What is Film Ed?

Welcome to NYICFF FilmEd Classroom, a film-based K-8 curriculum designed to:

  • Provide meaningful arts engagement and bolster arts education
  • Support media literacy and broaden literacy studies
  • Hone critical thinking skills
  • Foster social-emotional learning
  • Offer a means to explore important themes through the powerful medium of film
  • Share short films, in a range of styles and genres, that feature diverse stories and storytelling for classroom use to spark shared dialogue and mutual understanding



We have crafted three FilmEd Lesson Plans that include short live action, documentary, and animated films by a diverse, talented group of local and international filmmakers, organized by grade level for K-8 classrooms.
Each lesson plan includes a series of short films, each with an accompanying Film Guide with teaching instructions and suggestions This introductory unit focuses on the theme of Identity.

Curriculum materials support teachers in leading meaningful conversations with their students, highlight individual filmmakers and voices, and allow opportunities for students to expand knowledge while sharing their own observations, ideas, and experiences.

New lesson plans that explore additional themes including issues of environmentalism, gender, social justice, and more, will be available in forthcoming academic years.

Decorative image of child watching a film on a computer screen.
Photo: Julia M Cameron
  • Expose students to world-class live action and animated films from international artists and filmmakers that feature diverse characters.
  • Engage students in actively watching films with the intention to describe, discuss, and interpret what they see.
  • Introduce to students the notion that filmmakers make choices not only about what story they want to tell, but also how to tell them (what specific strategies they use to communicate).
  • Use films as a key to understanding the ways in which people in places, near and far, might share their experiences or convey the world around them with others.
  • Allow students to delve more deeply into the films and the chosen theme through classroom discussions and activities.

We look forward to providing you with the free materials you need to integrate film education into your curriculum.
If you have any questions, please contact us at education@nyicff.org.

For information about the New York International Children’s Film Festival, visit nyicff.org.


NYICFF FilmEd Classroom is supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. This project was supported in part by funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. Sponsored by a Humanities New York Action Grant. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

NYICFF is committed to broad access to the arts for all children and is proud to provide FilmEd Classroom for free. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, NYICFF relies on the support of our audience members, donors, and supporters to make this program possible.

To learn more about corporate or philanthropic sponsorship of the FilmEd program, please contact development@nyicff.org.

Identity, Grades K-2

Grades K-2

Introduce young viewers to the theme of identity through a focus on character, narrative, and diverse perspectives.

01 Perfect Houseguest
02 Wash Day
03 The Magic of Chess
View Lesson Plan
Identity, Grades 3-5

Grades 3-5

Invite students to think critically and engage in active viewing. Inquiry-based discussions, creative activities, and reflections encourage connections to themes of identity.

01 Wash Day
02 Welcome to my Life
03 Chin Up
04 Amelia’s Closet
View Lesson Plan
Identity, Grades 6-8

Grades 6-8

Diverse stories and filmmaker points of view connect students to themes of identity. Reinforce comprehension and critical-thinking skills through active viewing, inquiry-based discussions, and reflection.

01 Welcome to my Life
02 Amelia’s Closet
03 Accents
04 Grab My Hand: A Letter to my Dad
View Lesson Plan