guides, supporting educators to feel confident in bringing important topics and discussions around gender and women's rights into the classroom throughout the year.

Plus, if you're a state school in England that's funded by the Department for Education, you'll have access to Into Film+ Premium, which offers an even greater selection of films with which to explore International Women's Day.

Film, like all forms of storytelling, can be a significant form of activism; one that can spark passion and a desire to create change, and we hope that the collection of films and teaching resources below will help support you and your learners to do just that.

In our curated selection of films you can explore how representations of women in storytelling have changed over the years, and how perceptions of a woman's position in society have evolved over time.

Use these films to delve into the achievements and impact of significant women throughout history, as well as wider explorations of the experience of being a woman in a male-dominated world. From issues around puberty, to feminist activism, to trans rights, you can truly bring International Women's Day to life in your classroom with Into Film+.

We've also launched a new collection of Industry Insider resources, which offer young people the opportunity to hear from a female filmmaker in the screen industries talk about their career, and share tips for young people interested in their roles and following in their footsteps.

Feature Films - Primary

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (PG)

This coming-of-age comedy sees a young girl navigating a new life in 1970s suburbia, wrestling with new friends, religious quandaries and the threat of puberty.

On Into Film+, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Wadjda (PG)

A sweet and uplifting story about a ten-year-old who refuses to let the fact she's a girl stop her from doing the things she wants to do. 

On Into Film+, Wadjda is accompanied by a film guide and an interview with the film's director.

Moana (PG)

Moana is a courageous teenager who seeks to follow in the footsteps of her ancestors by traversing the dangerous Oceanic seas in this inspiring story for young women.

On Into Film+, Moana is accompanied by a film guide and our Finding Your Way in the World resource.

Queen of Katwe (PG)

Phiona is a young girl born and raised in Katwe, a slum in the capital city of Uganda, who discovers that she's a chess prodigy in this is uplifting film about aiming high and never giving up. 

On Into Film+, Queen of Katwe is accompanied by a film guide and interviews with the film's director and main cast.

Feature Films - Secondary

Polite Society (12)

When a martial-arts obsessed teen meets her sister's new boyfriend, she immediately becomes suspicious and sets out to expose his darkest secrets. Showcasing a heady mix of Bollywood, action and comedy, Polite Society also reflects on sisterhood, tradition and forging your own path.

Persepolis (12)

A highly original and brilliantly animated portrait of a young girl's coming of age in revolutionary Iran. Marjane is a smart and strong-willed girl whose life is forever changed when the Shah of Iran is overthrown by the Islamic Revolution of 1979. 

On Into Film+, Persepolis is accompanied by a film guide and our Women in Animation resource.

Anita and Me (12)

This coming-of-age comic drama follows Meena, a young British Asian girl who idolises her older friend Anita, while racial tension casts an uneasy shadow on her local community. This is a funny, moving and thought-provoking film.

On Into Film+, Anita and Me is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

The Color Purple (1985) (15)

From director Steven Spielberg, this adaptation of Alice Walker's novel about the turbulent life of Celie, a black woman growing up in the American Deep South of the 1900s, is a beautifully shot, life-affirming tale of personal triumph, love and hope.

On Into Film+, The Color Purple is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

La Mif (The Fam) (15)

This French drama follows a group of troubled girls living at a residential care home as they navigate unexpected tensions and new friendships. Directed with a great sense of authenticity by a former care worker collaborating with a largely non-professional cast of actors, La Mif is an insightful and powerful look at the ramifications of abuse whilst highlighting the importance and difficulty of social work.

On Into Film+, La Mif is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Tangerine (15)

Shot exclusively on an iPhone, this extraordinary piece of filmmaking tells the story of LA based transgender street worker, Sin-Dee, who is released from a short stint in prison. She learns her boyfriend has been unfaithful and embarks on a journey to find and confront him. A low-budget film with a lot of humour and a touching message. 

On Into Film+, Tangerine is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Maddie (Unclassified)

Suggested for ages 14+, this 13 minute short film cleverly explores issues around consent and manipulative behaviour, and follows a teenage girl, who is pleased when an older boy shows an interest in her, but soon becomes uneasy about where things are heading. A modern tale about growing up and learning to listen to your instincts.

On Into Film+, Maddie is accompanied by our Respecting Yourself: Social Media Expectations vs Reality resource.

Into Film+ Premium films

Ballerina (U)

In 1879 Paris, an orphan girl who dreams of becoming a ballerina takes on the identity of another in order to enrol at a prestigious ballet school in this music-filled, historical adventure that's full of impressive dance sequences.

Mulan (1998) (U) / Mulan (2020) (12)

Both the animated and live action versions of this classic Chinese folktale are available with Into Film+ Premium. The story follows a girl who disguises herself as a man so that she can fight in the army, replacing her father who's too frail. Both versions offer a thrilling tale, exploring themes of gender and honour.

On Into Film+, both versions of Mulan are accompanied by film guides to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Cruella (12)

This fun origin story looks at one of cinema's most significant villains and asks questions around morality and finding oneself, as a young Cruella de Vil seeks a career in London as a fashion designer.

On Into Film+, Cruella is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

Women of Impact: Changing the World (Unclassified)

Suggested for ages 11-16, this is an inspiring documentary is about empowering women to work in the fields of science, conservation, and environmental sustainability. With stunning footage of conservation work in action around the globe, the film invites us to discover the opportunities for everyone to explore the natural world.

Misbehaviour (12)

Based on real incidents surrounding the 1970 Miss World pageant in London, a group of activists hatch a plan to disrupt the event. Looking back at the political and social conversations that were occurring at the time, whilst also spotlighting contemporary issues, this drama is a culturally aware and slickly entertaining slice of British cinema.

On Into Film+, Misbehaviour is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

King Richard (12)

King Richard is a sharp and emotional look at the early days of sporting icons Venus and Serena Williams and the impact their father had on their careers, whilst also being a wholly entertaining story with a fantastic lead performance.

Mean Girls (2004) (12)

This smart and funny comedy sees a new girl at school falling in with the popular crowd, only to find them more vicious than any jungle cat, and was based on a real-life manual to help parents deal with "Queen Bees and Wannabes" in their children's lives.

On Into Film+, Mean Girls is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

She Said (15)

She Said is based on the book written by the two journalists who broke the story around sexual abuse in Hollywood, which helped ignite the #MeToo movement around the world.

Elizabeth (15)

Elizabeth is a historical biography of one of British history's most fascinating royal figures, following Elizabeth I's early days on the throne of England, and explores themes such as religion, citizenship, and duty to one's country.

On Into Film+, Elizabeth is accompanied by a film guide to help you explore the film and its themes with your learners.

How Do I Get Started on Into Film+?

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 logo, the words Digital, Entertainment, Technology appear


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.

The core Into Film programme is free for UK state schools, colleges and other youth settings, thanks to support from the BFI, awarding National Lottery good cause funding, and through other key funders including Cinema First and Northern Ireland Screen.

You may also be interested in...

Viewing 4 of 4 related items.

Into Film Clubs

Into Film Clubs

Find out everything you need to know about starting an Into Film Club.

News details

Want to write for us?

Get in touch with your article ideas for the News and Views section.