Our Top 5 Recommends: Film Resources

Whilst a trip to the cinema is in our top 5 post-lockdown activities, it is great to see people using this time to enjoy and discover film at home. There are some great resources available to help students expand their knowledge of film, or to support your teaching whatever the subject.

1. Reel Connections and the Young Film Programmers Network

Here at Reel Connections, we’ve been working with Film Hub South East and the British Film Institute’s Film Audience Network to coordinate a programme of young audience focused activities, resources and opportunities.
Our Intermissions programme includes weekly online viewing and discussions programmed by members of our Young Film Programmers network; a facilitated group of 16-30 year olds who meet on a regular basis to increase their knowledge of independent film and to plan and present their own screenings and events.
The next event is a special online screening of the BAFTA winning drama BAIT (15) with recorded introduction by Mark Kermode, followed by a post-film discussion on Twitter using #YFPFilmFest.
We will also shortly be announcing the first of our industry-focused masterclasses, featuring online interviews with specialists from the independent film sector. For more information go to our website or follow Reel Connections on Twitter and Facebook.

2. Into Film

Into Film support teachers and educators to achieve a wide range of effective learning outcomes in their use of film. Their programme includes a network of extra-curricular Into Film Clubs, resources for use in film clubs and in the classroom, training opportunities, a cinema-based film festival and their annual Into Film Awards.
To provide help to families and educators during the current coronavirus/COVID-19 situation, Into Film are making a number of their member-facing resources available to all, providing help for teachers and parents by offering simple, easy and useful activities.
Their latest resources include Fifty Film Guides to Use at Home; a collection of curriculum-linked film guides featuring activities for ages 5 – 16, Pretty Curious; a free STEM resource based on the film Hidden Figures, Nature in Your Neighbourhood and a new filmmaking competition
Check out

3. BFI Film Academy

BFI Film Academy offers opportunities for young people, anywhere in the UK to get to know more about film and how you could make a career in the film industry. From practical courses throughout the UK and online, to regular insight events, panel discussions, networking opportunities, screenings and more. The BFI Film Academy programme also includes the BFI Future Film Festival, the UK’s largest industry film festival for young people aged 16-25.
During lockdown they have been sharing a great range of articles, competitions and challenges to inspire young filmmakers. They have also introduced a virtual programme of BFI Film Academy Labs 2020; free monthly online events led by industry professionals designed to support young, aspiring filmmakers and help them to develop skills and projects from home.
Check out or the BFI Film Academy Facebook page. Find out more about BFI Film Academy courses in Norfolk and Suffolk through Creative Nation.

4. East Anglian Film Archive

The East Anglian Film Archive (EAFA) has over 200 hours of film available to view for free on their website where you can explore the collection by browsing, searching, or through the themed highlights.
It’s one of our favourite resources and a brilliant way to bring history to life and explore both local and national heritage through film. Explore the archive at
EAFA are currently running a Mash-Up Filmmaking Competition, inviting people of all ages to create a new film using a curated selection of footage from the archive. The competition is open for entries until 28 August 2020, with a chance to win some brilliant prizes. Find out more and how to enter here.

5. Ways to watch non-mainstream films at home

BFI Player is a great way to rent the latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the British Film Institute’s national and regional archives. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of BFI Player and enjoy a large selection of landmark classic and cult films from across the decades.
The BBC’s iPlayer has a limited, but quality selection of films for viewers of all ages available for free for a limited period of time. Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4, also holds a small but good quality selection of films.
If you feel like venturing further into the world of non-mainstream cinema, Curzon Home Cinema offers access to a comprehensive selection of award winning, classic and contemporary independent films from around the world. Curzon carries a selection of the very latest cinema releases (this year’s BAFTA-nominated Portrait of a Lady on Fire for example) alongside a large selection of recent and classic films. Films are rented on a ‘per film’ basis with no monthly subscription fees, so you only pay for what you watch.
Mubi offers curated selections and a diverse range of arthouse films including; Film of the Day, new releases, double features, filmmaker retrospectives, spotlights on major film festivals and more. Mubi are currently offering a free 7-day trial.
If, like us, you need help keeping up to speed with all the best films on free-to-view TV channels as well as subscription services, Into Film are offering a handy weekly update of recommended films, in many cases linked to accompanying learning resources!
And finally, if you still prefer to watch your films on physical format, you’ll be pleased to hear that Cinema Paradiso is one of the few companies where you can still have the latest releases (alongside classics) delivered straight to your doors via their Online DVD Rental service.



By Reel Connections