about us

Inside Film began in August 2006 in HMP Wandsworth with the aim of using film as a means of creative expression and as an educational tool.

The projects begin with theoretical and practical workshops. A series of professionals and academics volunteer their time to come and talk to the students about the different areas of filmmaking (screenwriting, sound, documentary, etc).

Production groups come together, ideas are formulated and discussed, scripts written and storyboarded, films cast (again professional actors participate voluntarily) and finally, shooting commences. What follows is an exciting, intense, emotional and rewarding period as the films take shape. With shooting over, the groups begin to edit their films and lay down soundtracks. The whole process ends with screenings of the films.

One of the reasons why education often fails is because of a lack of engagement with the experiences, values and cultures of students from working class and ethnic minority backgrounds. Inside Film tries to create a space where those experiences and cultures are a valued and valid starting point for creative expression. When the students make their films, they ground them in their own experiences and use their own voices to tell their stories. The films demonstrated not just a replication or mimicking of the film and television world the students are so familiar with, but a critical engagement with it. Within a very short period of time they are able to make thoughtful and innovative films of a very high quality.

52% of male prisoners and 71% of female prisoners have no qualifications at all.
When you factor in child care and other benefits the annual cost of imprisoning a person can be as high as 50,000.

Around a quarter of all prisoners have been taken into care as a child.

Half of male prisoners, and a third of female prisoners have been excluded from school.

72% of male prisoners, and 70% of female prisoners were suffering from two or more mental disorders.

The UK has the highest rate of imprisonment in western Europe.

Over half of all prisoners are back inside within 2 years.

condition of the working class

This project is inspired by Engels’ book written in 1844, The Condition of the Working Class in England. The aim of the project is to draw parallels between then and now. Over the course of two months we will be working with people living in Manchester who will develop a dramatic performance that interprets Engels’ words in a contemporary context. The whole process will be filmed and will become part of a documentary reflecting on the condition of the working class in England today.
Going into production May 2012.
Location: Manchester.
In collaboration with Not Too Tame Theatre Co.
For More information see: www.conditionoftheworkingclass.info/
or contact: insidefilm@btinternet.com


cover30An article in Film International, no.29, called ‘Film as Radical Pedagogy’ reflects on the Wandsworth Prison film project. You can download it HERE.

prisonjournalAn article on the project was published in the November 2010 issue of The Prison Journal www.tpj.sagepub.com


  • To provide a film education to one of the most marginalised groups in society, prison inmates.
  • To provide inmates with a comprehensive experience of the film production process, from devising ideas through to post-production.
  • To provide a rigorous grounding in audi-visual literacy, so that the participants understand how media representations produce meaning through a culturally formed process of selection and combination.
  • To allow inmates to explore the issues and circumstances associated with their offending behavior through the creative process of filmmaking.
  • To offer a positive experience of education to a group who, according to social research, have had an overwhelmingly negative experience of educational systems and provision.
  • To foster collective working, decision-making and co-operation and mutual support and encouragement through group work on the projects.
  • To provide IT, research and organisational skills that are transferable to the employment market or further education.
  • To disseminate the films made by the inmates in as many ‘windows’ as possible to educate the wider public about the people society incarcerates.
  • To build links with other educational institutions to encourage prisoners upon their release to continue their studies.
  • To influence policy making decisions as they relate to prison education.
  • In addition to the primary focus on prison education, Inside Film will also work with disadvantaged young people on filmmaking projects to promote a critical engagement with the media and educational opportunities.


Send us mail