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Film the police tried to ban gets screening at festival for schools

A film the police tried to ban is being shown to pupils as part of a national week of free cinema for schools. Injustice, which investigates deaths in police custody, has also been rejected for broadcast by the BBC and Channel 4 because of concerns of libel action by police officers.

But teenage pupils in London will be able to watch the hard-hitting documentary next week as part of National Schools Film Week and join in a question-and-answer session with its director Ken Fero and some of the families of those who died.

Nick Walker, head of events for Film Education, said teachers were keen to discuss the film with A-level students in citizenship classes.

"We were slightly concerned about the controversy, but it is a good starting point for a discussion about rights and responsibilities - and, of course, injustice," he said. "As with many of our events, the talk afterwards is just as important as the film and we know pupils can be very vocal."

The 11th National Schools Film Week will involve more than 1,500 screenings of 250 different films in 500 venues across the UK as well as more than 200 workshops.

"We are well on our way to beating last year's record, getting 218,000 primary and secondary pupils into cinemas," Mr Walker said.

Although it does not officially start until Monday in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and on October 30 in Scotland, a launch event was held in London's Leicester Square earlier this week.

There pupils put questions to the writer Alan Bennett and the director and cast of the new film based on his play The History Boys, which is set in a boys' grammar school in the 1980s.

Film-makers and celebrities taking part next week include the artist Tracey Emin, who will be talking about her semi-autobiographical film Top Spot, and Amma Asante, Bafta-award winning director of A Way of Life.

Some pupils will also be making their own films, including an eight-strong crew from Ravensbourne school in Bromley, south London, who were shooting a documentary about the launch.

Danny Powell, head of media studies at Ravensbourne, said: "It is a tremendous opportunity for the students to learn about practical film-making, as well as picking up insights about the organisation of such media events."

Organisers say that the surprise bookings hit has been The Cave of the Yellow Dog, a tale of Mongolian nomads.

Older pupils in Norwich will get a chance to see Kidulthood - a film about disaffected British teenagers - then quiz a representative of the British Board of Film Classification about how its scenes of drug-taking and violence led to its 15 certificate. Professor Al Aynsley--Green, England's children's commissioner, has called the film a "must-see" for teachers.

Other special events include a performance by a Maori dance troupe to accompany a screening of the New Zealand film Whale Rider, in Chatham, Kent.

Places are still available at many venues and can be booked at packs can be downloaded at www.filmeducation.orgresources.html

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