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Filmclub is an education charity which sets up film clubs in schools and other education and care establishments in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. The scheme is free to all state primary and secondary schools in Wales and England.

In 2013, Filmclub merged with First Light to become the film-based charity, Into Film.


The organisation was founded in September 2006. Led by Chief Executive Mark Higham, a pilot in 2007 was followed by a UK roll-out in April 2008, The charity merged with partner First Light in 2014 to create Into Film

Filmclub gives children from participating schools access to thousands of films through the purchase of a license. Pupils are encouraged to watch a diverse range of films including classics, black and white movies, documentaries, blockbusters and foreign language titles, and to review the films they watch on the organisation's website. The clubs are generally run by teachers or similar education professionals, but may also be led by older pupils, often from a school's Sixth Form. Filmclub also organises school visits by professionals from within the film industry. In England Filmclub is funded by The BFI Lottery Fund. In Wales, Filmclub is funded via the Film Agency Wales, by the Welsh Assembly. Filmclub is funded in Northern Ireland by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) through Northern Ireland Screen and delivered by CineMagic and the Nerve Centre. Filmclub receives philanthropic support from LOVEFiLM.

Filmclub Patrons are actor Emma Thompson and director Mike Leigh. Filmclub Ambassador for Wales is actor Michael Sheen, Ambassador for Scotland is director Kevin MacDonald and Ambassador for Northern Ireland is film maker Mark Cousins[1]


Clubs and activities[edit]

There are currently around 7,000 clubs running in England, Northern Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man and Scotland, with approximately 220,000 young people meeting every week to watch films from around the world. Clubs are run by education professionals, parents and sixth formers.

Each week, ten members are awarded "reviewer of the week' status for the film reviews they have submitted to the website (about 6,000 reviews are uploaded each week onto the website).

Filmclub's 'Young Ambassadors' scheme, where members interviewed film talent at press events and premieres has been replaced by a Talent Development program which enables students to learn more about the industry by attending film events and screenings and taking part in other film industry interactions. The scheme, which includes training workshops and work experiences has three strands – Reporters, Reviewers and Programmers.[4]

All members have the opportunity to interact with film industry professionals through Filmclub's "Close Encounters" activity.[5]

Close Encounters[edit]

Filmclub's "Close Encounters" scheme (named after the 1977 science fiction film Close Encounters of the Third Kind) brings pupils into contact with professionals from film, and related industries such as film journalism. Directors, actors, producers, screen-writers, casting directors and costume/set designers have participated in events which typically involve question and answer sessions and workshops. Industry professionals visit schools across the UK to take part in these interview sessions. In addition for five days at the end of each month, Filmclub runs a week of daily live streamed webcasts in which all members can participate by posting questions on Twitter, via email or on the phone. The Close Encounters scheme has also arranged for pupils to visit working film sets.[5]

Participating professionals[edit]

Close Encounters have taken place with, amongst others:[6]

Name Profession Filmography Date
Kevin Macdonald Director, Producer & Writer The Last King of Scotland, State of Play February 2007
Beeban Kidron Director Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Hippie Hippie Shake February 2007
Thandie Newton Actress Mission: Impossible 2, Crash, Run Fatboy Run February 2007
Rosamund Pike Actress Die Another Day, Pride & Prejudice March 2007
Ben Hoyle Arts Correspondent June 2008
Mike Stringer and Mike Hardwick Special FX Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Sweeney Todd June 2008
Emma Thompson Actress Sense and Sensibility, Love Actually, Nanny McPhee June 2008
Jason Isaacs Actor The Patriot, Harry Potter June 2008
Sir Alan Parker Director Bugsy Malone, Mississippi Burning June 2008
Gurinder Chadha Director Bend It Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice June 2008
Tom Sutcliffe Journalist and Film critic November 2008
Lord Puttnam Film Producer Starlight, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone November 2008
Laura Bailey Model and Actress The Mirror Has Two Faces November 2008
Alex Jennings Actor The Queen, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason December 2008
Robyn Slovo Film Producer The Statement, Catch a Fire, Gimme Shelter December 2008
Nigel Andrews Journalist and film critic December 2008
Lesley Manville Actor Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake December 2008
Mark Burton Screenwriter Chicken Run, Madagascar, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit January 2009
Sim Evan Jones Editor Shrek, The Chronicles of Narnia January 2009
Oliver Parker Director The Importance of Being Earnest, St Trinian’s January 2009
Simon McBurney Actor The Last King of Scotland, The Golden Compass, Body of Lies February 2009
Gaby Dellal Actor and Director K2, On a Clear Day March 2009
Nancy Thompson Costume Designer Mission Impossible, Sweeney Todd, Valkyrie March 2009
Frank Cottrell-Boyce Writer Brookside, Coronation Street March 2009
Priscilla John Casting Director About a Boy, Mamma Mia!, Brideshead Revisited March 2009
Imelda Staunton Actor Sense and Sensibility, Vera Drake, Nanny McPhee March 2009
Eric Fellner Producer Thunderbirds, Nanny McPhee, State of Play April 2009
Fiona Weir Casting Director Harry Potter Film Series, The Golden Compass, The Boat That Rocked May 2009
Nik Powell Producer Fever Pitch, Ladies in Lavender June 2009
Lee Hall Screenwriter Billy Elliot, Hippie Hippie Shake June 2009
Michael Sheen Actor The Damned United, The Queen June 2009
Nancy Thompson Costume Designer Eyes Wide Shut, Sweeney Todd July 2009
Dan Maslen Storyboard artist Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Green Zone September 2009
Seanine Joyce Orchestrator Over The Hedge, Severance October 2009
Matt Bochenski Film Journalist Little White Lies November 2009
Paweł Pawlikowski Director My Summer of Love November 2009
Jane Horrocks Actor Little Voice, Chicken Run November 2009
Alastair King Composer Chicken Run, Shrek November 2009
Andrew Eaton Producer Jude, 24 Hour Party People December 2009
Mike Leigh Director Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy January 2010
Garth Jennings Director The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Son of Rambow January 2010
Duncan Heath Talent Agent Independent Talent February 2010
Greta Scacchi Actor Brideshead Revisited, Beyond the Sea March 2010
Sue Quinn Location Manager Four Weddings and a Funeral March 2010
Havana Marking Film Director Afghan Star May 2010
Alistair King Music Harry Potter October 2010
Edward Hogg Actor Bunny and the Bull October 2010
Julie Walters Actor Harry Potter, Becoming Jane February 2011
Alison Owen Producer Shaun of the Dead March 2011
Colin Goudie Editor Monsters March 2011
Carlos Saldanha Director Rio March 2011
Dougray Scott Actor Enigma, Ripley's Game May 2011
Sophie Thompson Actor Four Weddings and a Funeral, Emma June 2011
Emma Freud Script Editor Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill July 2011
Zoë Wanamaker Actor Five Children and It, Wilde July 2011
Henry Winkler Editor Happy Days July 2011
Morgan Spurlock Director Super Size Me, The Greatest Story Ever Sold October 2011
Dexter Fletcher Actor / Director Wild Bill, October 2011
Ashley Jensen Actress Arthur Christmas November 2011
Steven Spielberg Director War Horse, Jaws January 2012
Daniel Radcliffe Actor Harry Potter, The Woman in Black February 2012
Werner Herzog Director Grizzly Man March 2012
Joe Dante Director Gremlins, The Hole March 2012
Nick Hornby Writer About a Boy April 2012
Col Needham Founder of IMDB May 2012
Mark Cousins Director What is this Film Called Love? June 2012
Andy Gent Animator Frankenweenie October 2012


Lord Bichard[edit]

Throughout his career of over 30 years, Lord Michael Bichard has worked in local and central Government. He was Permanent Secretary of the Department for Employment when it merged with the Department for Education and Skills (United Kingdom) to form the Department for Education and Employment. He served as Permanent Secretary for the new combined department from 1995-2001 and was then appointed to be Rector of the University of the Arts London (formerly The London Institute). He currently holds the post of Director of Institute for Government and serves as Filmclub Chair.[7]

Baroness Kidron[edit]

A co-founder and deputy chair of Filmclub, Beeban Kidron's directorial work has attracted many awards including The Prix Italia, BAFTAs, a Golden Hugo, Critics choice at Crietiel, The Lillian Gish award and RTS awards. Her work includes Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Cinderella, Thanks for Everything Julie Newmar, Love at First Sight and Oranges are Not the Only Fruit.[8]

Lindsay Mackie[edit]

Lindsay Mackie is a former journalist and is heavily involved in literacy programmes for UK schools. She is a specialist in setting up extra curricular programmes in schools. She is known for setting up the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award for Young People in 2000 schools within four years. Also, she spearheaded 300 reading clubs with Education Extra and is a co-founder of Filmclub.[3]

Michael Harris[edit]

Proprietor of his own management recruitment company for twenty-five years, Harris is now the non-executive director of several media companies. He is also the treasurer at Filmclub, BAFTA and Comic Relief.[9]

Eric Fellner[edit]

Eric Fellner is co-chairman of Britain's largest independent production company, Working Title Films. With over 60 film titles to his track record, he has produced or executive-produced three consecutive nominees for the Academy Award for Best Picture.[10]

Alan Parker[edit]

Alan Parker is founder and chairman of Brunswick Group LLP. The leading international corporate and financial communications firm has over 50 partners across the globe. Brunswick is ranked 1st position in league tables for merger and acquisitions communications advisors in the UK, EU and US. Parker acts as a senior consultant on many of the firm’s retained accounts and takes an active role in special project work.[11]

Janice Middleton[edit]

Janice Middleton taught in schools in mining communities in Yorkshire before becoming headteacher at Victoria Primary School in Edlington, near Doncaster in 1989. Middleton is leader of her school's film club and is part of Filmclub's Star incentive and reward scheme for outstanding club leaders. She became a Filmclub Board member in June 2010.

Samira Ahmed[edit]

Samira Ahmed has been a news anchor and correspondent on both sides of the Atlantic, and her freelance work as a journalist and presenter includes BBC Radio 4 News, PM and The World Tonight, while her writing for the national press includes features, interviews and analysis on culture, politics and social affairs for The Independent, The Guardian and The Spectator.[12]

Matthew Slotover[edit]

Matthew Slotover is the co-publisher of Frieze magazine and co-director of the London art fair of the same name in Regent's Park. He is chair of the South London Gallery board of trustees and has acted as a judge for the Turner Prize.[13]

Sir Alasdair Macdonald[edit]

Sir Alasdair is Headteacher of Morpeth School, and since his arrival Morpeth's results at Key Stages Three and Four have improved substantially.[citation needed] In February 1999, Morpeth School received the Evening Standard's first ever award as the Most Improved Secondary in London. In March 2009, Morpeth was one of the schools featured in the Ofsted Report 'Twelve Outstanding Schools – Achieving Excellence against the Odds'. In 2000, Sir Alasdair was awarded the CBE for services to education in Tower Hamlets, and in 2008 a Knighthood for services to both local and national education.[14]


Filmclub works with the following organisations:[15]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]