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School pupils attend Discovery Film Festival

Celebrating 20 years of Discovery Film Festival

As we approach the 20th edition of Discovery Film Festival we take a look back at the last two decades.

Discovery Film Festival has been bringing the best films for children and families from all around the world to Dundee and across Scotland for two decades, and with our 20th edition just around the corner we’re taking a look at the festival’s impact. Read on to find out more…


Wed 11 Oct

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Children attend Discovery Film Festival

Thousands of cinema visits

Discovery Film Festival is split into two strands: one for the public, and one for schools. We’re delighted to have welcomed over 44,000 school pupils to the festival in the past ten years alone, allowing us to introduce a whole new generation of film fans to the best of international cinema.

School visits are enhanced by our resource packs, created by classroom teachers and educational professionals and available for free to all visiting schools. Since 2013 our packs have been downloaded over 2,000 times. 

And the festival isn’t just for schools: since it began we’ve sold over 10,000 tickets to our public screenings, workshops and events. 

A still from the film Titina

Around the world in 20 years

In the last 20 years we’ve screened Discovery films from 29 different countries and in 21 different languages. This is a particular highlight for Mike Tait, Discovery Film Festival Producer and Cinema Youth Development Officer, who says:

Beside my desk I keep a quote from a young audience member back in 2015 saying "I could hardly even remember reading the subtitles it was that good. If I look back over the years of Discovery Film Festival one of the major achievements for me would be the broadening of access for younger Tayside audiences to films they might otherwise have never seen - from all over the world, in different languages, different voices telling previously unheard stories - ensuring "discovery" was more than just the name of the festival.

Discovery Film Festival 2023

Discovery Film Festival 2023 starts on Sat 21 October and will run until Sun 5 November 

Along with two weeks of screenings and events for schools, we’ve got three fantastic weekends of films, creative activities and gala events lined up for young people and families through our public programme. We can’t wait to celebrate Discovery’s 20th birthday – and everyone is invited. 

Visit to find out more about our films and book your Pay What You Can tickets now.