Watch now through BFI Player or on our YouTube channel.
What you can watch for free
Choose from over 12,000 films that cover all aspects of British life over the last 120 years.
Here’s just a fraction of what you can watch:
Britain on Film
Discover our collection of beautifully preserved films, including amateur home movies, documentaries and news footage dating back more than 100 years.Explore free collection
Black British communities in the 20th century
Explore black culture, community and characters spanning over a century of British film and TV.Explore free collection
TV and cinema adverts from the past 100 years
See how many famous faces started their careers advertising chocolate bars or washing powder in this fascinating collection.Explore free collection
Films of daily life in Edwardian Britain
Learn more about what life was like in the town you grew up in by exploring our Britain on Film collection dating from 1895.Explore free collection
This colourful and challenging collection explores screen representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives over the past century.Explore free collection
Let’s get physical! With over a century of exercise on film, this collection offers some high intensity viewing.Explore free collection
Animals on Film
"Never work with animals or children," runs the old film industry saw. But British filmmakers have proven adept at both - and especially animals.Explore free collection
Football on Film
Football and film: two giants of 20th century spectacle. Born just a few years apart, film and the professional game have grown up together, as this fascinating collection shows.Explore free collection
Spotlight on Key Workers
A salute to the vital workers who keep our essential services running in bad times - and all the time.Explore free collection
Queen Victoria's long reign famously saw extraordinary advances: in industry, transport, science, culture... But one vital innovation is too often missed: the moving image.Explore free collection
What else is in our collections
Not everything from the archive is online — the collection is just too big. If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, you can arrange to visit us and see things from the collections or to view films and footage.
Main image caption: film still from J.L. Freer-Hunt’s Karma (1933).