It has been a truly humbling experience for me (I attended with most classes) as, for more than half of the children in the school, this was their first experience of attending a big screen event. I was moved to tears at comments such as 'This has been the best day of my life'.” Jane Baxter, Teacher, Dunn Street Primary School, Tyneside
London, November 25: Film education charity, Into Film, has received record-breaking attendance figures for this year’s Into Film Festival with over 500,000 attendees across 3,000 screenings and events in 580 UK cinemas, making it the most successful event yet and still indisputably the largest free cultural event for children and young people.
The Festival opened on November 6th with 40 simultaneous pupil premieres of climate change documentary, 2040, in collaboration with UNICEF and in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. It closed on Friday in London’s Leicester Square, with a pupil premiere of Frozen 2.
Into Film Festival Director, Sam Wilson, said “We are thrilled to have hosted the most successful Into Film Festival to date reaching a wider audience than ever before and we are particularly proud that, over the past two Festivals, we've been able to give over 50,000 children and young people their first experience of a trip to the cinema which they loved!”
The Festival programme included film previews, filmmaker guests, industry events, the best films of the past 12 months and more for 5-19 year olds. This year’s Festival highlights included:
  • A special screening of Mary Queen of Scots in Stirling Castle, presented by the film’s star Jack Lowden, where it was announced that he was Into Film’s new Ambassador for Scotland.
  • In Wales, Welsh language film Deian a Loli had its pupil premiere with the actors and filmmakers present for a lively Q&A.
  • A wide selection of events across the UK in celebration of the half centenary of the moon landings including screenings of Apollo 11, Armstrong and First Man with the UK Space Agency as well as a special collaboration with Live Cinema UK at Leeds Town Hall where live NASA footage was shown alongside a live musical performance to 800 guests.
  • In Northern Ireland young pupils were excited to attend a special Wee Critters film event with animals present. The animal theme continued with screenings up and down the UK of Pick of the Litter in collaboration with Guide Dogs UK and with guide dogs present at the London event.
  • In London, secondary audiences were treated to a unique event around the art and process of music videos featuring a panel discussion with 2 esteemed music video directors, a choreographer and a commissioner at Sony Music.
  • Women’s rights panels followed screenings of On the Basis of Sex, Greenpeace presented talks following a series of UK pupil premiere of Biggest Little Farm and Anti Bullying Week was supported by events for primary and secondary pupils by the Anti-Bullying Alliance.
  • As ever, careers in film were highlighted with talks from industry professionals and high-profile organisations such as Action Aid, Oxfam and Stonewall.
The Into Film Festival is completely supported by the UK film industry, the major UK cinema chains and a vast and varied selection of venues across the UK who all make this free cultural event possible. Accessibility and inclusivity are key aims of the Festival with over half of the programme offered as audio-described, subtitled or autism-friendly.
The Into Film Festival 2019 took place from 6-22 November.  All events and screenings were free: