Discovery Film Festival 2020 - Schools Programme

18 September 2020

Virtually the same? It’s Discovery Film Festival 2020!

Welcome to the 17th edition of Discovery Film Festival – the first to be online – and another collection of the finest films handpicked for young audiences from around the world. For our local audiences across Tayside this year’s offering will feel very different to previous years – no bus trips in to DCA, no cinema packed with excited children, no mass waving at the projectionist to get things started – but we do hope that the selection of films you can watch in your own classrooms will keep the memory alive until we can (fingers crossed!) get back to normal in 2021.

All films in the online festival programme will be accessible from Saturday 17 October to Sunday 1 November 2020.

For teachers across Scotland (and beyond) who are checking in to the festival online for the first time, welcome to Discovery! Each year we scour the planet for the best new films made for young audiences, and present exciting collections of shorts and brand-new features with accompanying curriculum-linked resource packs. With current restrictions in place, we are reshaping our offer - but one benefit is that this year access to our programme will now be possible for schools across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

"All the short films are free to watch on our festival screening platform..."

In 2020 we have a total of fifteen new short films catering for all ages, and some signposts to where you can now find some of our favourite feature films we presented in earlier editions of the festival. All the short films are free to watch on our festival screening platform at any time between Saturday 17 October and Sunday 1 November. The features are all available to rent or purchase at minimal cost via Amazon Prime, with some having the option of BluRay/DVD too. Resource packs for pre- and post-screening activities for all the films are free to download from the Discovery website at any time.

So what’s on offer? New shorts representing Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and the UK boost our international credentials and bring tales of ice cream-eating sloths, trumpet-loving hummingbirds, polar bears with radiator issues and a well-meaning younger sibling ruining one teenager’s best-laid plans for independence.

We’ve also selected six of our all-time favourite feature films from previous editions of the festival, and it’s great to see such a wide-ranging collection of old friends – including ants (of all shapes and sizes), giraffes, spiders and a Kurdistani donkey named Michael Jackson.

2020 Programme

Shorts For Wee Ones / Early and First Levels / Ages 3+
The Little Bird and the Bees
Patchwork Spider
Little Grey Wolfy – The Winter Story
A Lynx in the Town
(The Witch and the Baby)

Discovery Festival Favourite 2016 – Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants

Shorts For Middle Ones / Second Level / Ages 8+
A Lynx in the Town
The Witch and the Baby
Angel’s Trumpet
The Beauty
(The Zillas Have A Picnic)

Discovery Festival Favourite 2016 – Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants
Discovery Festival Favourite 2014 – Antboy
Discovery Festival Favourite 2015 – Zarafa

Shorts For Secondary Schools / Ages 12+
The Beauty
The Zillas Have A Picnic

Discovery Festival Favourite 2013 – Up And Away (Bekas)
Discovery Festival Favourite 2017 – My Life as a Courgette

Shorts For Language Practice
Le petit oiseau et les abeilles
Ah ces p'tits humains!
Sans plomb

Discovery Festival Favourite 2017 – Ma vie de Courgette
Discovery Festival Favourite 2018 – Niñas Araña (Spider Thieves)


Register your interest

No need for buying tickets or arranging buses this year – instead all you need to do is register your interest in the festival by sending an email to

When the festival’s Video On Demand service is ready to go live we will send you all the information you need to access the programme online. We plan to send that information to everyone one week before the films become available to view on Saturday 17 October. We’d recommend early registration to prevent any potential delays on Monday 19 October!

In 2019 we had 101 classes visit from 56 different schools across Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth & Kinross. We won’t have the chance this year to welcome you into our cinema but we’re just as excited that you’ll still be able to experience our Discovery films wherever you are. Welcome to our virtual festival!

Mike Tait
Festival Producer and Cinema Youth Development Officer

Discovery Film Festival and Curriculum for Excellence

Every film in the festival programme offers you and your class an exciting range of opportunities for engaged and inspired learning, with a range of films across Curriculum subjects and levels from Early Years to Senior Phase. Find our Resource Packs here.

Each film is listed with some key subject areas and/or themes to help you understand what it offers. In addition to these, the overall Literacy and Health & Wellbeing E&Os, which almost all the films in the programme can contribute towards, are:

LIT 0-1b/c, LIT0-11b, LIT 1,2,3,4, 0-01a; LIT 0,1,2,3,4-04a, LIT 0,1,2,3,4-07, LIT 0, 1,2,3,4-
09a, LIT 0,1,2,3,4 -10a; LIT 0,1,2,3,4,11a

Health and Wellbeing
HWB 01,2,4-12a; HWB 0,1,2,3,4-09a; HWB 0,1,2,3,4- 10a ; HWB 0,1,2,3,4-44a/b

We’re sure you’ll also have your own ideas of how the films can be used with your class or of course, you may simply want them to enjoy a stimulating cultural experience. Film is one of our most valued art forms, and watching together in a shared space allows children to experience the “energy and excitement of being part of an audience for other people’s presentations/performances.” (EXA 0,1,2,4-01a and EXA 3-01b).

We all find that pupils are highly motivated and engaged when working with film. CfE recognises the importance of a quality learning experience and “achieving active engagement, motivation and depth of learning”. The shared experience of viewing a stimulating film provides teachers with an excellent basis for promoting productive discussions and engaged, higher order thinking.

Discovery Film Festival is indebted to the ongoing support, commitment and enthusiasm of our Teachers Advisory Group – Germain Julien (Monifieth High), Gordon Mackenzie (Pitlochry High), Helen Appleyard (Liff PS), Ian Cameron (Blackness Primary), Joy Christie (Inverbrothock PS), Lindsey Law (Kingspark School), Lynsey Dick (Clepington Primary), Megan Brough (Craigie High), Sarah Sturrock (Canongate PS), Sheena Lusby (Seaview PS), Shona Brownlee (Clepington PS), Sonia Swankie (Inverbrothock PS), Sheila Docherty (St Paul’s RC Academy) together with Virginie Bradbury, Lucie Maupetit and Ann Melville from the 1+2 PanTayside team.