Embrace the magic of storytelling with filmmaking

25 Jan 2024

6 mins
The magic of storytelling
The magic of storytelling

National Storytelling Week (30 Jan - 6 Feb) is an important time for schools across the UK and we want to use this one to highlight how filmmaking and storytelling go hand-in-hand. Below, we're highlighting some inspiration from previous Into Film Awards winners and offering a few resources that will help young people tell their stories using film.

There's nothing like a good story. From classic fairy tales, myths and legends to timeless romances, adventures and even spine-chillingly spooky ghost stories - we are all enchanted by the magic of storytelling whether it's through live action or animation. At Into Film, we believe that every young person has a story to tell, so why not share your story with us by submitting a film to our ongoing Film of the Month competition? Throughout the years, young people have submitted moving stories that deal with mature themes such as loss, grief, climate change and mental health. We've also received some rowdy and laugh-out-loud bonanzas!

For National Storytelling Week, explore the art of storytelling through film with your young learners and encourage them to take a shot at creating a film that brings their story to life.

Resources to help with storytelling through film

Designed as an introduction to creative writing using film, our Writing Fiction Through Film online course identifies activities to energise literacy lessons. Explore how to turn primary pupils into active story-makers, as they build their understanding of structuring narratives and imagine new stories from film stills - the perfect course to help educators support young people with their filmmaking activities.

Our Story Builder resource, is aimed at pupils aged 7-11 and enables learners to develop their understanding of the basic building blocks of film: using the 3Cs and 3Ss (colour, character, camera; story, sound and setting) to create imaginative narratives of their own. Learners will be able to use our interactive workbook to plan their own film stories stage by stage.

Meanwhile, our Mini Filmmaking Guides present a comprehensive suite of resources, which will help to guide you through the entire process of making a film, from initial development right through to post-production and distribution.

Storytelling to effect change

Films can be made to raise awareness of issues that important to young people, and can explore the changes they would like to see or make in the world, whether big or small; personal or society wide. Storytelling through film can be an incredibly effective way of achieving this.

For inspiration, check out the youth-made short Change Direction, which won the Changes for a Better World category at the Into Film Awards back in 2022.

While there are countless other issues that affect young people, and which they feel will doubtless passionate about, we know that the issue of climate change and protecting the environment is of key concern. Use the resources below to help explore these issues in the classroom and inspire films that use storytelling to tackle this vital global issue.

Mental wellbeing and storytelling

Wednesday 1 February marks Time to Talk day, and we recognise that mental health and wellbeing is another issue that schools and young people themselves take very seriously. A winner at the 2022 Into Film Awards, youth-made short Driven to Despair is an effective look at the experience of someone struggling with OCD and anxiety. 

Use this Time to Talk day to empower your learners to speak out about mental health issues by creating a film around the mental health or wellbeing theme of their choice, or even to battle stigma by sharing their own mental health stories.

Bring stories to life through animation

Animation is one of the most popular mediums for young people to bring stories to life, and is also one of the more accessible styles of filmmaking. We're always keen to recognise animated films, and over the years we've received films that have included stories about everything from sassy dragons, to lonely polar bears, to explorations of experiencing grief and autism.

Check out some of these Best Animation winners from past Into Film Awards below for inspiration.

In addition, our Get Into Animation resource and Animate! with Aardman online course provide educators a step-by-step process and expert tips on bringing young people's stories to life through animation. 

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