Celebrate International Women's Day with Into Film+

21 Feb 2023

8 mins
The Breadwinner
The Breadwinner

International Women's Day takes place on 8 March, and this year's theme is #EmbraceEquity - a call for collective activism to drive change and create a fair and just world for women. This collective activism is required not just by women, but every single person in society; and not only on the 8 March, but year-round.

Storytelling is a significant form of activism that can spark passion and a desire to create change, and we hope that this collection of films, teaching resources and events for International Women's Day can do just that. Our free* streaming service, Into Film+, hosts a wide collection of thought-provoking films to help get you started exploring these issues and inspire your students - from stories of large-scale historical movements seen in Suffragette, to unpicking female representation in teen films such as Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You. Documentary films in particular, such as He Named Me Malala and I Am Greta, can transform lives by raising awareness, creating access to parliamentary lobbying, and inspiring both local and global sustainable change. Into Film+ is the UK's first free* streaming service dedicated to film and designed for all school settings.

We believe providing young people with access to a variety of stories through long and short form film and documentaries can have a tremendous impact. Film can discuss the many facets of gender equality, as well as how the representation of women in storytelling has changed over the years and shaped perceptions of a woman's place in society today. Witnessing this change over decades can spark hope and progression for the future.

The wide selection of films in this collection come alongside film guides, exclusive filmed bonus content and curriculum-linked resources to better support all educators. What's more, our Into Film+ highlights feature is now available, allowing you to save useful scenes or short segments of a film and easily play them back whenever you need. Instead of noting down and scrolling to the right time code, you will be able to access key moments in a film straight away and efficiently illustrate key parts of your lesson plan.

Our International Women's Day Assemblies (for ages 7-11 and 11-16) aren't linked to a specific film, but are still essential. Everything in this collection (plus plenty of additional material) is also housed on our newly updated International Women's Day page.

Be sure to take your students to the cinema for this year's International Women's Day as well. As part of our UK-wide Spring Screenings programme, we're hosting multiple film screenings of The Woman King, which was released in October 2022, and follows the remarkable story of the Agojie; an all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. We will also be hosting a collaborative BAFTA panel with women across the screen industries for National Careers Week on 8 March - the event is now fully booked but you can join the waitlist in case spaces become available.

Feature Films - Primary

Mary Poppins (U)

A classic film with beautiful and memorable musical scenes about nanny Mary Poppins, who is full of common sense but also friends with talking animals and dancing chimney sweeps. It is accompanied by a film guide.

Brave (PG)

Rebellious Princess Merida finds herself going to great lengths to fight for her freedom of choice and against her mother's wish for her to get married. Another inspiring and courageous female lead from Disney Pixar. It is accompanied by a film guide.

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. It is accompanied by a film guide and an interview with the director.

Whale Rider (PG)

Tradition causes trouble in a family when a young Maori girl wants to take up what she believes is her rightful place at the head of her tribe. Set in modern New Zealand, the film superbly shows what happens when old-fashioned thinking gets in the way of people's potential. It is accompanied by a film guide.

Moana (PG)

Moana is a courageous teenager who seeks to follow in the footsteps of her ancestors by traversing the dangerous Oceanic seas. An inspiring story for young women that is accompanied by a film guide and a 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. This is an uplifting film about aiming high and never giving up. It is accompanied by a film guide and star interviews with the main cast and director.

Hidden Figures (PG)

This inspirational, uplifting film highlights the lesser-known story of the Black women who helped NASA reach the Moon. It is accompanied by the Pretty Curious resource, an introduction by Black Femme Film and interviews with the star/author.

Feature Films - Secondary

Bend it Like Beckham (12)

A feel good British comedy following Jessminder and Jules whose shared passion for football brings them together in a local girls' football team. It is accompanied by a film guide and can be used alongside our brand new Sport on Film: Women in Football resource, which give learners the opportunity to access archive, feature length and documentary film footage to discuss what football has looked like for girls and women over time from as far back as 1920.

10 Things I Hate About You (12)

An inventive 90s comedy in which Shakespeare's 'The Taming of the Shrew' is relocated to a modern American high school setting. This fast-paced and very funny film brilliantly combines the Bard's dialogue with modern teenage anxieties. It is accompanied by a film guide and a special piece of archive film.

Bride & Prejudice (12)

An adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Pride & Prejudice' set in today's Bollywood. The film combines the excitement of the daughters' romances with lavish Bollywood musical numbers, putting a hugely enjoyable spin on a classic British love story. It is accompanied by a film guide.

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. It is accompanied by a film guide and the Women in Animation resource.

The Hate U Give (12)

This a powerful film that encourages self-expression and introduces young audiences to current topics on racism and oppression, and how they manifest in society in both stark and subtle ways. It is accompanied by a film guide, and an interview between the director and a young Into Film reporter.

Clueless (12)

Cher is a spoiled only child living in a Beverly Hills mansion who finds much to improve in the lives and relationships of the people who surround her. A warm and witty comedy that explores the representation of women in the 90s as well as love, relationships and family. It is accompanied by a film guide.

The Breadwinner (12)

Set in the capital city of Afghanistan, Parvana is an 11-year-old girl who disguises herself as a boy so she can better provide for her mother and siblings when her father is unjustly imprisoned by the Taliban. It is accompanied by a film guide, the Raise Your Words resource and an interview with the director.

Testament of Youth (12)

A World War One drama based on the best-selling memoirs of British writer and anti-war campaigner Vera Brittain. This film provides a much-needed female experience of the war on film. It is accompanied by a film guide and a selection of archive newsreels from 1915.

Wonder Woman (12)

Diana, princess of the Amazons, is a trained warrior who realises her true potential when she leaves home to fight in World War One. It is accompanied by a film guide, an introduction and a review challenge from film critic and the writer of 'Women in Hollywood', Helen O'Hara.

Suffragette (12)

Set in London during the late 19th and early 20th century, this film focuses on the Suffragette movement, as the campaign to get women the right to vote goes from peaceful protest to more aggressive demonstrations. It is accompanied by a film guideSocial Changers resource, special intro, Q&A and an interview with the director/screenwriter.

Their Finest (12)

During World War Two, a young woman discovers she has an inspiring way with words when she is taken on as a scriptwriter for propaganda films. This poignant comedy captures the collaborative and creative spirit of filmmaking under fire. It is accompanied by a film guide and two archive films.

Run Lola Run (15)

A clever, breathless, edge-of-the-seat German thriller in which a young woman must come up with 100,000 deutschmarks within 20 minutes to save her boyfriend. It is accompanied by a film guide.

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. It is accompanied by a film guide.

The Assistant (15)

An aspiring film producer who has landed an assistant role with a film company, the film weaves together the daily workplace micro-aggressions that undermine Jane's confidence, until she wants to speak out. Filmed in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, this unnerving drama highlights ongoing issues beyond the #MeToo movement with a powerful commentary on toxic work culture and sexual harassment. It is accompanied by a film guide.

Promising Young Woman (15)

A 30-year-old woman is determined to inflict revenge on her former medical school classmates after a traumatic incident in their past. The film is a dark, razor-sharp comment on contemporary society's treatment of women, particularly in relation to victim-blaming, predatory behaviour, and sexual assault. It is accompanied by a film guide.

Documentary Titles

Jane (PG)

An intimately captured documentary using footage to look back at the career of Jane Goodall, and her experience living amongst chimps in Tanzania. Her experiences living amongst the animals in their habitat revolutionised the way we view and think of the natural world. It is accompanied by a film guide.

He Named Me Malala (PG)

An inspirational documentary about Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted and shot by Taliban assassins after daring to speak out against the closing of schools to girls in her area at the age of 15. It is accompanied by a film guide, English teaching resources (11-16 and 16+) and an interview with Malala herself.

Inside Cinema: Strong Female Characters (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 11+

A close look at the representation of powerful and strong women on screen and it's wider complications. This short visual essay takes a closer look at this ‘strong female' archetype within the action and superhero film genre, expanding on how more complexity could be rendered on screen and offering examples of more nuanced female heroes.

Inside Cinema: Fat and Female on Screen (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 11+

A close look at how fat and female characters have been depicted on screen. Bringing together an array of joyful clips from both mainstream and independent titles, this short film is a valuable tool with which to discuss how popular media affects our view of our and other's bodies.

I Am Greta (12)

One of the world's most influential activists, Greta Thunberg remains relentless in her goal to bring awareness to environmental issues. Inspiring and important in equal measure, this film is sure to impact and connect with young people the world over. It is accompanied by a film guide.

Nadiya: Anxiety & Me (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 14+

Documentary featuring TV chef and author Nadiya Hussain MBE discussing her experience with anxiety. It's an open and sometimes raw account of a woman's search for answers and help that should resonate with many people dealing with mental health issues.

Short Films

The Myth of Haftvad Worm (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 7-14

A woman finds a worm that can spin cotton but her father plans to use the creature to become rich. This short animated fairy tale showcases the power of storytelling with a clear moral about greed at its centre.

In A Room Full of Sisters (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 11-16

This film celebrates the cultural pride that can be found in traditional clothes and in sisterhood. Photographer Ashrah Suudy captures striking scenes, accompanying them with her own stirring poem celebrating the strength of sisterhood and the power of fabric in enriching our lives and imbuing them with pride.

Silly Girl (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 14+

Part of our Pecadillo Pictures collection, this short is about the first time you are noticed, the first time someone sees you for who you are, and the transformative nature of that moment.

Waiting Time (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 16+

A German language short about a young babysitter whose wait for her bus home is disrupted by menacing man. This thriller deals with street harassment and staying safe in public.

BFI Archive

Jemima & Johnny (Unclassified)

Recommended for ages 7+

A short British film exploring race relations in post-riots Notting Hill in the 1960s through the friendship of a little girl and boy. The offers a refreshingly optimistic window into a community that still resonate today.

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.

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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.

Into Film and the Into Film+ streaming service is supported by the UK film industry through Cinema First and the BFI through National Lottery Funding, thanks to National Lottery players. Since the very first National Lottery draw in 1994, public support - raised directly through National Lottery ticket sales - has funded more than 670,000 projects, raising more than £46 billion for good causes.

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