Explore archive films
See shorts and features, showing the best from the BFI, national and regional archives - including 120 years of Britain on film
What we're watching
Nature and Science programme195414 minsSilent Location: Headingley
The metamorphosis of the eating machine which is the caterpillar, into an Emperor Moth, revealed in all its detail and presented in 15 minutes.
Documentary197728 mins Location: Southwold
Real ale and folk music in the pub – performed by Fairport Convention – are celebrated in this portrait of Southwold on the Suffolk coast and the work of the Adnams brewery.
Amateur film197626 minsSilent Location: Thompson Common
Critters and blossoms of all colours, in Norfolk, captured on Super 8 colour Kodachrome by amateur filmmaker and naturalist Dorothy Maxey.
Non-Fiction18980 minsSilent Location: Worthing
Brief but lively snatch of a game in progress
Amateur film197815 minsSilent Location: Chelsea
The Kings Road punks go on a day trip - to 10 Downing Street! - in this edition of Captain Zip's Video Trip.
Promotional195111 minsSilent Location: Little Chalfont
Joining the Countrywide Holiday Association after the war to keep fit brought Jo Peters another reward - a wife!
195621 mins Location: Wood Green
This lively profile of a night out at the Wood Green Jazz Club is one of the key works of Free Cinema, from directors Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson.
Documentary197626 mins Location: Ingleborough
As if running up one mountain isn’t foolhardy enough, these hardened men in shorts do three, displaying amazing endurance, as well as weary legs and wasted expressions.
Non-Fiction19233 minsSilent Location: Harlech
Budding dancers take to the beach at Harlech, north Wales, to show off their aquatic-themed moves
Science Fiction191360 mins Location: London
Britain's first full-length science fiction feature has been restored by the BFI National Archive and given a new score by composer Matthew Herbert, commissioned by the BFI and the BBC.
News19719 mins Location: Devon
Country House offers naturists a way to air all.
Electric Tram Rides from Forster Square, Bradford (1902)Electric Tram Rides from Forster Square, Bradford (1902)
Non-Fiction19029 minsSilent Location: Bradford
An epic tour of the places and people of Edwardian Bradford.
Short documentary20215 mins
Lydia West (It’s A Sin) introduces debbie tucker green’s ethereal, warm and human debut feature.
Mark Kermode Online In 3D with Riz Ahmed, Aleem Khan, Joanna Scanlan, Tricia Tuttle and Ben WheatleyMark Kermode Online In 3D with Riz Ahmed, Aleem Khan, Joanna Scanlan, Tricia Tuttle and Ben Wheatley
Discussion programme202045 mins
Mark looks back at the 2020 BFI London Film Festival, speaking to Festival Director Tricia Tuttle about the challenges of this year and chatting to the creators of two of the Festival’s most talked about titles: Mogul Mowgli and After Love.
Three years after their father passed, a family of four women come together through a series of phone calls spanning over three months.
Three African American fathers unravel the incomparable partnership of forgiveness and community.
We Do What We Can is a film that looks at one of the miracles in the journey of diaspora Africans.
News19766 mins Location: Papplewick
With brass polished and a good head of steam Papplewick's pumping station is a lasting legacy to Mariott Ogle Tarbotton.
NHS on Film
Celebrating the National Health Service
Training film/TV programme200218 mins
Imelda Staunton and Hugh Laurie as you've not quite seen them before: in a comedy training video for Britain’s National Blood Service.
Doctors undertake forensic-style detective work to identify the origins of outbreaks, in the fascinating film from the early days of the NHS.
Documentary197327 mins Location: London
A portrayal of the NHS which shows off the “marvellous” system to audiences around the world.
The Community Health Council of Wales blows its own trumpet in myriad ways, including animation, to draw attention to their NHS advisory service.
Documentary198629 mins Location: Bolton
Local authorities trial the Thatcher government’s new ‘care in the community’ initiative.
An urgently filmed appeal for organ donation.
Sci-Fi - Days of Fear and Wonder
Take a trip around the blazing worlds of sci-fi as we undock a blockbuster celebration of this most spectacular of movie genres.
To mark the release of Judas and the Black Messiah we present three acclaimed shorts starring Daniel Kaluuya.
Woman with a Movie Camera
Great films incite, others vex, a few elate. From pre-war to the present day, these remarkable works by international women directors do all that and more.