Using film to celebrate 'Women in Space' this World Space Week

05 Oct 2021

6 mins
Using film to celebrate 'Women in Space' this World Space Week

World Space Week (4-10 October) is now upon us and every year, it brings together thousands of participants across over ninety countries to celebrate science and technology, and their impact on the development of the human condition. This year's theme is 'Women in Space'; a particularly important subject that hopes to inspire the next generation and celebrate the contributions of women to the space sector.

It is also a theme that we are proud to host a wide range of material on, from easily accessible titles on our new free* streaming service, Into Film+, to youth-made shorts and even a new interview with female astronaut, Cady Coleman. Below, we've included material that caters for all age groups and can be used to explore both the broader subject of space and celebrate the achievements of women in this field.

First up, we are delighted to have two seminal and female-centric films about space on Into Film+ - Hidden Figures and Arrival. Hidden Figures is most relevant to the purpose of the week as it follows the true story of three African American mathematicians who rose through the ranks of NASA during the Civil Rights era and contributed to the success of the first American to orbit Earth. 

Arrival on the other hand is new to our streaming platform and is a fictional tale, which follows an expert linguist as she investigates a mysterious alien species that has unexpectedly landed on Earth in a series of giant pods. Watch the films for free on Into Film+ and delve deeper into their themes with a number of accompanying resources (also available on the platform) and unique articles that we've listed below.

Next up, our Space film list presents seven primary titles and ten secondary titles that can both serve as a tremendous source of entertainment and allow you to examine real issues around science, technology. ethics and philosophy in accessible ways. The most relevant films in celebrating women in space are Gravity and Contact.

Such a high quantity of films are made about space because the subject holds pretty much unlimited potential for imaginative storytelling. World Space Week is therefore a perfect opportunity to facilitate a filmmaking project in your classroom, and we've listed some great youth-made shorts to get you started and inspired. 

Film of the Month (FOTM) winner, Dreams of Mars deserves a special shout out as it is a brilliant stop-motion short that sees a young woman fulfil her dreams of travelling to Mars with an all-women astronaut crew. Fellow FOTM winner The Astronaut sees a young boy absorbed in his fascination for space travel attempt to use his knowledge to escape trouble at home. 

Meanwhile, films such as Space Coffee show that you can make a low-key and low-budget space film that is still extremely creative. Make sure to also watch the other winning film from our previous space themed Into Film Awards category as well as the films from the corresponding Into Film: Into Space initiative - created in partnership with the UK Space Agency - which culminated in astronaut Tim Peake announcing the winners from the International Space Station (ISS).

Speaking of astronauts, one of our Young Reporters recently chatted to NASA astronaut Cady Coleman on her experiences of life on the ISS, what it's like to work in zero gravity, and how she helped Sandra Bullock prepare for the film Gravity. The interview is around new documentary, The Wonderful: Stories From the Space Station, which you can find out how to watch here.

*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.

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.