“At the British Council we don’t just do showcasing anymore – we’re much more about collaboration and exchange, so these films give us a brilliant jumping-off point for doing exactly that.”

We are now offering opportunities for you to borrow and screen our film collections in your screening events. By sharing our film collections, we aim to links UK films and filmmakers to international audiences, profiling innovation, diversity and excellence and also seeking opportunities for creative exchange between the UK and international film communities. We have a wide range of award-nominees and award-winning UK films in our list of collections. Almost all of our film packages in the collections are free for non-theatrical use and are suitable for a diverse range of audiences. It is also a fantastic overview of contemporary UK filmmaking.

See the list of film collections below. 

BAFTA Shorts 2016

Both animation and live action shine in this package of seven films which are taken from 2016 nominees in both Best Short (Live Action) and Best Short (Animation) BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) categories.

Storytelling that reveals the breadth and diversity of British society; world class technical flair and featuring some of our finest acting talents, this programme is the perfect package to develop international audiences to showcase the UK’s on-going tradition of producing world class short film.

The BAFTA 2016 Short Film Nominees programme features four live action shorts and three animated shorts with an approximate total running time of 74 minutes.

List of BAFTA Shorts 2016

  • Samuel 613 (Nominated for Best Live Action Short BAFTA 2016)

This is the story of Shmilu, a Hasidic Jew in crisis, torn between his community and the romantic possibilities of trendy east London. The first fictional film made with the UK’s Hasidic population, Samuel-613 has unprecedented access including non-professional actors and Yiddish dialogue. It explores culture clash, identity struggles and their spiritual consequences. 

See the trailer here.

  • Edmond (Winner for Best Short Animation BAFTA 2016)

Edmond’s impulse to love and be close to others is strong… maybe too strong. As he stands alone by a lake contemplating his options, he goes on a journey backwards through his life and revisits all his defining moments in search for the origin of his desires.

See the trailer here. 

  • Prologue (Nominated for Best Short Animation BAFTA 2016)

A young girl witnesses a battle to the death. From the animation genius behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

See the trailer here. 

  • Mining Poems or Odes (Nominated for Best Live Action Short BAFTA 2016)

Robert, an ex-shipyard welder from Govan in Glasgow, has put aside his tools for pen and paper. Reflecting on how his life experiences have influenced his new found compulsion to write, his retrospective poetry reveals a man who is trying to achieve a state of contentment through words and philosophy.

See the trailer here. 

  • Operator (Winner for Best Short Film BAFTA 2016)

An Emergency Services Operator receives a call from Gemma, a desperate young mother whose three-year-old son is trapped upstairs in a burning house. Flames are creeping down the stairs that Gemma must use in order to reach him. The operator’s guidance is all that Gemma can rely on in order to survive.

See the trailer here. 

  • Manoman (Nominated for Best Short Animation BAFTA 2016)

Glen is barely a man. In a desperate attempt to tap into his masculinity he attends a primal scream therapy session, though even surrounded by wailing men he cannot make a sound. But when Glen is pushed too far, he releases something from deep within that knows no limits

See the trailer here. 

  • Over (Nominated for Best Live Action Short BAFTA 2016)

Over presents a crime scene. During the course of nine wide shots, told in reverse order, we watch an intriguing story unfold. What has happened in this quiet neighbourhood? A murder, a hit and run, an accident? The reality is profound and deeply unexpected

Best of the British Council Film Collection

Taken from the celebrated British Council Film Collection, this compilation of seven public information films made between 1940 and 1945 offers fascinating insights into war-time Britain.

Commissioned by the British Council's Film department during the 1940's, this extraordinary collection of short documentary films was designed to show the rest of the world how Britain lived, worked and played during wartime and immediate post-war Britain.  The films are both entertaining and educational in nature and feature work by many well known British filmmakers at the start of their careers. To find out more about the entire collection and to view more of the films online see The British Council Film Collection.

List of the Best British Council Film Collection

  • Morning Paper

A fascinating look behind the scenes of newspaper production, following the production of a single issue of The Times during the Blitz, from the daily editorial conference to the printing presses.

See the trailer here.

  • London 1942

Chronicling London during the midst of the Second World War, London 1942 illustrates the changes in daily life brought about by the pressures of war. Directed by Ken Annakin, whose subsequent Hollywood credits included the star-studded epics Battle of the Bulge and The Longest Day as well as the family classic Swiss Family Robinson.

See the trailer here. 

  • The Man on the Beat

A funny and nostalgic look at the training and principles of the British ‘bobby’, exploring police duties whilst on the beat and their role within the community.

See the trailer here. 

  • Island People

A cross-section of how various people across Britain spend Saturday - the ‘day divided between work and recreation’.

See the trailer here. 

  • The People's Land

A Technicolor guide to some of the coastline, countryside, and properties preserved by the National Trust. The People’s Land was the debut film from cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth who went on to photograph 2001 A Space Odyssey and the Superman Trilogy.

See the trailer here.

  • Queen Cotton

A stunning introduction to the manufacture and design of both woven and printed cotton fabrics, the products of which are presented in a surreal fashion show. Technicolor advisor on the film was the great cinematographer, Jack Cardiff who went on to influence the look of Powell & Pressburger, Hitchcock and John Huston.

See the trailer here. 

  • Royal Road

Royal Road takes a look at both the public-facing activities of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother) during WW2, as well as a showing an intimate glimpse of the royal family’s private life.

See the trailer here. 

Shakespeare Lives in Film

In 2016, the British Council is staging Shakespeare Lives, a major programme of events and activities celebrating Shakespeare’s work on the 400th anniversary of his death.

Our film team has joined forces with the British Film Institute (BFI) and other partners to offer a touring programme of the best British film adaptations of Shakespeare to use as part of Shakespeare Lives activity in 2016.

For the list of Shakespeare Lives in Film please download here. 

INTO FILM Shorts (Suitable for children and families)

In partnership with innovative schools organisation INTO FILM, a selection of the fantastic UK short films suitable for children and families around the world.

Designed for use by INTO FILM - an organisation which screens film in schools across the UK - this package is split into two programmes: Primary (for 5-11 year olds) 

and Secondary (for 11-17-year-olds)

For the list of INTO Film Shorts please download here. 

Grierson Documentaries

The Grierson Trust is a registered charity that exists to promote documentary filmmaking and to celebrate the work of John Grierson. Its forerunner, the Grierson Memorial Trust, was founded in 1974. The Grierson Trust was established in 1972 and commemorates the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson (1898 – 1972), famous for Drifters and Night Mail and the man widely regarded as the father of documentary. 

Our long-term partnership with The Grierson Trust enables us to bring a complete range of award-winning UK documentaries to audiences around the world. Each year, The Grierson Trust recognises the best documentary filmmaking from Britain and abroad through their prestigious British Documentary Awards, and we are given unprecedented access to the best of the nominees each year.

Currently we have 104 films available for you to consider screening as part of this touring package, including a selection from the latest Grierson Awards in 2015. To help you navigate through this wide selection of films on offer we have curated the films into five categories:

  • Arts
  • Contemporary International
  • Contemporary UK
  • History
  • Science
  • Griersons: Best of Programme

List of Griersons: Best of Programme

The debut feature from artist and director Clio Barnard, The Arbor is a captivating and revelatory piece of cinema which has garnered many awards. The powerful true story of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar (The Arbor, Rita, Sue and Bob Too) and her troubled relationship with her daughter Lorraine.

The secrets of Kolkata is revealed by overweight, dance-obsessed, intrepid detective Rajesh Ji. Mixing dance and hit songs with the harsh lives of clients, this originally styled feature documentary provides an entertaining yet poignant look at modern India through the prism of crime. 

Dreams of a Life is an imaginative and multilayered quest to go beyond the newspaper reports and solve the mystery of who thirty-eight-year-old Joyce Vincent was and why she lay undiscovered for three years after her death in one of the busiest parts of London.


Charting the glorious supremacy of the West Indies cricket team throughout the late 70s and 80s, this film describes how the bat and ball were more effective than gunfire in the battle against racial injustice and the struggle for black rights. It is told by the men who were there - such as Viv Richards, Michael Holding, Clive Lloyd.

A musician is discovered In a Detroit bar in the late 60s by two celebrated producers struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics. They record an album which they believe is going to secure his reputation as the greatest recording artist of his generation. In fact, the album bombs and the singer disappear into obscurity amid rumours of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording finds its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, it becomes a phenomenon. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation leads them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Sixto Rodriguez. This is a film about hope, inspiration and the power of music.

When Salma, a young girl in South India, reached puberty, her parents locked her away. Millions of girls all over the world share the same fate. Twenty-five years later, Salma has fought her way back to the outside world to become the most famous female poet in South India. WMM.COM

Three young women face seven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral. But who is really on trial in a case that has gripped the nation and the world beyond, three young artists or the society they live in?

For the full list of Grierson Documentaries please download here. 

Moving Pictures: Artists' Films from the Film London Jarman Award

An innovative programme of a single screen moving image works by 18 UK-based artists selected from the Film London Jarman Award.

The Film London Jarman Award recognises and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of emerging artist filmmakers. The Award is inspired by visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman.

Moving Pictures is an innovative package of artists' film which brings together 18 filmmakers who have been nominated for the prestigious Film London Jarman Award over the past seven years. The package has been selected by the British Council and Film London and showcases the rich and diverse range of artists' moving image work currently being produced in the UK.

The Moving Pictures package has two programmes, each lasting around 70 minutes. The programmes can be shown together or as independent presentations. Programme One features Brad Butler and Karen Mirza, Anja Kirchner and David Panos, Elizabeth Price, Stephen Sutcliffe, Emily Wardill, Ed Atkins, Rachel Maclean, James Richards and 2014 nominee John Akomfrah. Programme Two features Laure Provoust, Benedict Drew, John Smith, Ben Rivers, Luke Fowler, Andrew Kötting, Clio Barnard, Zineb Sedira and 2014 nominee Laura Buckley.

The package is accompanied by a newly commissioned short film which will explore the history and context of the Jarman Award and feature former judges and artists featured in Moving Pictures.


Films from the BFI National Archive

Working with our colleagues at the British Film Institute, we are excited to have increasing access to treasures from the UK's National Film Archive. A range of programmes is now available for international screening.

The British Film Institute, the UK's national film body which looks after the National Film Archive, has been working closely with us to find new audiences for the UK's film heritage. This has resulted in a number of restorations of previously unseen classic films being made available to international audiences. It also allows opportunities for exciting new collaborations between UK film and local musicians.

There are three programmes currently on offer and a fourth is about to be revealed. They are:

Hitchcock 9

All nine of Alfred Hitchcock's surviving silent films restored to their original glory and accompanied by new scores.

The restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films has been the biggest and most complex restoration project undertaken by the BFI National Archive to date. Decades of damage and wear have been removed; the sharpness of the image improved; new shots discovered and intertitles and tinting restored. The BFI has used elements borrowed from seven international archives in the restoration process but film materials from the BFI National Archive - including a number of original negatives - have been central to the project.  

Hitchcock’s silent films are essential to an understanding of his later work and these restorations enable them to be seen afresh and discovered by new audiences across the world.

Gothic: The Dark Heat of British Film

13 classic films spanning five decades of British film history

Dripping with blood; fuelled by lust; filled with dread. Tales of gothic horror and romance feed on our darkest fears and desires. The Gothic first gripped Britain through the sensational novels of 18th and 19th-century writers like Horace Walpole, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker. But the Gothic really came to life on film, transforming Dracula and Frankenstein into towering myths. In 2013 the BFI launched a UK-wide celebration of Gothic film and TV featuring a wide range of world cinema.

The Epic of Everest

The official film record of the third attempt to climb Mount Everest is one of the most remarkable films in the BFI National Archive. The 1924 Everest expedition culminated in the deaths of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, two of the finest climbers of their generation, sparking an on-going debate as to whether or not they ever actually reached the summit.

This new restoration coincides with the 60th anniversary of the final conquest of Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The film has a newly commissioned score composed, orchestrated and conducted by Simon Fisher Turner (The Great White Silence) which features a haunting combination of electronic music, found sounds, western and Nepalese instruments and vocals.

All of the lending processes is free of charge and easy. If you wish to use our film collections, please follow these steps:

1. Choose the film out of the list provided above

3. Download and read the SOP containing terms and conditions carefully

4. Fill in the form (attached in the SOP)

5. Send the completed form to us (Ainun.Wardhani@Britishcouncil.or.id).

6. You will receive the reply within 3 working days.

External links